With Tampa airport exec. director’s contract, Bob Buckhorn believes in contracts; what about with the Rays?

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“A contract’s a contract,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said today after the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority’s governing board voted to renegotiate the contract of Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano after a tense meeting Friday morning.

Lopano’s contract doesn’t expire until 2016, but as Jamal Thalji reports, Lopano’s name has come up as his old employer, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, starts its search for a new CEO. The board – the mayor included – want to keep him in Tampa. But to get Lopano to agree not to go to work for another airport, the board would likely have to offer him financial compensation.

A special meeting was held today to discuss how to keep Lopano from being recruited away. But he found himself defending his reasoning from the mayor, who called the meeting’s purpose “ridiculous.” Before any motion was made, Thalji reports, Buckhorn declared that he’d vote against whatever they proposed.

“I mean it’s a joke,” Buckhorn said. “It’s absolutely a joke. I’m not going to support any motion that comes out of here.”

Buckhorn even took to Twitter:

@BobBuckhorn: “My bad…..I actually thought a contract meant something”

It’s reassuring to see Hizzoner so devoted to the power of contracts.

Those of us in St. Petersburg should remember the Mayor’s devotion to contracts as the debate over the Tampa Bay Rays pursuit of a new stadium continues. The Rays, after all, have a contract with the City of St. Pete to play baseball at Tropicana Field for another two decades.

And a contract means something, right Mr. Mayor?

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.