Sep 032004

The worst has happened. On top of a major hurricane bearing down on Tampa Bay, Tampa City Council members couldn’t get FREE Coffee at Thursday’s meeting. And they had to gripe about it.

The guy representing my district was quoted in a Tampa Tribune article saying that other city events were, "well catered," and suggesting the convention center caterer should "donate" the coffee. (The Council is meeting at the Convention Center during remodeling at City Hall, and the vendor there gets $40/pot.) Never mind that the Council Members were warned to bring their own…and oh, by the way, the caterer did provide free coffee for a while.

Councilwoman Mary Alvarez seemed most concerned. She observed, “But we put in our time, yet we have to grovel for a pot of coffee.” Ya know, maybe she shouldn’t run for public office for the free coffee.

Of course this explains why three times I’ve called Mr. Dingfelder’s office (my commissioner), and not received promised follow-up calls. I guess they were too busy drinking coffee to actually be concerned about a citizen.

I mean really, how absurd is this, that a major topic of conversation at a City Council meeting for a City the size of Tampa was a few of the Council Members griping about not having free coffee. They want this to be a worldclass city, but that ain’t gonna happen until we get worldclass leadership.

I plan to buy and send Mr. Dingfelder a thermos, so he can take his own coffee from now on.

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