Hot on the heels of what is likely to be the only televised Tampa mayoral debate, candidate David Straz announced a fiscal plan for the city unlike any that have been proposed by the other candidates.
If elected, Straz said he will conduct a full audit of city government to ensure transparency and integrity.
“I am the only candidate for mayor with a proven record of creating jobs and managing large budgets. That’s my line of work and I’m good at it. I will prove that by conducting a full audit of the City of Tampa to make sure we know where we stand financially as a city. We all need to know where the money is coming in and where it is going out,” Straz said.
Straz is the only candidate who has run a successful business enterprise and, as such, earned his wealth. However, other candidates have managed large budgets.
In their role as City Councilmembers, fellow candidates Harry Cohen and Mike Suarez have had a say for nearly eight years each in managing the city’s nearly $1 billion budget. Ed Turanchik, as a former Hillsborough County Commissioner, took part in that board’s budget process and Jane Castor managed the Tampa Police Department’s multi-million dollar budget.
Still, Straz says he would use city personnel as well as independent, outside auditors to get a clear picture of the financial status of the City of Tampa and Straz post the results of the audit online so anyone could access the information.
“The City of Tampa has a budget of about a billion dollars. With a new mayor and some new members of the city council, it seems like a good time to do a thorough audit of city finances,” Straz said. “The citizens of Tampa deserve integrity and transparency in the handling of city finances.”
The city of Tampa conducts an internal budget audit every year.
Straz also announced Wednesday a new endorsement from the Ironworkers Local Union 397.
“With David’s experience, knowledge and his passion for service to others and this great city we know that David will work hard to make our community a great place to live, work and raise a family,” said Gregory Jarrell, business manager for Iron Workers Local 397 in a prepared statement.
The ironworkers union joins a growing list of workers groups endorsing Straz including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Northwest Florida Chapter of Black Women in Construction, United Food and Commercial Workers, International Union of Operating Engineers and the Plumbers and Pipefitters local union.
Small business consultant Topher Morrison and community activist LaVaughn King are also running. The election is March 5 with a runoff, if necessary, scheduled for April 23.