"My perspective is actually that of a tourist, I do not live in St. Pete area, but my parents do and we visit 2-3 times a year. I think the city should really find out what TOURISTS are looking for, also in the pier, because, after all, tourists/visitors/snow-birders contribute largely to Florida's "income."
For those of you new to the whole Pier Process, here is a link to the Pier Advisory Task Force. This is the outline and these are the people that brought us to this point in the process. The Minutes section of each meeting is a hyper link and you can read how the process unfolded.
If you take a few minutes and look through this information you will see the amount of effort has gone into the Pier process up to this point and how much input the general public really had. The question of a public referendum surfaced early and was downplayed from the very start.
So the question is what happened? All of those high end people, a bunch of money for consulting, visioning and planning, a whole raft of meetings how did we end up with the public so upset at the process?
A partial answer may be in the comments by the City's staff architect In a June 8, 2011 article in TBO.com J. Raul Quintana, the city's staff architect, acknowledged that, after all the money spent, the city is no closer to "a visual solution" to The Pier than two years ago. "In a way we're asking the same questions we asked back then," he said.
If you give a bunch of guys with rooms full of computers, egos the size of all outdoors, that live thousands of miles away from here 50 million dollars to play with, and ask them to design something they can have their name on and not live next to, you will get what we got. I am not sure what we expected, but we should have expected what we got.
It is fascinating to listen to the St. Pete elite fawn over these architectural nightmares. It's kind of like going to a wine tasting and listening to some gal who showed up in a BMW go on and on about a glass of wine that tastes like the cat took a whizz in it.
Quintana's comments still stand.
I think the real problem is that there is a group of movers and shakers in St. Pete that have never been happy with who and what St. Pete really is. They think we need a major league team or a monstrosity the water to define us. I think our quality of life defines us.
Look at the names on the Task Force and if you follow things closely a lot of them will look familiar.
They know what's best for St. Pete and they are not about to be discouraged by letting you vote on their ideas.
All they need you to do is pay the tab.