Cities Seek Direct Stimulus $

TAMPA -

As the country awaits the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, mayors and county officials throughout the US are awaiting his promised economic stimulus package.

Like most leaders from urban centers, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio is eagerly awaiting the details on just how much money the Congress will put toward local public works projects.

She revised Tampa's 'wish list' of 'shovel ready' projects. Iorio's projects now would cost a total of $695 million and create more than 5,000 local jobs.

But also like other mayors, Iorio is concerned with how the money will be distributed.

'I do hope the funding goes directly to cities and counties because we are best equipped to spend it,' Iorio said. 'If this becomes too bureaucratic that will be a shame. If it goes to the states and we petition the states and the states set up a process. I see trouble in that.'

Iorio says her administration has a strong track record of accountability when it comes to keeping projects on time and on budget.

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