Friday, August 30, 2013

Your Questions for the Candidates

As we move into the final stages of the St. Petersburg municipal elections, I thought you might have a question you would like to ask the candidates.  Since it is not possible for everyone to attend a candidates' debate or forum, I would like to pose five of your questions to the candidates.

I my Post  It's Time To Go On the Record I posed seven questions to all of the primary candidates and most responded.

If you have a question for a council candidate or the mayoral candidates send it to me in an e-mail, dr.webb@verizon.net  or post as a Comment below. I'll collect them, prepare the list for each race, send it to the candidates and then Post the results here on PATCH.

The current hot button issues like the Pier, red light cameras and the Rays will be covered by the candidates current stump answers, and it is unlikely there will be any major position changes.

There are however, a number of other issues that might interest you such as Baywalk, street repair, police building, fire readiness and issues specific to your neighborhood. You might also have questions about the budget, police staffing, Codes enforcement, parks and schools.

I already have a few, so send me your questions as soon as possible so I can start getting with the candidates.
 
e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

 
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The LENS is It Really Over?


The citizens of St. Petersburg spoke loudly yesterday. 60% said STOP THE LENS.

Once again it has been reinforced that in a democracy government cannot simply inflict its will or the will of small minority on the people.

What is unfortunate about all of this is that it had to come to a bitter argument, two petitions and a lawsuit to get the issue of poor governance resolved.

You can lay all of this strife and discourse squarely at Bill Foster's feet. Oh, he will try to pass the buck like he usually does saying he was for a vote after he was against a vote, but the simple fact is Bill Foster provided no leadership on the Pier or the Pier issue.

The real question is what will Bill Foster do now?

Will he let his 828 commission proceed on its own with little or no leadership? Will he let the Pier once again sink in a pit of controversy and indecision or will he provide some serious leadership at the table and facilitate  828 to working conclusion?

Just like the Inverted Pyramid, the LENS could easily resurface. There is absolutely nothing in the Ordinance required by the ballot that prevents City Council from canceling the Maltzan contract following the Ordinance with proper notification, and then simply reinstating the project.

Is that likely to happen?

Probably not, but then there is a lot of time between now and when the new council members take their seats. Will Bill be on top of this one? If the past is any indication, by the time he figures out what is going on it will be too late.

The Stop The LENS people need to be on high alert. They cannot simply set back even after the Ordinance is passed, if it is, and rest assured it's over.

It would be foolish to underestimate the forces that got us here. They will not simply walk away. There is way too much at stake.                                        

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
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Monday, August 26, 2013

The Mayoral Candidates on The Quality of Life In South St. Petersburg

I asked each of the Mayor and City Council candidates this question: What specifically what will you do to begin to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in South St. Pete?
Here you can see how each Mayoral candidate compares on this critical issue.

Anthony Cates
No response

Paul Congemi
Not nice to insinuate that one part of town has the only crime problem. Steve Galvin had the best answer, so ditto what Steve said.

For the Record Mr. Galvin a candidate for City Council in District 8 said:
Reducing crime and improving the quality of life is something that is applicable to many parts of St. Petersburg. Jobs creation would go a long way towards achieving both of these goals and if we move forward with the Greenlight Pinellas project, the ability to seek employment from a greater radius should be helpful. Education. It's mighty hard to get a decent job without skills. I would encourage more adult learning opportunities and doing whatever we can to keep kids in school. Additionally I feel that the City could offer some assistance to help people stay in their homes and offer tax breaks and lien forgiveness to encourage homeowners and investors to rehabilitate the countless number of homes that need work. I have personally restored 4 homes in N. Kenwood, 3 of them foreclosures, in an effort to improve the neighborhood where I live and we now have a much safer and more beautiful place to live. I have been personally responsible for making sure that 2 individuals that were breaking into homes in my neighborhood went to JAIL. As citizens we all have to step up and not wait for someone else to do it.

Kathleen Ford
We need to support education, summer jobs programs, after school activities and vocational and technical education to ensure that everyone finds a place to work and be successful in our community.

The citizens of St. Petersburg deserve open, honest, and accessible and accountable government. I will work to restore our neighborhoods, revive and support our commercial districts, ensure that every child has a successful education, seek out sustainable environmental opportunities and demand fiscal responsibility.

Bill Foster:
No Response

Rick Kriseman
First, I am a supporter of the traditional community policing philosophy which emphasizes the relationship between the police officer and the neighborhood in an effort to promote trust and cooperation.

But one of the most important things we can do is focus on education. A strong public education system fuels our economic engine and has a positive impact on public safety. That’s why the mayor and all municipal leaders must work with our schools to help our young people succeed.

As a state representative, I passed legislation requiring the Department of Education to make service-learning curriculum available to our public schools. Integrating meaningful community service with instruction and reflection, service-learning enriches the learning experience, teaches civic responsibility, and strengthens communities. As mayor, I will work to have service-learning implemented in all of St. Petersburg’s public schools.

I will continue and strengthen the Mayor’s Mentors & More program and seek out additional corporate partners to assist with volunteering, resources, and strategic planning. And because not all students and young adults take the same path, protecting the Job Corps program located in Midtown will be a priority of my administration.

Finally, as I believe crime is the outcome of many unfavorable conditions, including the lack of jobs paying a living wage, we must do what we can to understand and address these root causes in order to create a safer St. Pete for future generations.

My Thoughts
If you deny that there is a difference between the north and south sides of St. Petersburg as it relates to crime you are deluding yourself.
Mayor Foster's approach to the South side has been pretty typical of his entire term, a general lack of leadership. Recently two new efforts have been introduced that set up a CRA and TIF funding for two narrowly defined areas in south St Pete. These programs are years away from any significant impact although they do establish a firm foundation in the limited areas they will serve; but they will likely fail if the crime issue is not directly confronted.

The Foster administration has allowed the Police department to continue to use its old model of containment to deal with crime in South St. Pete. Foster has allowed the Police Chief to continue to play the "good budget soldier" and not ask for more police officers to increase police presence in high crime areas. The number of sworn police offices has not gown significantly since the beginning of this century.
Crime statistics, Police Chief Harmon's bread and butter, can be misleading. They provide information on reported crimes. After a while people just watch the drug deal go down and move on. They don't even bother to report it.

