Besieged by complaints (including their own), Tampa City Council delays vote on "Clean Zone" for the RNC

  • A tense scene at the 2008 RNC in St. Paul

With criticism rising over Mayor Bob Buckhorn's proposed rules for protesters at the Republican National Convention, the Tampa City Council today opted to delay voting on the ordinance for two weeks.

That vote followed statements from a number of citizens before the board Thursday morning, all expressing their anger about the ordinance, which includes specific rules within a five-mile region of the city the mayor is calling the Clean Zone, as well as rules limiting where and how long citizens can hold protests.

But the visitors weren't the only ones objecting. Council members Mary Mulhern, Frank Reddick, Lisa Montelione and Harry Cohen all expressed their own complaints as well, making the delayed vote non-controversial.

It was no surprise that Mulhern, the most progressive member of the board, had issues with the administration's ordinance. But this time — unlike earlier instances — she had company in issuing her objections.

Mulhern began her dissent by saying "You could drive a tank through the constitutional holes" in the Clean Zone ordinance.