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Richard Danielson
By Richard Danielson May 27, 2011

Not in the first week -- or the first month

With neighborhood activists complaining about the proliferation of panhandlers on Tampa streets, mayoral candidate Bob Buckhorn posted this pledge on his campaign website: "Bob will craft an ordinance in his first week that eliminates panhandling on major arterial and collector streets in Tampa.”

After taking office on April 1, however, Buckhorn did not offer that ordinance -- not in his first week, and not, as of this writing, in his first two months in office.

"I knew that was coming,” Buckhorn said when PolitiFact Florida asked about it in a May 24, 2011, interview. "Yes.” Pause. "That was not done in the first week.”

Buckhorn said he still wants a panhandling ban.

Despite his first-week promise, he said he waited to act largely because the Legislature was debating a proposed state law on roadside solicitations. That probably would have addressed most of Tampa"s problem, he said.

But it didn"t pass. Buckhorn now says he wants to see what City Council members do at a June 16 workshop on the issue. If nothing comes of that discussion, "I"ll probably end up submitting something,” he said.

"I"m willing to get chastised for not getting it done in the first week if it gets me an ordinance in the long run,” he said.

Buckhorn"s promise was clear: an ordinance targeting panhandling his first week in office. He did not keep the schedule he set for himself. So we rate this a Promise Broken.

Our Sources

Buckhorn for Mayor, Strong Neighborhoods, accessed May 27, 2011

May 24, 2011 interview with Mayor Bob Buckhorn

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