As long as the "we don't want another riot mentality" drives policing south of Central Avenue, there will be no lasting solution to the south St. Petersburg crime problem.
Everyone seems to jump on the really safe "we need more education" band wagon and while I agree, when the highest paying job in the area is drug dealer, then it is essential that the cost of drug dealing be raised.
The thing that won't work is the ostrich like, politically correct approach of not wanting to admit there is a crime problem in south St. Petersburg and an unwillingness to talk about it.  The residents admit it, the businesses admit it, the churches admit it and talk to Council members like Karl Nurse who really gets it.
It looks like most of the Mayoral candidates who responded to the question understand there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. The problem is crime let’s see if they are willing to use the “Crime” word.

Some clarification and detail on the campaign trail would be helpful.

Since these questions were first posed Anthony Cates, a political new comer  has expressed a deep concern for South St. Pete issues. Cates carries a lot of baggage for politics, but his sincere interest in solving his District's problems cannot be overlooked. With some patience and some mentoring from someone like Goliath Davis, Cates could become the strong voice missing in South St. Pete

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg
Have your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens


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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sunday August 25, 2013

Election Essay
The LENS
In my time living here the only thing I can think of that has been more divisive in this community than the LENS was the court ordered bussing back in the late 1960s. The Dome had its share of detractors but nothing like the LENS.
If you follow the newspapers, social media and electronic media you would think this is one of the most important issues to ever face St. Petersburg.
It is important, and you should vote.
The LENS project has crossed over that line that separates a good municipal project that just needs a few tweaks, to a frantic effort to redesign everything from the pilings to the canopy to try and justify the project.
We call that putting lipstick on a pig.
Your vote YES to Stop the LENS or NO to build it will not only decide the fate of the water front, it will also send a message to the people on City Council and the Mayor about how St. Petersburg wants to be governed.
Too few people have long had way to much influence on what goes on in St. Petersburg, and how your tax dollars are invested.
It's time for 54 square miles of City to stop being run by 5 or 6 square blocks of downtown.
The smart vote here is YES to Stop The LENS and send a message to City Hall
The Mayor's Race
Foster
I was in the Foster Administration for about 2 years as the Manager of Information Systems at the Police Department. When I say Bill Foster is a lackluster leader who is difficult to trust,  I say it from and inside view. If Foster is reelected, four years from now St. Pete will have grown a little and some things will have improved in spite of him not because of him.
Unless Bud Selig pulls the plug the Rays will still be here
South St. Pete will still be a mess, neighborhoods as part of the process will be virtually eliminated, crime stats may be down, but you will feel less safe and Bill will still be smiling.
Kriseman
I could have supported Rick Kriseman whole heartedly for Mayor if had done just one thing. Sent the Tallahassee and Democratic party money back. Maybe not even all of it but enough to send the message he can't be bought.
There would have likely been enough local money come in to replace what he lost.
To me, after spending time in Tallahassee, I think that was a major campaign mistake.
Second problem, get on or get off the red light camera issue. Kriseman was decisive on the LENS, wishy washy on red light cameras. I don't know if that's some of the Tallahassee money talking, but a hard line on red light cameras would have gone a long way on nailing down a spot in the primary.
Kriseman could be a good Mayor but he is coming carrying a lot of political baggage.
Ford
I have known Kathleen Ford for years. The only reason why she is such a target for the negative ad campaigns from people like Council for Stronger Neighborhoods, same address as the Florida Association of Realtors,  is because she actually takes positions and does things. She faces what every successful woman faces in any competitive business or political environment, the constant criticism of those who would like to retain the status quo.
With so many successful women realtors, I find it hard to understand this attack and why they continue it.
Ford would make a good mayor. Neighborhoods would flourish, the people would have a say in their government, the public's money would be well managed.
Public safety and Codes enforcement would be improved.
There would be problems for people looking for favors  from City Hall and those wanting to get their fingers into the public pie, but there would also be fairness.
Being on City staff would be tough because a lot of what goes on now would likely not be tolerated and people would be expected to be honest and perform.
Ford would focus on St. Pete not just a few square blocks of downtown and definitely not on Tallahassee.
 If you have not yet voted, be sure to vote this is a critical election.
It's your vote and you should cast it  as you see the issues and the candidates.
As you contemplate voting, think about how you want your City to look, be perceived and run. Those are the key issues.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg
Have your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens.
See More of Doc at Bay Post Internet
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Friday, August 23, 2013

What You Need to Know When You Vote On The LENS


There is no air conditioned Restaurant in the $50 Million dollar design

The LENS is not functional

The LENS does not fit with the nature of the waterfront

The LENS is not practical

The LENS is just plain ugly

No matter where you live in St. Pete you will be paying for it

How do you stop all of this madness?

Just VOTE YES on the only question on the Ballot.

A YES VOTE cancels the contract to design and build the LENS.

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg

Have your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens

COMMENT BELOW
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District 8 Candidates on South St. Pete Quality of Life

Since the Mayor, whoever that may be, cannot move to solve problems this critical without City Council support, it is important that you as a voter know how the City Council candidates line up on recognizing the south side problems and their approach to dealing with them.

It is important to note that Council members are selected first at the district level in the August 27, 2013 primary and then voted on City wide in the November 5, 2013 general election.

I posed this question to the candidates:  What specifically will you do to begin to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in South St. Pete?

District 8 Candidates: Robert J. Davis, Alexander Duensing, Amy Foster, Steve Galvin

Here are their answers posted as they submitted them, with no editing.

Robert J. Davis:                           

    I support preservation of the Community Police Officer program.  As a past Neighborhood President and member of a Neighborhood Association’s Board, I have seen, first hand, how this program and the Community Police Officers in it have assisted neighborhood associations deal with crime on an up-close and personal level and have helped address related problems in the neighborhoods.

