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Tampa deserves to crow about its openness on RNC funding, says Charlotte Observer

By on March 8, 2012

It’s true, Tampa is boasting about having more openness in the $50 million federal grant appropriated for Republican National Convention Security, compared to its counterpart, Charlotte.

As well they should.

A Charlotte Observer editorial Tuesday headlined, “Tampa: We’re proud we’re not like Charlotte.”

There are marked differences in the approaches the two convention host cities used regarding how these dollars will be spent. On the one hand, the Tampa City Council chose to engage in open discussions and a public vote on spending allocations for the convention. The Charlotte City Council, on the other hand, put their city manager in charge of making these fiscal decisions more than a year ago.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said that he and Police Chief Jane Castor are responsible for keeping residents informed on what the city is doing. And they are doing just that.

It appears that Charlotte has not taken the same route in providing transparency and sharing responsibility and information with the public on convention security appropriations.

Perhaps Charlotte should take note of Tampa’s process, and allow their citizens a more active role in their local government, especially when $50 million of federal funds is being spent in their community.

“Why is that too much for Charlotte citizens to ask?” the editorial concludes.

Meanwhile, thank you Tampa for demonstrating outstanding stewardship and continuing an open dialogue with shared responsibility in your community.

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