Tampa city charter proposals move forward

By Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer
Published February 29, 2008

TAMPA - When Tampa voters go to the polls in November, they may be asked to decide on a handful of city charter amendments along with making picks for president and state and local races.

The City Council on Thursday agreed to move forward with charter changes that would broaden its powers, including giving the council sole authority to hire and fire the council's attorney. That power is now shared with the city attorney and the mayor.

The council also wants the ability to hire and set salaries of its staff members without approval of the mayor.

Council members Charlie Miranda, Joseph Caetano and Gwen Miller voted against cutting the mayor out of decisions related to the City Council staff.

The council also agreed to move forward with other minor charter changes.One would give the city's existing Ethics Commission staying power by including it in the charter. Another would correct the names of community boards. A third would make the charter not gender-specific.

Putting amendments on the ballot requires one public hearing and council approval in two separate votes.