Ingram: Tampa’s top 20

The following is my list of 20 of the biggest assets the Tampa Bay area has to offer its residents, visitors and future generations. They are listed in no particular order.

By Chris Ingram

Anyone who has ever ventured onto roads in the Tampa Bay area knows traffic congestion is one of our major problems.

According to the 2012 American Community Survey among metropolitan areas, Tampa Bay-area commuters have the fourth-highest commuting time, at 52 minutes per day (26 minutes each way). That works out to 4.3 hours per week, 17.3 hours a month, or 208 hours a year — stuck in traffic.

Recently, I was invited to attend some meetings among business, industry and other community stakeholders to help develop a “Vision 2020” for the Tampa Bay area.

Unscientifically, the group has concluded its primary focus should be on addressing the area’s transportation needs. It seems like a no-brainer, but this conclusion was achieved only after assessing the landscape and considering a variety of other issues, such as: a new home for the Rays, education, the future of MacDill AFB, attracting new jobs, protecting our environmental assets, and tourism and marketing to attract new visitors.

At our last meeting, it occurred to me that while, yes, we need to address transportation and other problem areas, the Tampa Bay area also needs to collectively embrace all that makes the area so great, and stop viewing Tampa Bay the body of water as a divider.

The following is my list of 20 of the biggest assets the Tampa Bay area has to offer its residents, visitors and future generations. They are listed in no particular order. (Click here to read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune).

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him

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Say so long to Gov. Charlie Crist, and hello Senator Crist?

Don’t get me wrong, I like Charlie Crist. I like him the same way I like the guy who mows my lawn. He’s a nice fella with a deep tan and a friendly smile. But I don’t want my lawn man making decisions about taxes, insurance, or my children’s education. And I don’t want Charlie Crist doing so either because he doesn’t have a grasp for the issues and he’s not willing to take a stand for anything. The proof is in the pudding: despite a lifetime in public service, Florida’s governor doesn’t have many accomplishments to show for.

Perhaps just plain “sorry Charlie” would be better…

By Chris Ingram

My friend and fellow political consultant Jamie Miller recently wrote on Irreverent View that he speculates Florida Governor Charlie Crist will run for re-election.

I disagree with Jamie.

I believe Charlie has his eye on the U.S. Senate.

Here’s why and what I think will happen: Continue reading “Say so long to Gov. Charlie Crist, and hello Senator Crist?”