Mayor willing to negotiate with city council on police review board

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said he would agree to negotiate with city councilors over the number of members each would appoint to a civilian review board for the Tampa Police Department, potentially ending a weeks-long political standoff as the two sides grappled over how the board would look.

"I am willing to listen," the mayor said.

The mayor's announcement came several hours after protestors effectively shut down a city council meeting with shouts of, "No compromise!" after the council asked their lawyers to draft a vision for the board that would largely mirror the mayor's plan.

That plan would not include the powers of subpoena, the right to look at open investigations or the ability to punish officers found of wrongdoing.

"I see the only issue being left of who appoints how many members," said councilor Harry Cohen.

The mayor said he would establish the board weeks ago after an outcry over the disproportionate number of bike tickets African-Americans were getting.

He said he would appoint nine members to the board, and allow councilors to appoint two.

They want to appoint at least four.

"I think there is room there for negotiation," said Buckhorn. "I think it is time for this drama to stop. It's time for the circus at city council to stop."

Protestors say they have been abandoned by both council and the mayor.

"We begged the city council to listen to us and they did not," said protestor Donna Davis. "We are considering a recall election, at this point to address our disdain with how the city council handled its business today."

The mayor has promised to appoint fair-minded people who will be able to represent the community.

He will meet with Council Chair Frank Reddick in the next two weeks to negotiate over who gets to appoint how many board members.

Councilors will take up the issue again in late October.