Mayor Bob Buckhorn delivered an optimistic State of the City address Tuesday morning, highlighting Tampa's economic boom and prosperity.
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Buckhorn used the address to tout Tampa's business and job growth, beneficial social programs, expanded parks, crime drop, neighborhood improvements and boom in nationally recognized events.
"This is a special moment for Tampa," Buckhorn said. "This is a different city than it was six years ago (when he took office)
"Where there was decline, there is a new sense of progress."
He delivered the address from Kiley Garden, adjacent to downtown's Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Buckhorn said the location highlights his message about Tampa's future.
"We (Tampa) continue to persevere," Buckhorn said. "It has been a long and arduous journey but we continue to provide more services, more summer camps, more parks, more bicycle lanes and safer communities. And we do it with the leanest and hardest working team you'll find in any city in America."
The mayor said he expects the growth to continue with new construction projects. He added there are still fiscal and political challenges and infrastructure and transportation needs.
Buckhorn also introduced Autism Tampa, a new initiative in conjunction with USF's Canter for Autism and Related Disabilities. The program will develop an autism friendly guide, which will outline and highlight places and events specifically tailored for those with autism.
"We are proud to be partnered with USF,'' Buckhorn said. "To help make this initiative happen."
With 725 days left in office as Tampa mayor, Buckhorn said he is focused on finishing what he started.
"I want to leave the city better than when I found it," Buckhorn said. "I intend to keep moving forward and finish strong."