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The last time I was at Tampa City Hall it was as a college intern with Councilman Scott Paine, during the Mayor Sandy Freeman Administration.
I had one great accomplishment… discovering that a $30,000 budget line item for barricade rental, being promoted as an increase to $50,000, was actually going to be a $70,000 expenditure as the change was to be retroactive to the prior year’s budget.
My question, along with some of my colleagues and enough of the council, was ‘How much can buying these things cost?” That is why… you don’t see many Bob’s Barricades out in Tampa anymore, and instead Tampa Public Works owns most of the orange, white, and amber lighted folding barriers used to mark closed roads around town.
Anyway… it was a good enough contribution to the City of Tampa’s history to get accepted into Mayor’s Neighborhood University. A 13-session course all about the City of Tampa, our neighborhoods, and our government.
During session 1… we took a bus tour all over Tampa… and saw some hidden gems like Picnic Island Park in the Port Tampa Area. I also got a chance to get an overview of what to expect from City of Tampa Neighborhood Liaison Carla Lewis.
I’ll be hoping to learn as much as I can about issues that affect property owners that might be thinking about selling their property to a builder such as zoning, code enforcement, land development, stormwater, and other things that have an impact on property values and expense of building new construction. These issues all have an effect on the final sale prices of lots & teardowns to builders.
Having a better understanding of these issues will help me get the best quality offers to property owners because I’ll be able to quickly complete due diligence and know about issues that will cost builders thousands of dollars in development costs. If these issues are known in advance, everyone can understand the situation and work together to put a fair agreement in place… when issues that cost $10,000 or more come to light just days before closing often that results in deals falling apart and stress we want to help our sellers avoid.
Another exciting part of the Mayor’s Neighborhood University Process will be meeting our neighbors throughout South Tampa and the rest of the city. Bill Diaz lives in Virginia Park and I got a quick minute with him to talk about some of what we saw during our tour of Tampa.
I’ll be updating the blog throughout the next few months with information and video from each session. I’m hoping by learning more about Tampa, I’ll be able to help more family’s looking to sell… and continue to improve our neighborhoods.