      Recent proposed budget cuts of even one or two percent threaten this program, since any proposed budget cut, I’ve been told, would result in CPOs being reassigned to other responsibilities.  As a City Councilman, I would fight to preserve the CPO program, and work on developing more Crime Watch programs.  Crime in the neighborhoods is a community issue, and our police officers in the streets deserve all the community support we can give them.

Alexander Duensing

The South Side

It is my sincerest hope that someday our city will no longer be divided into a "South Side" and a "North Side".

To nurture a seamless city I would begin by--

1. Advocating for better mass-transit so that residents of St. Pete anywhere can experience the richness of our city everywhere,

2. Acting as a community connector to let people all over the city know about the great things going on throughout St. Pete.

3. Supporting the 34th Street South Redevelopment Plan.

4. Promoting love and working to end all kinds of racism

Amy Foster            

Amy Foster, Candidate for St. Pete City Council District 8
We have to reduce crime and improve the quality of life for ALL residents. It’s unfair to pinpoint crime and quality of life issues to be a problem just in South St. Petersburg. With that said, I believe we have much work to do to ensure that residents in South St. Pete have access to quality schools, services, jobs, and safe neighborhoods.
Some of the things I would support are: more proactive policing, targeting hot spots, working with community stakeholders to determine their needs and find solutions, increasing transit options, addressing blight and beautifying areas, and most importantly ensuring youth have access to out of school time enrichment opportunities, internships and employment.
I also support the creation of a 34th Street South Redevelopment Plan which will drastically increase the quality of life for South St. Pete residents.

Steve Galvin

Reducing crime and improving the quality of life is something that is applicable to many parts of St. Petersburg. Jobs creation would go a long way towards achieving both of these goals and if we move forward with the Greenlight Pinellas project, the ability to seek employment from a greater radius should be helpful. Education. It's mighty hard to get a decent job without skills. I would encourage more adult learning opportunities and doing whatever we can to keep kids in school. Additionally I feel that the City could offer some assistance to help people stay in their homes and offer tax breaks and lien forgiveness to encourage homeowners and investors to rehabilitate the countless number of homes that need work. I have personally restored 4 homes in N. Kenwood, 3 of them foreclosures, in an effort to improve the neighborhood where I live and we now have a much safer and more beautiful place to live. I have been personally responsible for making sure that 2 individuals that were breaking into homes in my neighborhood went to JAIL. As citizens we all have to step up and not wait for someone else to do it.

My Thoughts

What will be a recurring them throughout this series of Posts will be the City Council candidates reluctance to step up and admit there is a difference between North and South St. Petersburg and that major difference is crime, policing education and jobs.

For example Amy Foster says above "It’s unfair to pinpoint crime and quality of life issues to be a problem just in South St. Petersburg".

If candidates are not willing or lack the political courage to stand up and identify specific community issues, then any Mayor will have a difficult time addressing the problems.

Of these three Mr. Davis seems to have clearest picture of the most imminent problem in South St. Petersburg: crime.

The people who live in South St. Pete know what their problems are. They know that poverty, lack of jobs, poor education and especially crime set on their quality of life like an anvil.

They are NOT offended when you talk about it because they live it every single day. They want you to talk about their side of town, they want to know you understand the problems and most of all they want to hear what you will do to help them so they can cast an intelligent vote.

As a candidate, if you get invited to a debate be ready with a meaningful answer to this question, because the politically correct answer may well be why you lose.

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg

Have your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens.
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ten Reasons You Should Vote For Kathleen Ford


This election is all about where St. Petersburg goes in the future.

The real question is do you want more of the same lack luster leadership of Bill Foster while St. Petersburg flounders with no sense of direction or purpose?

Do you want your City controlled by the Tallahassee lobbyists and the Democratic Party who support Rick Kriseman?

Neither of Kathleen Fords' opponents have a vision for ST. Petersburg, they only have a vision for themselves and those they are beholden to.

Here are the top ten reasons to vote for Kathleen Ford in the Primary election Tuesday August 27, 2013:

10. The Florida Association of Realtors hate her

9. The Chamber of Commerce hates her

8. The Beach Drive Barons are scared to death of her

7. Kathleen Ford stood up to the elite who were pushing the LENS

6. Kathleen Ford will fight to make things better in South St. Pete

5. Kathleen Ford will rebuild the neighborhoods

4. Kathleen Ford will make sure your Fire Department is ready to roll all the time

3. Kathleen Ford will bring back Community Policing

2. You can trust Kathleen Ford with your tax dollars

1. Kathleen Ford will make sure YOU have a say in your City.

Be sure to VOTE on Tuesday.

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg

Have your say. VOTE YES TO
Stop The Lens.
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District 6 Candidates on South St. Pete Quality of Life

Since the Mayor, whoever that may be, cannot move to solve problems in this critical area without City Council support, it is important that you as a voter know how the City Council candidates line up on recognizing the south side problems and their approach to dealing with them.

It is important to note that Council members are selected first at the district level in the August 27, 2013 primary and then voted on City wide in the November 5, 2013 general election.

I posed this question to the candidates: What specifically will you do to begin to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in South St. Pete?

Karl Nurse

Crime & quality of life in South St. Pete - This is the area where I put much of my energy. I believe in pro-active and assertively addressing the hot spots and have worked on a number of those such as Citrus Grove with some success. We need to embrace both new tactics and technology. The mobile police unit and cameras are both good examples of pushing crime out.

The quality of life issues require us to simultaneously address: jobs, education and housing. These are significant and long term challenges. I have recently passed three housing related programs: a foreclosure registry, a lien release process and a "Rebates for Rehabs" program. I am working to bring additional jobs to St. Pete and particularly to South St. Pete. My involvement with Melrose Elementary has led me to push for more pre-K education rather than day care programs. Collectively, this work can make a significant, long term difference.

Sharon Ross: No response

My Thoughts

Only Karl Nurse responded. I would invite Ms. Ross to respond either by commenting below or by e-mail to me at the address below and I will post the response unedited.

I know Karl Nurse very well. I have seen him moved almost to tears as he related to me his struggles with the administration and the Police department to help fight crime, add jobs and improve the quality of life for those he represents. Karl gets it. He identifies with the people and he knows the issues. But he also knows he cannot do it by himself. He needs the help of the administration and his fellow council members.

