County workers to flee downtown Tampa during RNC Convention

Services will be available at other locations

TAMPA - With 50,000 visitors crowding downtown Tampa during the Republican convention in August, downtown workers could have a miserable time just doing their jobs.

That's why almost the entire county workforce is being relocated - out of the way of the party and the protestors. 

The Fred B. Karl County Center that holds 1,000 workers will be closed during the week of, and the week prior to the RNC convention in August.  But it's not a holiday.

"They're not going to be at home in flip-flops and sneakers.  They will be working," promised Deputy Administrator, Sharon Subadan.

Subandan helped brief County Commissioners Wednesday on an elaborate relocation plan that would send workers to existing satellite offices around the county.

All the services, from filings with the clerk of the court to getting an auto license tag will still be available.  
 
"Our message to the community is that we're open for business, just not business as usual," said Subadan.

The County will use the internet, social media, brochures and other advertising to inform the public of the changes.
 
Commissioner Victor Crist sees it as a way to prepare the county for an evacuation under unplanned circumstances.
 
"In the event of any kind of emergency or possible disaster, this helps us see clearly what we can do, how quickly we can do it and how we can function off site," said Crist.

And while employees can be moved away from any potential unrest during the convention, the building stays put.  

The county will take measures to protect the acres of glass that could come under attack as it has in other conventions.

"There will be fencing, but the fencing will be done in a decorative way so it blends in with the environment," said Crist.

The new locations have been decided, but won't be released publicly until June 27.

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