#33 of 49: Run for Mayor of Tampa

This adventure has been in the works for many years. What started out as a dream, has now become a reality.

On January 8, 2018 I signed the forms and officially entered the race for becoming Tampa’s next Mayor.  I’m not naive; I realize this is a huge undertaking.  Many would say I don’t stand a chance.  But you know what?  Most business owners don’t stand a chance when they open their business.  Statistically most business owners fail.  Statistically I have a slim chance of winning.  But statistics change as people press on in spite of them.  That’s what I’m going to do.

Since this is a personal blog, I won’t go into details on my campaign here.  I’ll post those ramblings on my campaign website, www.tampafortopher.com when the official website is announced later in the following weeks. But here are my top 3 issues I feel need to be addressed in order for Tampa to become the worlds best city for small business owners. (More details on why I think that is so important on my campaign site)

#1: Transportation

It’s bad both for people who love to drive, and it’s bad for those who can’t afford to. It’s not the worst in the country, but it’s far from the best, and I know we can do better.

#2 Our Tampa Brand

We don’t have a brand identity.  I’ve asked the most prominent leaders of Tampa including our Mayor, Bob Buckhorn, what is that one thing we are known for, and the response is always the same. They respond with something to the effect of, “That’s a great question, I’m not really sure.”

The most influential cities in America are all known for something, but we have yet to define what that one thing is we want everyone in the world to know us for, and as a result, for the past 3 decades we’ve kept saying that we are America’s next greatest city. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time to stop saying we’re the next greatest city, and I think it’s time we actually become it.

#3 County / City Relations

The City and the County acknowledge that they need to work together, but as of yet, they haven’t demonstrated that they can do it very well.  That has to change in order for us to be able to work with our neighboring counties for the betterment of our region.

Can They Be Solved?

I believe I can solve these problems by first creating solutions to our traffic problem that start just within the city limits and don’t require countywide support.  After all, until we solve the 3rd problem, we have a stale mate with them anyway.  The reason no one has done this before is because they think we need county and state funding to tackle such a huge issue.  It would be nice, we will need it long term, but we don’t need it to start the ball rolling and get things working more effectively.

Second, through my experience in helping companies create brands of influence, I can put my knowledge and connections to work and develop a world class brand that makes people want to travel from all over the world to see the great works we’ve created.

And lastly, I know I can get the city and county to start playing in the same sandbox using strategies that I’ve honed over the past decade to help companies that otherwise would be competitors and turn them into collaborators. And I’m going to demonstrate this in my campaign so before you get to the ballot box and have to select your next Mayor, you won’t have to wonder if I can make good on my campaign promise, you’ll already know that I can do it because I built my campaign around the same strategies. My campaign will consist of companies that set aside their competitive interests and band together to work for a great cause, one that when accomplished actually makes their self interests easier to accomplish.

Okay, okay, enough political posturing… this is a personal blog, let me get back to how excited I am to begin this new adventure in my life that will carry over until I’m 50.  I think that’s a good age for a visionary Mayor. Don’t you? 🙂

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