Iorio to talk of light rail at Crist meeting

Times staff writer

Published Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TAMPA — Mayor Pam Iorio expects to meet today with Gov. Charlie Crist and his chief of staff in Tallahassee to discuss Hillsborough's plans for light rail.

County Commissioner Mark Sharpe and former Gov. Bob Martinez, who has a contract to lobby for the city, also will attend the meeting.

Iorio said she wants to tell Crist about Hillsborough's rail plan and how it fits into efforts to bring rail to the region. She hopes the County Commission will agree to put a referendum on the 2010 ballot asking voters to approve a sales tax to pay for the line that would run from north Tampa to the airport.

At this point, Iorio said, there are no plans to ask the state for money to support the project.

"Eventually, we will be seeking state support. But (today) will just be an introduction to what work has been done and what we hope to achieve in the future," she said.

Iorio also is scheduled to have breakfast with Secretary of State Kurt Browning and meet with Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.