TAMPA - Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio wrapped up her State of the City address this morning after eight years in office. In just a few weeks, she will turn over the city to a new mayor.
Iorio said she believes the future of Tampa looks bright and the city is better off now than when she started.
"Our philosophy as an administration was that during a down economic time that's when you really step on the gas pedal, that's when you really move forward," Mayor Iorio said.
That philosophy helped develop Tampa into what you see today. The new Curtis Hixon Park, museums, more people living in Downtown Tampa.
When Pam Iorio became Mayor Iorio, she wanted crime to drop. It did, about 60%.
Police Chief Jane Castor said, "she (Mayor Iorio) told us to cut our budget as much as we could without taking any officers off the street, she realizes the importance of safety."
By being fiscally responsible, the new mayor will inherit a city with $150,000,000 in reserves along with a strong bond rating. Iorio said she is proud of her achievements, especially because they happened during a recession.
Despite the accomplishments, Iorio thinks more has to be done. Iorio said many know how she feels about Governor Rick Scott's rejection of the federal money for high speed rail. Iorio said mass transit has to improve.
"One thing we cannot afford to do is to do nothing," she said.
An improved transportation system is something both mayoral candidates Rose Ferlita and Bob Buckhorn say they plan to take on if elected.
Both Ferlita and Buckhorn listened to Iorio's speech along with dozens of city workers, police officers, and politicians.
Iorio's speech was upbeat. She said the last eight years have been some of the best of her life.
"I hope the city never stops progressing, I hope the city never stops believing in itself," Iorio said.
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