By a 4-3 vote, Charlie Miranda becomes new Tampa City Council Chair

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He said he enjoyed serving and working with Bob Buckhorn a decade ago.  When asked if the Council Chair and the Mayor automatically will have a close relationship, Miranda said it depends on the chemistry between the two. "I've had that in the past with other mayors, so I'm sure I'll have that with him, " he said.

CL spoke with both Frank Reddick (who nominated Miranda) and Mike Suarez after the vote. They both said they backed Miranda simply because he had the most experience.  Miranda's victory last month to the Council was his sixth in his career, dating back to the 1970's.

There was a bit of tension after the vote, when the question of whether the Council was ready to vote for chairs of the specific Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRA's) in the city came about.  New Chairman Miranda said he was ready to vote for such officers right then and there, but Mulhern objected, saying that such a vote hadn't been placed on the agenda.  City Attorney Chip Fletcher then intervened and said it would be okay for the Council to vote.

But saying that he didn't want to get the new board off on a negative note, Miranda said that such a vote could happen at the next Council meeting, which will take place on April 7.

Going into Friday afternoon's vote for Tampa City Council, it was obvious there were only two choices to become the next Chairman of the council - Charlie Miranda or Mary Mulhern, both returning back for a 2nd four year term after easily winning re-election a month ago.

And by a 4-3 vote, it was Miranda coming out on top, with, as it turned out, the three other men on the council supporting him, while the two other females on the board, Yolie Capin and Lisa Montelione, choose Mulhern.

Mulhern was then nominated to be Chairman Pro Tem by Yolie Capin. Miranda then nominated Harry Cohen.  But Mulhern was voted in 5-2, with only Miranda and Cohen voting for Cohen.

For Miranda, this will be his second time serving as chair. He previously did so in 1999-2003, where one of his colleagues was the new Mayor, Bob Buckhorn.  Speaking to CL immediately after the meeting adjourned, Miranda said the economic conditions that the city faces are more challenging than the last time he served as chair.  "Every time you're in the Council, whether you're chairman or on a member, you have to deal with how the cards are. And the cards are certainly much more difficult now than in '99."

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