Anyone seriously interested in serving on City Council needs to have a firm grip on South St. Pete issues and they need to let the voters know where they stand. Karl has not been afraid to stand up and make his positions known. If his opponent wants your vote then she should be willing to let you know where she stands on critical issues and how she would represent the District she would serve.

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Darden Rice Campaign
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The LENS - It's Not a Done Deal

If you don't want the LENS aka: Sidewalk to Nowhere, The Big Bed Pan, Tampa Crapper built on your St. Petersburg waterfront, don't leave it up to everyone else to vote YES to stop this thing.
That's right, you vote YES to shut down the Maltzan Contract.
Right about now those who haven't voted, start looking at all those reports about how many mail in Ballots are already cast and begin to think ahhh ... what the heck it's already decided my vote won't make any difference, I'll just pass.
That is exactly what Build the Pier, the Chamber of Commerce, the Beach Drive Boys and the rest of artsy elite want you to think.
If they can get enough of you to sit this one out, your reward will be a function-less, incomplete, $50 million dollar hole in the water which $10s of millions more of your tax dollars will be poured into to complete.
This same crowd will likely vote for Bill Foster, so you get hosed over twice. You could end up with lackluster Bill and the LENS.
So, either hunt around the house and find that mail in Ballot mark it and get in the mail, take it with you to one of the ballot drop off sites below or get up Tuesday morning and go vote.
While you're looking for the Ballot, throw all of that anti Ford attack mail in the trash where it belongs and Vote for Kathleen Ford for Mayor.
St. Pete is your City it is way past time you took it back.
Ballot Drop Off Locations:
Election Service CenterStarkey Lakes Corporate Center
13001 Starkey Road
Largo FL 33773
Telephone: (727) 464-VOTE (8683)
Office Hours: 8 a.m. -5 p.m.
Monday through Friday
Pinellas County Courthouse 315 Court Street, Room 117
Clearwater FL 33756
Office Hours:8 a.m. -5 p.m.
Monday through Friday
County Building
501 First Avenue North
St. Petersburg FL 33701
(Fifth Street North entrance)
Office Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday
e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg
Have your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens
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District 4 Candidates on South St. Pete

In the Mayoral debates, South side issues are clearly a main concern. There seemed to be general agreement that St. Petersburg as a whole City cannot move forward unless crime, education and jobs in South St. Pete are addressed.
Since the Mayor, whoever that may be, cannot move to solve problems in this critical area without City Council support, it is important that you as a voter know how the City Council candidates line up on recognizing the south side problems and their approach to dealing with them
It is important to note that Council members are selected first at the district level in the August 27, 2013 primary and then voted on City wide in the November 5, 2013 general election.
I posed this question to the candidates:  What specifically will you do to begin to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in South St. Pete?
Dr. David McKalipIf we treat people with respect and STOP PANDERING to them, they will solve their own problems. However they need a stronger police presence. Neighbors need support from the City when they are trying to drive drug dealers out. They need to know that we will have their back if they help the city clean out crime and we will have their back when they do the right thing. My “Good Neighbor Reward Program” would also help us build a community of neighbors by sending the message that it is one-on-one help that will rebuild communities, not another government program. This program would reward citizens for tutoring kids, adopting a rehabilitated prisoner returning to society or helping a single mom. We can’t “solve” decades of problems with more of the same failed government solutions that have caused many of the problems to begin with. It is time for a different course and I would help lead the way towards a community of neighbors and a racially unified St. Petersburg by first FOCUSSING ON THE COMMON VALUES shared by various communities: faith, family, freedom, independence, personal ownership and economic empowerment. Learn more at www.McKalipForCouncil.com.
Darden Rice:Since no other questions are asked about crime, except this particular question that specifically couples it with only one section of the city, I find the premise of this question somewhat troubling.  I will make reducing a crime throughout the entire city a priority without singling out any area or treating it differently.  I support community-based policing and the concept of a police professional that has a responsibility to public service. I received the endorsement of the Sun Coast PBA in this race. 
As for issues related to the southside, I support creation of a Midtown TIF district, supporting a Youth Advisory Council and Task Force, bringing in another CHC (community health center) and the supporting Johnnie Ruth Clark Health Center.
I support historical preservation efforts of buildings in midtown.  
City support for southside cultural amenities should be on par with support for other institutions. I support clear citywide goals that include objectives for midtown as part of a 'seamless mentality.
Furthermore, in my  community work, I have always worked to promote easy access to and participation in voting, expanded early vote locations and hours, and voting right restoration.
For more information about my views, please see the issues page on my website. 
Carolyn FriesI would focus on the children of South St. Petersburg because they are the future. Children are amazingly resilient and can accomplish great things when given the opportunity. I served as Treasurer/President of the John Hopkins Middle School PTSA in 2009-10 and it’s President in 2010-11. During 2010-11 we had 150 JHOP students participate in the fall fundraiser, selling over $17,000 of cookie dough, a 2x+ increase from the previous year. The profits were used for teacher supplies, the theater program, drum corps uniforms, student awards, and the 8th grade dance, among other things. While I still need to approach and obtain support from all the parties involved, I hope to work with the school administrators, teachers, PTA/SAC groups, the city and the business community to actively engage children (and their parents) in projects to improve their schools and/or neighborhoods. The process of project identification and selection, fundraising and execution would serve as a valuable learning experience, provide a sense of accomplishment and instill pride in their community.
My ThoughtsDr. McKalip seems to have the more holistic view of three District 4 candidates. He poses some very specific thoughts. I don't know if McKalip could actually pull any of this off, but it is refreshing to see someone identify the problems and propose some potential solutions. If Dr. McKalip can soften the rhetoric and put just a little more substance to his positions, he may just be a viable candidate for City Council.
Darden Rice, whom you will note below that I have contributed to her campaign, has been disappointing on several issues and this one in particular. She begins by attacking the question, and almost denying a problem exists. In her attempts to be politically correct and not offend anyone she seems reluctant to come to grips with the facts. North and South St. Pete are different.
The rest of the answer is mostly political double speak with little substance. Parroting current programs that have been less than affective or are way out in the future is  not going to work with south side voters. They need and want help now. Darden has moved some on the south side problem but needs more substance than the old "we need more and better education". Drugs, guns, drive by shootings and an ineffective police department need to be on Darden's agenda. It's time to stop worrying about what the PBA thinks.
Carolyn Fries either has no clue about the ongoing problems in South St. Petersburg or just can't bring herself to use the "Crime" word. Education and youth are indeed one of the keys to improving the quality of life in South St. Pete but they take years to have an effect. 
When you are setting on your front porch in South St. Pete listening to gun fire and watching the drug deals go down at the end of the block your focus tends to be on the present. If you look at the rest of Ms Fries responses to my seven questions in the Post District 4 City Council Race they are mostly on point. On this one not so much.
The reality is when you get a seat on City Council you have to deal with things like racism, crime, police behavior, drugs, education and the fact that like it or not St. Petersburg is not a seamless City.
There are problems that have geographic focus and are different from the north side to the south side. Tough problems that demand a stand not a softball thrower, not a political opportunist but realist.
e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg
Have your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens.
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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Why Vote for Kathleen Ford for Mayor?

