For Bob Buckhorn, the race is on to be ready on April 1

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When discussing that new council, with includes new Democrats Mike Suarez, Harry Cohen and Lisa Montelione to join the existing group, Buckhorn said it was another reason that those who care about Tampa city government should be excited about the changes happening. "It's time to build on that, and get it to the next level, and I think some of these council members are excited, they're going to bring some new blood to the table. I’ve sat there in that seat, so I know what that job is all about, and I intend to include them as much as possible in that process."

For her part, Iorio said that she obviously knows what a tremendous learning curve Buckhorn is now going under, having gone through the same process some eight years ago.  "It's an avalanche at first, a huge enormous intensity when you first become mayor," but she said Buckhorn's experience as a top official to Mayor Sandy Freedman in the 80's and 90's, as well as his eight years on City Council will quicken his learning curve.

But she said there obviously will be challenges. "There's going to be more cutting of City Hall, but I think that he is well equipped to go down that road, so there are  a number of things he’ll have to deal with right away." She said the thing about the mayor’s job is that "you’re always faced with challenges."

Iorio also is leaving office with one of the biggest problems she's had with constituents since elected: the continuing water bill crises, which she'll be dumping in Buckhorn's hands.  Buckhorn said it was a problem he heard a lot about from voters in the last parts of the campaign, but refused to specifically say what he would do to correct the problems.

Iorio also spoke out passionately against negative campaigning, which was led to her endorsement of Buckhorn after saying she would not do so.   You can read about that here.

Saying he felt like hadn't slept "since July," Tampa Mayor-Elect Bob Buckhorn met with outgoing Mayor Pam Iorio this morning at the mayor's offices on E. Jackson Street today in the first of what will be several meetings as the city transitions to a new leader in just 8 days.

Buckhorn admitted that as of this morning, he did not have a transition team in place, though he said that we have David Straz chair that transition.  He said his new administration will be diverse, saying, "it will look like the city that I will soon be representing," and will be done with "as little drama as possible."

Perhaps because he didn't want to be superstitious, Buckhorn said he had no names to give the media about people he wanted to bring into key positions, such as the Deputy Mayors he talked about on the campaign trail for economic development and protocol, international trade and commerce.  He says as far as working with Mayor Iorio on the 2011 budget, he wants to start looking at hurricane preparedness.

But he was humble, admitting that  "I’m sure we will make mistakes along the way, that’s inevitable, but it won’t be because we won’t be trying hard and working hard."

With a brand new, all Democratic party filled City Council and a new Democratic mayor, Buckhorn was asked if that would present any issues with the Republican National Convention coming to Tampa in a year and a half.  He said, no, that the city is looking at the convention from an economic perspective, and mentioned that the chair of the RNC, -Reince Priebus -had called to congratulate him on his victory this morning.

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