Dear my beloved city of Tampa,
I visited you 19 years ago for a 3-day weekend, and I fell in love. I fell in love with you and all that you have to offer…your beautiful views, your compassionate nature, your welcoming spirit. I admired you one evening from Ballast Point during that trip, and it was then that I decided I never wanted to leave you; that I want to grow old with you. I’m asking you to let me be your Mayor and shout my love from the rooftops! I will tell the world about my love for you, and I know that the world will fall in love with you, too.
Would you do me the honor of letting me be your Mayor?
This is a lovely sentiment, but I need more than just words. As you know, I have many suitors who are making many promises to me. I have suitors who are tall, and suitors who are short. I have female suitors and male suitors, and I embrace the diversity along with the positive intent to enhance my quality of life. My suitors all promise to love ALL of me, even my neglected features. I collect on-going promises to take care of my infrastructure, make me feel connected, and even to buy me Burger King each Monday morning, while sweeping away my fluff. (I don’t think I’m particularly “fluffy,” by the way.) But no other suitor speaks about his love for me like you. You want to make me feel even more pretty by giving me green rooftops and green curbsides and parklets that will enhance my world with renewable energy and keep me safe in storms. You want to romance me in the sky with aerial gondolas, rather than promising to suit yourself up and fill my asphalt blemishes with more asphalt. You love all of my features, from top to bottom, east to west, and you speak of them with kindness and future focus, rather than pointing out the neglect. You speak to our future together with great vision and heart, and I want you to know that this does not go unnoticed. As I watch my choices, some of whom have been in my circle for many years, I want you to know that you have been an unexpected, delightful change. I’m watching you, and I will give you an answer on March 5th. Until then, I sincerely hope that you continue to pursue me and fight for me with the gallant spirit that is shining through the lineup of those who have the expected pedigrees touting the expected promises. I see you.
PS: I love your dog.