After all the drama of this past week, Friday's Tampa mayoral forum at the Tiger Bay Club Friday afternoon was a rather tame affair.
In fact, there wasn't one reference to anybody driving anybody anywhere, a refrain from the past 24 hours of media intensity on a Dick Greco comment about Thomas Scott, the only black candidate in the race, that went awry (read all about that here).
Like he did at a debate in South Tampa earlier this week, Ed Turanchik brought up the financial debt that the city of Tampa is currently under due to spending during Dick Greco's last reign as mayor. Speaking about the tough economy, Turanchik said no one could have projected the collapse of the housing market, but the "seeds of our financial dilemma were planted 10-15-20 years ago,' pointing out to Greco's deals with Centro Ybor, a design for a new arts museum that never materialized, and new payments to begin in a few years on a police headquarters building purchased in the mid 1990's.
None of the candidates went for a suggestion offered by attorney Ron Weaver, who asked if the candidates were mayor today would they advise the City Attorney to sue Rick Scott for failing to live up to his duties by rejecting the $2.4 billion in funds for a high speed rail line scheduled to run from Tampa to Orlando.
Tiger Bay member and Republican David Hurley questioned the $2 billion to be spent on high speed rail. "How much debt is enough?" he asked.
Ed Turanchik acknowledged the debt was huge, but countered "I don't like spending money - debt, expenses or operating costs- but our national infrastructure is deteriorating. The failure to invest in that comes at the expense of progress, economy, innovation and us being a 21st century power."
Thomas Scott followed by correcting Hurley, saying that the $2.48 billion is "not going to relieve the national debt. It's going to California or some other state..."