Meet the Minds: Former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn – “Experiences of an Executive Mayor”
August 31 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
From April of 2011 to May of 2019 Bob Buckhorn served as the mayor of Tampa, Florida – a city that has been recognized as the best city in the southeast (Money Magazine), one of the hottest cities for startups (Fortune), one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country (U.S. Census), and a top 50 city for business (Inc.). From its vibrant and rapidly expanding urban core, to the unending charm of its diverse neighborhoods, Tampa’s time has come.
After a long history of service to the City of Tampa, Bob Buckhorn was elected as the 58th mayor of Tampa, where he lead over 4,300 dedicated, hard-working, and forward-thinking civil servants. Unlike many cities, the Mayor of Tampa serves as the de facto CEO in a strong Mayor form of government. He/She does not sit as a member of the City Council nor is there a city manager.
In 1995 Buckhorn began his first of two terms on the Tampa City Council, where he gained citywide recognition for his leadership, initiative, and progressive policies. In 2003, after having completed his second term, he left public office and joined the Dewey Square Group, a public affairs company with a national reputation. In 2007, he opened Buckhorn Partners, his own public affairs firm based in Tampa.
In 2011, Bob Buckhorn was elected mayor of Tampa, the nation’s 49rd largest city and the 3rd largest in Florida. On April 1, 2011 he was officially sworn into office. Mayor Buckhorn led the city out of the largest recession since the Great Depression. Facing a 30 million dollar deficit upon taking office, annually balanced Tampa’s billion dollar budget eight straight years and made strategic investments in infrastructure to prepare the City for the future. Under his leadership, the City of Tampa saw thirteen credit rating increases. He was also chosen as a fellow in the Urban Land Institute’s Rose Fellowship for Urban Planning.
One of his first acts as mayor was to create a diverse panel of local business people and community activists to help reshape how City Hall does business. He spearheaded the development of the Invision Plan, a blueprint for the development of our urban core and successfully worked with the Obama administration to secure a grant to complete the Tampa Riverwalk which was named by the American Planning Association as the 2018 National Great Places in America “People‘s Choice” category winner.
Mayor Buckhorn set a tone of inclusiveness in Tampa as the City acted as a pioneer for equality by establishing one of Florida’s first Domestic Partnership Registries and Tampa has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign with a perfect 100% score on its Municipal Equality Index.
After four successful years, Buckhorn was elected to a second term as mayor, receiving 95% of all votes cast.
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