You only need to go to your mail box to find the answer. You should have received a slick mailer from The Council for Stronger Neighborhoods, a group connected to the Florida Realtors, seriously bashing Ford.
The name is interesting. Council for Stronger Neighborhoods. Seems they share the same address as the Florida Association of Realtors. Do they really care about your neighborhood? Only when the house they have listed in your neighborhood.
In the interest of full disclosure I can’t stand realtors. They rank several notches below used car sales people and members of congress on my list of people I don’t trust.
The real question is why is this group so interested in keeping you from voting for Kathleen Ford?
Answer: They want someone in the mayors’ office who is a poor leader and easily manipulated: Bill Foster, or their second choice would be someone so beholden to the Democratic party that a quick call to party headquarters followed by a check will result in a favorable out come on the issue of the moment, Rick Kriseman.
The second reason is all of these people know the economy is going turn up and there will plenty of money to be made downtown and elsewhere in St. Pete if they are in a position to pull the strings at City Hall.
Finally, the thought of a truly people centric local government scares the hell out of these people.  With limited ability to manipulate the process and the politicians they would actually have to work to get their way.
Rarely have I seen the elite and big money players in St. Pete so rattled at the prospect of someone becoming mayor.
So look in your mail box and read that stuff carefully. Political attack ads work and they are especially informative if you take the time to figure out the real motive and who is behind them.
Note the dates, times, references and the sheer desperation evident in the material. Then ask yourself why anyone would be that desperate to keep you from voting for Kathleen Ford?
The answer is very simple. Ford wants to represent you not them. She wants you to run your City, not the realtors, the Chamber of Commerce or Beach Drive. She really wants strong neighborhoods, not some phony Foster like attempt.  Most of all she wants you to have a say in your government.
If you decide not to vote for Kathleen Ford, the next time you need some help from City Hall try calling your realtor and see how that works out for you.
e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg
Have your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens.
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday August 18, 2013

St. Pete ElectionsThere will be a radio debate about the LENS on election day. If you have not already voted or made up your mind check out William Mansell Post for places and times you can hear the debate Pro, Anti LENS Groups to Debate Pier Project.
The best reasons to vote for Kathleen Ford for Mayor keep showing up in your mail box every day. If the people with all that money don't want Ford to win bad enough to push all of this crap out, there must be a reason. There is. They don't want to be forced to deal with a Mayor that will put you first. Watch for my Post next week.

CrimeCrime, notably auto thefts, were in the news this week, message from the St. Pete PD don't leave your keys in your car. Thanks for that.  Now maybe the PD could work at catching the people who actually steal the cars.

More Downtown BoozeCycle Brewing opened this week at 534 Central Avenue. Grand opening will be in September. I suspect Councilmember Jim Kennedy will show up.

RaysBud Selig ratcheted up the rhetoric once again on the Rays. Bud talks a lot but he rarely does anything. The biggest problem is if he screws St. Pete over, a lot of the MLB  cities and potential ones might get more cautious about MLB deals. I wouldn't discount Mr. Selig completely, but he may just be a toothless tiger

BUCSIf your headed to a Bucs game be sure you know the new bag rule. Basically only clear bags, and tiny purses are allowed inside the stadium. Check out Grason Kamm, 10News New Buccaneers bag policy: Only clear bags and tiny purses allowed in 2013 at Raymond James Stadium, Bucs unveil strict new NFL bag rules.  So if you want to avoid a trip back to the parking lot best advice, leave the bags in the car.

We caught the first little bit of the Bucs Game Friday night at Buffalo Wild Wings in Clearwater. Food was good, game was a bit depressing.

Have a great Sunday.
e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. PetersburgHave your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens
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Friday, August 16, 2013

District 2 Candidates on South St. Pete

In the Mayoral debates, South side issues are clearly a main concern. There seems to be general agreement that St. Petersburg as a whole City cannot move forward unless crime, education and jobs in South St. Pete are addressed.

