August 4, 2009

Official apologizes for flag-nixing plan

The city manager of Tampa, Fla., has apologized for a scrapped plan to take down some of the 59 U.S. flags maintained by the city.

City Manager Bill Horne apologized Monday for approving a plan recommended by his staff to remove just over a dozen flags from locations, including several that were far from public view or in locations no longer maintained by the city of Tampa, The Tampa Tribune reported Tuesday.

Mayor Frank Hibbard had chided Horne for not informing the City Council or the mayor's office of the plan. The mayor said he and other officials learned of the plan from outraged constituents.

I will take that one squarely on the chin, Horne said. I make thousands of decisions on a weekly basis, and every now and then I make a wrong one.

Rick Carnley, assistant director of general services for the city, said only one flagpole has been removed. He said the pole, from the Memorial Causeway, was taken down due to complaints about the lighting not meeting federal guidelines.