Friday, April 5, 2013

Is the City Council Bastion of Support for the LENS Starting to Crack?

You could sense the discomfort among City Council Members as  workshop proposed by Chairman Karl Nurse to discuss technical and functional issues related to the LENS.
they discussed the
Caught in the dilemma of mounting pressure for a vote, the growing likelihood the Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg's petition drive will succeed, the public's distrust of City Council and the Foster administration and the upcoming elections, Council approved the workshop in a 5 - 3 vote. The  LENS stalwarts, Curran and Danner along with Kornell voted against the workshop.
Does this vote  indicate a change of heart? Probably not, but it is a reality check.
Although the Judge in the Kathleen Ford lawsuit has yet to rule as of this Post, just the length of time he is taking is of some concern to the City.
The workshop proposed by Council Chairman Karl Nurse is to focus on functional and  technical issues like the decision to replace concrete panels with cheaper aluminum clad steel panels on a steel frame work.
As one who has spent inordinate amount of time replacing aluminum parts held together with steel screws on my boats I can attest to the concern about the materials, the fasteners, salt water and how the whole thing will work over time.
The City should be demanding answers, since this kind of corrosion based failure occurs slowly over time and mostly out of sight.
It is unlikely the City will be able to secure an enforceable warranty from any panel manufacturer regarding corrosion failure beyond 5 years.
Other issues such as roadway widths and turning radiuses for emergency vehicles are easily addressed, but the City should not settle for current minimums as these types of vehicles have a tendency to get bigger and longer over time.
Also on the April18th meeting agenda will be a discussion of referendum options as the City tries to avoid a special election.
This whole special election cost issue seems to me to be a red herring given the fact this Council and administration have no issue spending money for almost anything including the current "educational effort" that showed up in your water bills and on the City's WEB site supporting the LENS.
Even the argument that the Pier Visioning Process somehow supports the LENS effort seems more and more hollow each time it is trotted out. Why Ed Montanari  continues to support the LENS mystifies me.
The workshop on April 18th should produce some interesting information, the Maltzan Group will report to City Council on May 12th, the Judge in the Kathleen Ford lawsuit should announce his findings any day, and the Concerned Citizens for St. Petersburg should complete their petition drive by the end of April.
Staring to look like the perfect storm to me.
Have your say.  Be sure to get a petition for the Pier Referendum and complete it properly. Information and schedule of events at Stop The Lens

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