Since the Mayor, whoever that may be, cannot move to solve problems in this critical area without City Council support, it is important that you as a voter know how the City Council candidates line up on recognizing the south side problems and their approach to dealing with them.
It is important to note that Council members are selected first at the district level in the August 27, 2013 primary and then voted on City wide in the November 5, 2013 general election.
I posed this question to the candidates:  What specifically will you do to begin to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in South St. Pete? 
James Kennedy: No response 
Lorraine Margeson:
One of my priorities if I have voter support to sit on council will be a focus on public safety issues and the  quality of life enhancement and economic development that a safe atmosphere brings to a neighborhood or business district.  From approximately 1996 thru 2001 I ran the 34th St Corridor Crime watch.  We had a VERY active volunteer group that worked successfully hand in hand with the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, our group carried out weekly anti drug marches along the corridor when I still lived in that neighborhood before moving to my current location in NE St. Pete.  We helped establish nuisance abatement cases for the police department to pursue, and recorded drug dealing and prostitution cases for the officers to act on, neighborhood cleanups, the whole nine yards. I participated in anti drug marches throughout the city as well.............I know how neighborhoods can support each other.  That kind of partnering needs to come back strong to create vibrant neighborhoods, neighbor helping neighbor in conjunction with strong neighborhood policing initiative partnerships,  economic development AND code enforcement/nuisance abatement pursuits.  Neighborhood watch programs where telephone trees and regular communication is part and parcel of the commitment along with regular visits with the crime watch coordinator and the community policing officer/officers in charge are VITAL to success along with the Neighborhood Partnership department at City Hall.......just putting up signs is a useless pursuit.  Volunteers keeping watch with city government/law enforcement support is the formula that will move a neighborhood to a safer situation.
My ThoughtsJim Kennedy passed on my repeated requests that he respond to the Seven Questions for City Council Candidates. See District 2 City Council Race Updated.
The invitation is still open. Comments will be posted with no editing.
 Kennedy has been primarily focused on the downtown area and specifically the Beach drive corridor. Even though his District runs far north, it often appears his view does not extend much beyond 5th Avenue North.
He has been a LENS supporter from the outset often justifying his votes on the project with some pretty convoluted logic, and consistently in favor of not allowing the public to have input on anything.
On south side issues he sometimes appears more hesitant than supportive.
Kennedy often openly complains about Wengay Newton's antics on City Council, but then reacts in child like fashion with eye roles, sighs, snide remarks and strange body language when he is not sleeping on the dais.
I thought Kennedy was a bad choice when he was appointed to City Council in 2007. Nothing he has done in the last 6 years has changed my opinion.
Loraine Margeson is new to politics but not new to civic involvement, neighborhoods and their views. She lived in South St. Pete, seems to have a feel for the community. Her inclusive and holistic answer to the South St. Petersburg question is refreshing.
Like any political newcomer she will have a lot to learn, but my guess is District 2 would be much better represented and South St. Pete would have a caring advocate on City Council should she be elected.
e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg
Have your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens
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Should St. Petersburg Dump St. Petersburg?


The decision by the Putin Government in Russia to ban gays has created a global fire storm. For a good quick overview check the Huffington Post: Russian Gay Rights and be sure to scroll down through the Posts.
Chris O'Donnell also has a good article in the St. Petersburg Tribune:  St. Pete asked to sever ties with Russian counterpart over antigay laws.
The question coming up in many US cities that have sister  or friendship relationships with Russian Cities is: what stance should they take?  On the surface a pretty easy question, but in reality a bit more difficult than it first appears.
St. Petersburg  has had a friendship relationship with St. Petersburg, Russia for about a decade.
The question then becomes should the City officially end its friendship status with St. Petersburg Russia over the gay rights issue?
Given the City's position on LGBT equality for employees, being the host of the largest Gay Pride festival in the Southeast and the strong  likelihood of the current City election producing a City Council that has three gay members, perhaps making ST. Pete one of the Gayest Cities in Florida if not the southeast, it seems a bit hypocritical to maintain a promotional relationship with a City in Russia where none of those opportunities exist.   
If enough US Cities take a stand it could well affect tourism and trade to level significant enough to get the Russian Government's attention.
Some might say this is much adieu about nothing, since decisions like this have little international impact, but it will say a lot about what the City really stands for.
Steve Kornell will likely bring this issue up to City Council before the election process plays itself out.  It will be interesting to see how the rest of City Council and the Mayor react.
What do you think? Should St. Petersburg dump St. Petersburg, Russia?
 e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request. 
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Mayoral Candidates and the Neighborhood

