Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio has been likened to Mary Poppins by political rivals. But a new feature on the city's Web site since Iorio took office may draw a better parallel with the classic children's book heroine Madeline.
It's called Going Places with Pam! and invites Web browsers to "Join the journey..."
Clicking on that invite, the viewer is treated to a series of images of Pam! taken during her many travels of the month. Here's Pam! on a bike, promoting alternate transportation. There's Pam! presenting the key to the city to pop diva Mariah Carey. (What, no John Travolta?).
One image shows Pam! smiling with employees of the Howard F. Curren Wastewater Treatment Plant. Another day, Pam! was shaking hands at MacDill Air Force Base and on another receiving an honorary football jersey from University of South Florida athletic director Lee Roy Selmon.
Pam! is typically shown in one of her signature dress suits, be they turquoise, royal blue or hunter green. Madeline wore a signature overcoat and hat.
Madeline went on adventures. Pam! goes on adventures.
A recurring line from the Madeline series would be easily adaptable, if the city's webmasters are looking to freshen up the text.
"They leave City Hall at half-past nine, in two straight lines, rain or shine ... The tallest one was ... Pam!" Okay, maybe not.
The Internet provides some benefits the old Madeline books didn't. Viewers can click on the photographs to make them better. And miss one of the adventures? No worry. There's an archive, cataloged by month.
COUNCIL REJECTS PAY RAISE: Tampa City Council finally rejected giving themselves 23 percent pay raises Thursday after a series of deadlocked votes. But don't feel bad for them.
They shouldn't starve on their current salary of $28,900. Financial disclosure forms show that all of members rely primarily on other income to live.
Here is the net worth of the Council members, as reported by them as of Dec. 31, 2002:
Mary Alvarez: worth about $2-million. Her husband is a banker. The couple also own real estate in Pasco County and North Carolina, and have $1.7-million in investments.
John Dingfelder: worth around $200,000. A lawyer, Dingfelder is in private practice and reported earning about $50,000 in 2002. He spent much of the year campaigning for office.
Shawn Harrison: worth about $198,000. A lawyer who lives in Tampa Palms, Harrison made about $182,000 from private practice in 2002.
Rose Ferlita: worth about $1-million. Ferlita, a pharmacist who owns Rose Drugs, is also an investor and director of Bay Area Concessions, which operates at Tampa International Airport. She owns a house in Hyde Park and several rental properties.
Gwen Miller: worth about $343,000. Her husband is a state senator who works at Tampa General Hospital. Miller had $39,419 in Tampa Electric Company stock.
Linda Saul-Sena: worth about $921,000. Besides owning a house on Davis Islands, Saul-Sena also has a business renting apartments.
Kevin White: worth about $525,000. White reported that he made $150,000 in 2002 as finance director of a St. Petersburg car dealership. He left the job this summer, and White said he is weighing several offers.
MUSEUM COURTS BYRD: Leaders of the Tampa Museum of Art hosted House Speaker Johnnie Byrd Jr. and his wife Wednesday evening.
The meeting was intended to show Byrd that the proposed new museum has broad support. Organizers led by state Rep. Sandy Murman and Paul Wilborn, the city's creative arts maven, wanted a wide circle of Tampa business executives to turn out to schmooze the speaker.
Byrd, who is running for U.S. Senate, could be a big help. The museum wants his backing for a $2.5-million appropriation from the Legislature.