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Joe Caetano

Hillsborough Citizen Advisory Committee proposes $3B budget savings, possibly spent on transportation

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A new report issued by the Hillsborough County Citizens Advisory Committee identified potential savings in 14 specific areas could save more than $3 billion over the next three decades, which could be spent on transportation, infrastructure and/or tax cuts. The 13-member committee has met twice a month since July analyzing the budget before handing off its list of recommendations to the BOCC last week. “We determined you don’t have to have a sales tax to raise this amount of money,” says Spencer Kass, a member…

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By only 65 votes, Luis Viera defeats Jim Davison in Tampa City Council special election

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By just 65 votes, Luis Viera defeated Jim Davison in the Tampa City Council District 7 special run-off election, taking 50.64 percent to Davison’s 49.36 percent, a difference of only a single percentage point. Viera received 2,588 votes to Davison’s 2,523, just 65 votes out of 5,120 cast. The special election was held to succeed Lisa Montelione, who was re-elected without opposition to the North Tampa district seat in early 2015. Last fall, Montelione announced that she would run for the state Legislature,…

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Luis Viera friendship with Mike Suarez becomes an issue at New Tampa debate

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In the world of Tampa politics, where some folks spend considerable time about contemplating about what might happen years from now, there has been some interest in the District 7 run-off election in the context of how it might affect the chances of Mike Suarez getting an edge in the 2019 mayoral election. Mayor Bob Buckhorn has said that he will decide within the next few months whether he will pursue a statewide candidacy in 2018. Most analysts believe the…

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In debate, Jim Davison doesn’t dismiss idea of New Tampa secession from Tampa

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An interesting word popped up at a debate between Tampa City Council candidates for next week’s runoff election — “secession.” Ever since New Tampa was annexed in the late 1980s, some residents have been frustrated that they aren’t receiving the same city services as other Tampa neighborhoods, particularly downtown. During Tuesday night’s debate at the New Tampa Regional Library, District 7 candidate Jim Davison did not rule out the possibility of secession from the city of Tampa. “As far as splitting off and…

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Shawn Harrison is backing Jim Davison in Tampa City Council runoff

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Shawn Harrison, a former Tampa Council member representing District 7 who was re-elected to the Florida House last week, is backing Jim Davison in the District 7 runoff election next month. Davison will face Luis Veira in the special election runoff for the Tampa City Council seat on December 6. “Luis is a good man but Jim has been a stalwart champion for New Tampa for 20 years,” Harrison wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday. “He is well known in…

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Hillsborough GOP contributes $1K to Jim Davison’s Tampa City Council campaign. But is it legal?

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Although technically a nonpartisan board, party politics have been at play on who serves on the Tampa City Council for awhile. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that the Hillsborough County Republican Party is backing Jim Davison in the District 7 race. However, its $1,000 contribution to his campaign may have gone too far. According to the Tampa City Charter, Section 8.19, “A candidate for municipal office shall not: 1) Campaign as a member of any political party; 2) Publicly represent or advertise as a member of any…

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Alan Clendenin leads all Hillsborough County school board candidates in fundraising

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Although he was one of the last candidates to enter the race for school board in Hillsborough County this year, Alan Clendenin leads all of them in fundraising, new reports show. The District 7 candidate brought in $8,285 from June 1-24, and has raised more than $45,000 since getting into the contest on May 6. The next closest in fundraising in District 7 is Stanley Gray, who has brought in $34,150. Clendenin retired in 2012 from a career working as an…

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