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Politics / Issues

Tampa Mayor Candidates 2019: Dick Greco Jr.

Dick_Greco_Jr.jpg
Dick Greco Jr.

WUSF Public Media asked all seven candidates for Tampa Mayor to answer a questionnaire outlining their stands on some of the major issues facing the city.

The questions focused on critical issues including transportation, affordable housing, growth, the attraction of high-paying tech jobs. They also were asked about their visions.

Here are the replies from retired Judge Dick Greco Jr.:

1) Transportation

What are your plans to ease transportation woes in Tampa?

I will work with other governmental agencies and authorities in the region to facilitate a regional approach to resolving our transportation issues.  Citizen involvement will be key to obtain buy-in from the community.

 

Do you support using transportation taxes for expanding the existing trolley line in Ybor City and downtown?

Yes. 

 

Do you support starting up light rail; or bus rapid transit that brings commuters from Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties? 

 Yes, we need to look at a Regional approach to solving our transportation issues.

 

What about the Tampa Bay Next plan to expand Interstate 275?

 The City of Tampa should work closely with Hillsborough County and the Florida Department of Transportation as well as neighborhoods to come to a consensus on this plan.

 

2) Affordable housing

What is your plan to ease the affordable housing crunch in the city of Tampa?

 As Mayor, I will be an advocate for affordable and attainable housing. I would promote the use of vacant City-owned lots and first-time home buyer programs to promote in-fill housing.

Do your plans include using city-owned land to lease to private developers;

I would consider all options regarding city-owned land; however, I would prefer that these lots be used in home-buyer programs.

 

Will you push to build more public housing? 

As Mayor, I would work with the Tampa Housing Authority and the Federal Government to seek funding for the renovation and or replacement of antiquated public housing units in an effort to redevelop these areas.

 

What about requiring a percentage of new privately-built apartments to be subsidized at below-market rates for those who qualify?

I will work with the development community and advocate for quality workforce and affordable housing.

 

3) The innovation economy

What can Tampa do to attract higher-paying jobs in the technology, start-up and other cutting-edge industries?

As Mayor, I will work to promote Tampa to those seeking start-up and corporate relocations.  I will work with our educational system, trade schools and area colleges to advocate for mentorship and apprenticeship programs to prepare our workforce for high-tech jobs.

 

Should Tampa use city dollars to attract outside businesses, like what the statewide economic development agency Enterprise Florida is doing?

Yes, with a commitment to provide local jobs and contribute to our local economy.

 

4) Managing growth

Do you support changes to zoning, allowing for higher density housing, or allowing taller buildings in established neighborhoods?

That would depend upon the zoning and land-use regulations that are held by the property owner.  I would encourage that development be consistent with the character of the neighborhood.

 

How do you balance the need to grow with the desires of existing residents?

We need growth to sustain our tax base; however, we need smart growth and I would encourage developers to work with existing neighborhood groups to ensure development that is compatible.

 

5) Big picture

What is your grand vision for the future of Tampa, such as the recent developments along the Hillsborough River in downtown?

The downtown riverfront development was a long time coming and has sparked new life to the area. I would like to expand new development to the West Tampa area while keeping with the character and culture of the neighborhoods and renovating historic buildings.

 

What would you like to see here, if you could make it happen?

I’d like to see Tampa’s government work closely with Hillsborough County, the State of Florida and other governmental agencies and authorities to dust off the many plans and studies that have been sitting on bookshelves for decades.   Tampa has so much to offer and the needs are plenty; however, we will never reach our full potential until we set aside our differences and start working together.  By bringing people together and building consensus, we can move Tampa forward!