May 5, 2021 - News

Tampa mayor blindsided by DeSantis order ending Florida safety measures

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor wearing a mask

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. Photo: Octavio Jones/Getty Images

If you dial 813-274-8251, you'll get Mayor Jane Castor's office, and Tampa's chill enough that they might just put Her Honor on the phone.

State of play: That might be why she was surprised to hear Gov. Ron DeSantis say Monday that he's using executive power to unilaterally end local pandemic safety measures effective immediately.

  • The governor never called the mayor of Florida's third largest city.

"There was no consultation or warning prior to that announcement," Castor told Axios' Niala Boodhoo for Axios Today.

  • "It can be rather confusing for our residents when you have these surprise steps by the governor."

Flashback: Castor, a Democrat, said she was "very pleased" when DeSantis, a Republican, left it up to local leaders early on to decide how to best achieve safety in the pandemic.

  • "We're all unique and our needs are unique as well," she said.

But his Monday order is causing confusion, such as when the Dept. of Education had to clarify that it doesn't apply to school districts.

"This sort of creep into home rule is something that I would rather the governor stay out of. ... If I had my choices, we would've all come together, talked collectively and came to decisions on how we could best serve our residents to keep them safe during the pandemic."
Mayor Castor on Axios Today

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