With dramatic flair that included invoking the name of a famous novelist, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran recently wrote a critical column about Community Redevelopment Agencies. No one should disagree with him about elected officials in Florida whose unethical or criminal behavior let their constituents down. But there are many, including myself, who firmly believe he is wrong to blame these crimes on CRAs.
CRAs were created to improve blighted areas, and they have been a successful tool in Tampa since their creation. I have served on the Tampa City Council and as a member of our CRA since 2011. We have eight redevelopment areas in Tampa, and we have been very diligent in how money is spent on infrastructure and special programs in each area. Corcoran’s assertions about political malfeasance in other parts of Florida simply don’t reflect the standard we have upheld in Tampa.