A Message From The President

March 2014

I am anxious to hear Mayor Bob Buckhorn speak about the status of Tampa at our March meeting. He’s a passionate proponent of developing a vibrant city where people work, live and play. I’m grateful for his vision (and Pam Iorio’s vision) to improve downtown Tampa.

In 1996, I moved to Harbour Island and discovered how much I like living in the city. The urban lifestyle is quite a contrast to the small town in southern Indiana where I spent my childhood. My father was a professor at Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana. The town had one stoplight and a population of 3000.  The closest big city (a 45 minute drive) was Louisville, Kentucky. My Harbour Island home is one mile from my office in the Bank of America building. My husband laughs when I describe a new route to work that shaves 30 seconds off the commute. The short commute is definitely a benefit, but there are many other reasons I embrace living in the city.

One of my favorite activities is walking along the Riverwalk with my neighbor, Miriam Mason. There are always events at the Convention Center, Marriott Waterside Hotel, History Center and Curtis Hixon Park. One morning we were surprised to find circus elephants walking down Water Street by the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Another time we watched dragon boat races. What an interesting place to exercise!  The Convention Center is headquarters for car shows, home shows, volleyball tournaments, cheerleading competitions, political conventions, thespians and business conventions. It’s fun to guess what event is taking place at the Convention Center based upon the clothing of the participants.

Every time I step foot in Curtis Hixon Park, I thank Pam Iorio for this treasure. It is a wonderful gathering place for children, families, yoga, concerts and other outdoor activities. The Straz Center is also a Tampa jewel. Like many of you, my husband and I are subscribers to the Broadway Series and enjoy living close to the theatre. My family loves the Tampa Bay Lightning and attends many hockey games.  We belong to a small group of fans in the U.S. who walk to a National Hockey League game from home.  The small scale Publix on Bayshore is a convenient place to shop, but finding a parking space is a challenge.  My first question for Mayor Buckhorn is: When will there be a grocery store in the Channel District? My second question: When will Channelside Bay Plaza be redeveloped? I’m certain that you have questions for our mayor, too!