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Tampa City Council overrides 4 of mayor's vetoes during heated meeting

The council voted to override four of the five vetoes that Mayor Jane Castor announced earlier this week. They will now go to voters.

TAMPA, Fla. — You could call it political ping-pong. 

First, Tampa City Council approves several ordinances that would have allowed voters the opportunity to decide on changes to the city’s charter. 

Then, Mayor Jane Castor released a memo vetoing five ordinances

On Thursday, the council voted to override four of the five vetoes that Castor announced earlier this week. Those four ordinances will now go before voters.

Now, taxpayers will get to vote on setting new term limits for city council members, making changes to how city department heads are put in place, giving the council the ability to create boards and deciding whether to have a charter review advisory commission established every eight years instead of 10.

But one of the mayor's vetoes stayed put after the vote to override didn't have enough votes required from the council.

That particular ordinance would have allowed voters to decide if the Citizen's Review Board could have their own outside legal counsel funded — separate from the city's attorneys. The board reviews disciplinary cases and issues of importance or interest to the community and the police department.

"We want the choice to vote,” said Laura Rodriguez of the Tampa Bay Community Action Committee. “The big question is why won't you give it to us? It's so easy. It's so easy to let the people decide what they want to do."

10 Tampa Bay reached out to the mayor’s office for comment regarding today’s meeting, to which Castor responded: 

"Every decision I make as mayor is based on what's best for Tampa residents today and their children tomorrow, rather than what's easy or politically expedient. My charter amendment vetoes reflected that, but I was under no illusion that I would convince every council member to change his or her mind."

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