Since the second David Fisher administration and the institution of a strong mayor,  neighborhood organizations  have been a vital part of the fabric of the City's approach to governing.
Rick Baker as Mayor carefully reduced the neighborhood associations' influence to a manageable level and applied carefully controlled levels of staff support and projects. The neighborhood  associations became an important part of the City Administration.
Mayor Foster has gradually dismantled the neighborhood program, reducing staff support and limiting the amount of direct input provided by the individual neighborhood associations and their over arching organization the Council of Neighborhood  Associations (CONA).  All of this was done in name of reducing the budget, but in fact there was little interest in neighborhood input.
So how do the mayoral candidates feel about the neighborhoods, their associations and the role of these organizations in their administration?
I posed this question to the Mayoral candidates:  Do you support the neighborhood association concept and what will you do to specifically help rebuild this City asset?
Anthony Cates : No response
Paul Congemi:
Yes, neighborhood associations are wonderful. The energy to make a good association must come from the residents, though. This isn't something you can bring about from city hall. I support neighborhood policing as one way to bring more cohesiveness to the neighborhood.
Kathleen Ford:
As a former neighborhood association president, member of the City's first neighborhood plan planning committee, and liaison to other neighborhoods considering neighborhood plans (Bartlett Park, for example), and as a result of my involvement with the City's Housing Roundtable, State Housing Initiatives Program (SHIP) and as the creator of the City's Homeless Task Force (at the request of Steve Kersker, the first Chair of the City's Homeless Task Force) and participant in the Visioning 2000 program, I am a champion of our neighborhoods. This program has been steadily defunded and staff reduced until very little remains today. And, it shows in our struggling neighborhoods.  I would restore it and the neighborhood partnership funding. Our city has many, many caring neighbors in many diverse, unique and special neighborhoods. They should be supported in their efforts to restore all of our neighborhoods in St. Petersburg. I would reenergize the program with additional support from all relevant
departments, such as police, codes, sanitation, traffic, etc.
Bill Foster: No response
Rick Kriseman:St. Petersburg is home to many unique, culturally rich, and historically significant neighborhoods. These neighborhoods deserve the full support of city hall.
As mayor, I will encourage effective and influential neighborhood associations by funding the Neighborhood Partnership Grants program and support staff and treating our Codes Compliance Assistance Department as a budget priority.  As we continue to emerge from the economic downturn and related budget cuts, we must look to restore funding to the areas that were hit the hardest, and that includes Codes.
My goal is for each neighborhood or area to have its own vibe, to be its own destination. Visually appealing signage at neighborhood entrances and wayfaring signage in populated areas is an easy first step and a resource for both residents and visitors.  But to truly strengthen the identity of a neighborhood we must better promote its distinct flavor and help tell its story.
My Thoughts:Every now and then either through blind luck, good fortune or Devine intervention the right person gets picked for a task. Mayor Fisher selected Mike Dove to lead and build the neighborhood concept. There could not have been a better choice.
I was on the City Staff when Mayor Fisher introduced the neighborhood concept. It was not all that well received by City Staff, since the public now had direct access to this new an untested strong mayor.
On any given day, Mike Dove was your best friend or worst enemy depending on how you treated the neighborhoods. He quickly built an outstanding team, gained the confidence of the neighborhood leaders and as the old cliché goes  the rest is history.
The influence of the neighborhoods on public policy and practical application soared during the Fisher administration.
Mayor Baker began to put some downward pressure on neighborhood influence, because to many they had become too powerful in controlling policy. Baker directed their energy in the neighborhoods into useful projects, added them into his Baker plan and all in all it was a successful relationship.
Mayor Foster almost immediately began minimizing the influence of the neighborhoods and especially CONA. All though the case can be made CONA was often its own worst enemy, Foster reduced their access, reduced the neighborhood support staff and essentially eliminated a lot of valuable input.
Mayor Foster did not reply to the question.
Kathleen Ford has been a part of the neighborhood association process and understands it from the ground up. Her commitment to rebuild the neighborhood office and support the program by involving all city departments is sound. It will take some time but it would pay big dividends.
Rick Kriseman was on City Council during the period when strong neighborhood associations developed and should  understand their value. His answer seems a bit more cosmetic and less practical.
To really work the neighborhood concept best follows the Fisher model. It has to be put in place and backed operationally by the full force of the strong Mayor's office, or the City departments will simply ignore the neighborhood input.
 Neighborhood associations and CONA can be pesky and detail focused. They want what they want and dealing with them can be time consuming and problematic. If your focus is more on the big picture or politics or you're unwilling to staff and fund the program then the neighborhoods become ineffective.
With Foster the neighborhood associations and CONA will likely continue to have little influence.
With Ford they will have an seat at the table and play an active policy and operational role.
Their role with Kriseman is less certain. He details some specifics, but does not indicate a willingness to bring the neighborhoods back into the governing process.
It is important to note that Mayoral candidates are voted on City wide in the Primary election on August 27 and in the  November 5, 2013 general election. Be sure to vote for the Mayoral candidate of your choice.
e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg
Have your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens.
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

District 6 Candidates on the Role of the Neighborhoods

Support from the Mayor's office for the neighborhood associations is critical, but how their elected district representatives view the neighborhood associations will, to a large extent, determine the success of the neighborhood associations and their ability to impact the political and administrative process.
So how do the City Council candidates feel about the neighborhoods, their associations and the role of these organizations in the administration?
We move to the District 6 Candidates.
I posed this question to the City Council candidates:  Do you support the neighborhood association concept and what will you do to specifically help rebuild this City asset?
Karl Nurse
Neighborhood Associations - As a former CONA President, I have a very clear understanding of how neighborhood associations can play a significant and positive role in improving neighborhoods and how they help connect the neighborhood and the city. We frankly need an organizer to help re-launch many neighborhood associations. I have helped get two associations restarted in my district.
Sharon Ross: No response
My Thoughts
Karl Nuse is an excellent example of how being involved with neighborhood associations produces a City Council person who is in tune with his constituents.
As a staff member I attended many of the CONA meetings when Karl was president and working with him as a City Council member on neighborhood and constituent issues was always easier because he had an on the ground understanding of problems and issues.
Serving as CONA (Council of Neighborhood Associations) president provided Karl the opportunity to have first had experience with both political and administrative parts of the City organization. Training that has served Karl very well.
District 6 needs to be represented by Karl Nurse for four more years.
To see the Candidates Reponses to all seven questions clickDistrict 6 City Council RACE Seven Questions .
e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg
Have your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens
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Gavin is in trouble and Amy Foster has a big lead in the polls

Support from the Mayor's office for the neighborhood associations is critical, but how their elected district representatives view the neighborhood associations will, to a large extent, determine the success of the neighborhood associations and their ability to impact the political and administrative process.

So how do the City Council candidates feel about the neighborhoods, their associations and the role of these organizations in the administration?
We continue with the District 8 Candidates.
I posed this question to the City Council candidates:  Do you support the neighborhood association concept and what will you do to specifically help rebuild this City asset?
Robert J. Davis:
I have long been an active supporter of our Neighborhood Association concept and have been an active participant in these community organizations, from the time I moved with my family to St. Pete about 15 years ago.  I have served as a President of a Neighborhood Association with we lived in Crescent Heights, and I am a member of the Central Oak Parks Neighborhood Association, where we currently reside and own a home.
I am a graduate of the CONA Leadership program, where I was exposed to the diversity of most of the Neighborhood Associations in St. Petersburg.
Alexander Duensing
Neighborhood associations are an important way for neighbors to come together to express the needs of their community.
To strengthen them, I would support neighborhood association grants--particularly for outreach and social events. I would also, as a community-connector, strive to bring neighborhood associations together with other initiatives that benefit the community.
Amy Foster
Yes. I believe some of our city’s greatest strengths are the neighborhoods and the people who live here. I have seen first-hand how neighborhoods can tackle issues that government can’t address alone. I will continue to attend neighborhood association meetings to keep abreast of issues and concerns and work with neighborhood leaders and city officials to proactively address emerging issues. I support the return of neighborhood partnership grants, particularly in areas with the greatest need. I will encourage our stronger neighborhood organizations to mentor fledging or struggling associations to replicate success.
Steve Galvin
yes. I fully support the neighborhood Association concept. I think that Council members need to engage the neighborhood associations in their districts. Every District has unique needs and they need to be acknowledged and addressed by their Council member. I would schedule a meeting with each Neighborhood Assn. President bi-monthly and attend their regular meetings to hear firsthand what is lacking and what they would like the City to do or help with on their behalf. I have been very engaged in my neighborhood, having restored several foreclosed or abandoned homes personally.
My ThoughtsAll of the District 8 candidates seem focused on the neighborhood concept. That interest should bode well for District 8 residents. You might also note that Robert Davis is a former neighborhood association president and a graduate of the CONA (Council of Neighborhood Associations) Leadership Program. Excellent experience for a Council Member.
On this issue this is a group of well focused candidates.
If you would like to see these candidates responses to all of the seven questions click District 8 City Council RACE Seven Questions.
e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg
Have your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens.
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

