Turanchik, Buckhorn add more details to their campaign platforms in Tampa mayor's race

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There has been lots of discussion about a connection between that high speed rail station to be built in downtown, and Tampa International.  Some say that's where a light rail line should be constructed.


But Turanchik, who has said he doesn't think light rail will ever work in Tampa,  is calling for a "synchronized luxury bus service".


[image-1]Meanwhile, Bob Buckhorn has also released an extensive document on his website on his positions on the economy, crime, and neighborhoods. It's on crime that is most interesting, as both Buckhorn and Rose Ferlita appear to be the two candidates pushing hard on that issue.  Check out the crime section, and you might find some interesting proposals.  Like regarding Ybor City -


Ybor City continues to pose a law enforcement challenge. The Buckhorn administration will have zero tolerance for disruptive behavior in our historic district. This includes bars and other establishments serving alcohol that continue to flaunt the codes and zoning laws currently in place


And Buckhorn wants to provide incentives for Tampa Police officers to live Tampa.  In many cities cops are known to live in the suburbs.  Buckhorn wants to change that:


Having public safety officers, our police and firefighters, living in our neighborhoods bolsters community security, decreases neighborhood crime, improves the residency base, enhances the neighborhood economy, reduces response time in emergency situations and improves officers’ loyalty to “their” community. As Mayor, Bob Buckhorn will encourage public safety officers to reside in the City by implementing a residency incentive program. This program will provide police officers incentives such as low interest loans, or down payment assistance. Since 1995, Bob Buckhorn has consistently voted for, and has been a vocal advocate for, allowing officers to take home their police cars. This policy reduces neighborhood crime and increases employee morale at very little cost to the City. As Mayor, Bob will continue this policy. As a City Councilman Bob has consistently supported the Tampa Police Department’s current pursuit policy. As Mayor he will continue to vigorously support that policy.


And he's calling for more security in the city's parks.


Bob believes that citizens will only use the City’s major parks if the parks are safe and secure. As Mayor, Bob will work to strengthen the security in our major parks. Bob Buckhorn will work with the Tampa Housing Authority to strengthen enforcement of the “One Strike and You’re Out” policy in public housing. In addition, there will be increased attention focused on Section 8 housing to ensure that residents are maintaining high community standards.


These are just the highlights.  Go to Buckhorn's website for all the details.

In the past couple of days, several Tampa mayoral candidates have released position papers reflecting their priorities if elected to office.

Ed Turanchik, who produced his initial public policy position paper in December, has now come up with a new proposal which he's calling TBNnet, which would be establishing a 5-mile transit, building and new energy technology innovation corridor connecting Tampa International Airport, downtown Tampa, the scheduled to be built high speed rail station downtown, and Ybor City.

Read more of that below:

The transit component would initially feature dedicated bus service operating on existing rights of way.  Some retooling of existing streets and traffic flows would likely be required, but these would be nominal.  Enhancements of the system could be done incrementally, with gradual expansion of public rights of way to accommodate bus rapid transit lanes and redevelopment of street corridors to a more urban, higher density form.  This change would not occur overnight, but would be based upon market dynamics, which in turn would be accelerated due to the nature and commitment to this corridor.   This incremental approach would lay a powerful foundation for eventual qualification for federal funding of light rail.

I also propose to pursue the development of innovative building and energy technology alternatives in this corridor in collaboration with leading universities and technology institutes, such as the Florida Solar Energy Research Center.  My work in the housing industry, training at the Florida Solar Energy Research Center, and personal involvement with building products and energy systems has familiarized me with the vast opportunities and wide range of innovation occurring in this sector.  I envision this corridor as a working and dynamic real world laboratory for the design and implementation of competing building and alternative energy technologies.

I envision working with TECO, the state of Florida, and the U.S. Department of Energy to establish a smart grid in this corridor. New homes and businesses would be configured with electric and gas hookups for emerging alternative fuel vehicles as well as solar photovoltaic systems as they become economically viable.  I believe TECO is well poised to become a facile, innovative utility provider given its prudent fiscal policies of the past decade and its relative freedom from being encumbered by major power plant undertakings.

Initial funding for the various aspects of this corridor would come from existing revenues, grants, private sector investment, new market tax credits and establishment of a potential tax increment transit financing district.  This district would be designed to capture incremental gains in property tax revenue, to be used to leverage the redevelopment of the corridor in a manner consistent with its design and purpose.  This approach is consistent with Hillsborough County Chairman Al Higginbotham’s interest in finding alternative ways to fund transit enhancements.

I believe this corridor would place Tampa on the cutting edge of 21st century innovation and attract new industry and talent, all the while providing a more livable and sustainable urban growth corridor for our future.

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