Tampa City Councilman Luis Viera, who represents the New Tampa area as part of District 7, likes to joke that he only won his first election by a mere 65 votes in a runoff.
In his second election, however, he trounced opponent Quinton Robinson 76.2 percent to 23.8 percent.
After building a strong list of accomplishments and being attentive to New Tampa, where he has lived for 16 years, Viera thinks a third term is in order. He officially filed for reelection earlier this month.
The Tampa City Council election isn’t until March 7, 2023; Viera does not have an opponent yet.
“I feel like I have a lot more work to do for the district, and the City of Tampa,” Viera said. “There’s a lot more things to be done.”
Viera played a significant role in rallying New Tampa residents to be more active politically and impacted a city budget that led to funding for the New Tampa Recreation Center expansion and the building of the New Tampa Sensory & Autism Friendly Park, the first of its kind in the city. The Sensory Park is under construction and will hold a ribbon cutting later this year.
Viera, who fancies himself as a throwback politician focused more on bridge-building and working with opponents to get things done, says there still are a number of transportation and fire rescue needs, like a fire station in K-Bar Ranch, that he says he will tackle if reelected.
One thing he has tackled is finally open — the closed-and-opened-and-closed and now open again Meadow Pointe Blvd. connector road to K-Bar Ranch, officially voted on by the City Council on August 27.
The connection between Meadow Pointe Blvd. (in Wesley Chapel/Pasco County) and K-Bar Ranch Pkwy. was opened around May 30 for utility workers to finish their work, but eager K-Bar Ranch residents immediately began driving on the new extension, forcing the barricades to be put back in place. The long-awaited connector has been back to being closed since early June.
New Tampa residents in the Cross Creek/Live Oak/K-Bar Ranch areas are now be able to bypass Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. by driving north on Meadow Pointe Blvd., which leads all the way to busy S.R. 56.
Ready For Branchton Park
A massive upgrade to the current Branchton Park will break ground on Wednesday, September 14.
A splash pad, pickleball and basketball courts, two dog parks and hiking trails are just some of the amenities planned for Phase 1 of the new park, which will be just south of the current Branchton Park, which sits on the southwest corner of Morris Bridge Rd. and Cross Creek Blvd.
The second phase could include a Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office mini-substation at the park, according to Hagan.
Hagan also has said a second phase could include a possible public-private partnership (PPP) with a zip line or “challenge” course for the park.
PAC Opening Set
The New Tampa Performing Arts Center (NTPAC) ribbon cutting is officially set for Friday, October 7, says Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan, who represents New Tampa in District 2.
The 20,000-sq.-ft. NTPAC, which can be expanded later to 30,000 sq. ft., will have a 343-seat theater with retractable seating among its other features. The NTPAC is located behind the Village at Hunter’s Lake shopping plaza, across BBD from the entrance to the Hunter’s Green community.