District 4 Candidates on the Role of the Neighborhoods

Support from the Mayor's office for the neighborhood associations is critical, but how their elected district representatives view the neighborhood associations will, to a large extent, determine the success of the neighborhood associations and their ability to impact the political and administrative process.
So how do the City Council candidates feel about the neighborhoods, their associations and the role of these organizations in the administration?
We move to the District 4 Candidates.
I posed this question to the City Council candidates:  Do you support the neighborhood association concept and what will you do to specifically help rebuild this City asset?
Dr. David McKalip
A key part of my campaign is to help build a “Community of Neighbors”, not a community dependent on government. Neighborhood associations are vital and valuable asset for our city. We should encourage their growth by ensuring that each neighborhood has a relationship with the Police and Fire department. Out city should rapidly and properly respond to neighborhood representatives that report crime, streets in need of repair, issues with vagrants, sanitation and water issues and the like. I have worked hard in my own Neighborhood to facilitate traffic calming, help to design a neighborhood disaster plan for hurricanes or terrorist events and by supporting our local crime watch. I would also ask the Neighborhood association to focus on more bread and butter neighborhood issues rather than ask the city to push social and political agendas. I also would establish a program to allow people to get tax rebates, free passes for Golf, Rays Games (and more!) and forgiven fines and parking tickets if they volunteer time in their community. This “Good Neighbor Reward Program” is described on my website and would help us build a Community of Neighbors. People helping each other one-on-one will serve our city better.http://www.mckalipforcouncil.com/a_community_of_neighbors.
Darden Rice:
YES. See my website issue page, please
Carolyn Fries
Yes, I support the neighborhood association concept. I was Treasurer of the Crescent Lake Neighborhood Association in 2006 and it’s President in 2007 & 2008. We had an active board that worked well together and membership rose by more than three times-from around 30 to over 100-during my involvement. We held porch & block parties, Easter egg hunts, 4th of July in the park, annual fall harvest festivals and luminary walks. We also implemented traffic calming on 5th & 7th Streets and spearheaded the restoration of Crescent Lake leading to a group called The Friends of Crescent Lake who still maintain the lake plantings today. I completed the CONA leadership program in 2008 and am part of the Leadership St. Pete Class of 2013. As a city council member, I will use that experience to support District 4 neighborhoods by listening to and seeking residents’ input, helping them resolve neighborhood issues, assisting dormant associations get started again and regularly sharing news from the city council.
My Thoughts
The original request for answers to the seven basic questions asked that candidates respond, not just refer to Campaign web sites. Two did, one did not.
The District 4 race is growing more contentious and more polarized as Dr. McKalip seems to represent a  more conservative position as Darden Rice maintains a more liberal posture.
Carolyn Fires seems to be a more moderate alternative. A former Neighborhood association officer and  president, and graduate of the Council of Neighborhood associations (CONA) Leadership Program, Fries is still catching up with the frenzy in what may just be the City's most explosive City Council race. Her debate/forum answers  are solid, but in the increasing harshness of the primary she needs to add some edge  to key issues like the budget.
McKalip is delivering almost withering fire in the primary. Specifically targeting Rice, Fries is ignored. He is often passed off as two radical, to edgy or a gadfly, but his strong neighborhood position and budget and tax positions are starting to resonate.
Darden Rice has a strong position on neighborhoods, but failed to articulate it here. She is trying hard not to make one of those piffles that plagued her in her last two runs for elected office. Her forum/debate answers are measured, sometimes scripted and carefully designed to not upset anyone on the left or right. Darden appears tentative when McKalip attacks her specific positions.
This race originally looked like a slam dunk for Rice. She has good credentials although they are mostly liberal. She is going to have to move away from center and be a bit more forth coming or August 27 is going to be a long day.
If you would like to see the candidates responses to all seven of the questions click here District 4 City Council RACE Seven Questions
e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg
Have your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens.
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Monday, August 12, 2013

District 2 Candidates on the Role of the Neighborhood

Support from the Mayor's office for the neighborhood associations is critical, but how their elected district representatives view the neighborhood associations will, to a large extent, determine the success of the neighborhood associations and their ability to impact the political and administrative process.
So how do the City Council candidates feel about the neighborhoods, their associations and the role of these organizations in the administration?
Responses from the District 2 Candidates.
I posed this question to the City Council candidates:  Do you support the neighborhood association concept and what will you do to specifically help rebuild this City asset?
James Kennedy: No response
Lorraine Margeson:Absolutely, paying attention to the neighborhood association process would be helpful, it seems that this important component of city support services has been ignored in this administration.  The Neighborhood Partnership department for the city used to be very vital and very helpful, that department needs to have the resources and support to once again be an effective outreach and support system to the neighborhood association concept.  Council members need to make regular visits and NOT just to their district meetings, but go to meetings all over the city, we must keep our ears to the ground in order to gauge the feelings and desires of our constituents.
My ThoughtsAs I have posted before, I thought Jim Kennedy was a bad choice when he was appointed by City Council in 2007 and nothing he has done in the last six years has changed my mind. Kennedy seems to deeply enamored with the elite and strongly in the grips of the downtown power brokers.
Margeson would be a breath of fresh air, and also an opportunity for the people in District 2 to have some real representation on City Council.
These two do not appear on the August 27th Ballot since there are only two in the race. This District's choice will be determined in the City wide race on November 5th.
e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. PetersburgHave your say.  
VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens.
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