Sunday, January 3, 2016

It is time to get the Rays deal done

The Kriseman administration and/or City Council should put a reasonable deal on the table.

St. Petersburg, FL
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin
  
St. Petersburg has been dragging out the Rays stadium issue for far too long. Trying to position the Rays into a deal they simply do not want has caused a lot of unnecessary strife and contention.

It is time for the City to allow the Rays to look in the Bay area for a new stadium site.

Jim, Kennedy's position regarding compensation is a laudable one, but looking at the time frame for a new stadium, wherever the Rays decide to build it and 2027 when the existing lease expires, a big dollar request to the Rays will simply not work.

Here is a recent comment from a reader:

Happy New Year.  Just read in the Trib that the mayor is asking each council rep to meet with the Rays.  Please, please consider just letting the Rays look, as they probably are doing now within a legal framework, and to let the forces that be unfold when they find a place.  There is really no need to set a price for them to break their lease right now, that is putting the cart before the horse.  Market forces will be different when they find a location and if council cannot come up with a fair penalty, then the Courts will, which is what the Rays don't want so the incentive to settle then is strong.  St Pete will be in a rightfully stronger position then.  Please consider and do have a happy new year.  

Thanks.  
JC

With the economy booming and local development both residential and commercial exploding throughout the Bay area, owners of currently viable sites may have to think carefully about committing a large parcel of land to a sport that barely draws 14,000 fans to each of its events.

Furthermore, egos aside, getting Hillsborough County and private investors to pony up any significant portion of the hundreds of millions of dollars required to build a stadium may be very difficult.

St. Petersburg has already put the Rays in the unenviable position of coming late to the relocation game. Time is no longer on the Rays side. They need to start the search for a site sooner than later.

The Kriseman administration and/or City Council should put a reasonable deal on the table, allow the Mayor the joy of harvesting "his" new yes vote and get on with it.

There are things much more pressing to deal with in St. Pete.

E-mail Doc at mail to:dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, and be sure to share on Facebook. See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Schizophrenia and the Sales Tax Hike Feeding Frenzy

A roundup of recent media on the
Go Hillsborough debacle and our transportation issue.

From Eye on Tampa Bay
By: Sharon Calvert

We'll start with the very latest. County Administrator Mike Merrill continues to orchestrate media reporting about the Go Hillsborough crony mess he helped create. We still find it odd that he asked for a Sheriff's investigation for events he caused and occurred on his watch.

Apparently Merrill's original talking points he handed the Tribune weren't clear or correct causing the Tribune to make a major update to their online version to their story Sheriff finishing Go Hillsborough probe, release set next month. The Tribune first reported that the investigation was complete as if all nicely tied up in a package ready to be released but then they had to make an update (emphasis mine).
County Administrator Mike Merrill, in an e-mail Tuesday afternoon, told county commissioners the investigation was complete. He later sent an e-mail to the Tribune clarifying that only “field work” is done, including interviews and document analysis.

“Technically, the investigation is ongoing until the sheriff issues the final report,” Merrill said
How did Merrill leave out that important information to begin with? Perhaps he's in over his head.

Did the Tribune finally contact a HCSO spokesman instead of relying on Merrill's talking points?
Sheriff’s spokesman Larry McKinnon said once all parts of the investigation are wrapped up, a copy of the final report will be sent to the State Attorney’s Office for final review. 
“We will notify the public and media via a press release when the investigation is completed and finalized by the SAO,” McKinnon said in an e-mail.
The Tribune reports what we have been saying from the start - the transportation initiative was always about pushing another huge sales tax hike:
The group [Policy Leadership Group] has been meeting for two years, trying to develop a comprehensive transportation plan that voters would support with a half-cent-per-dollar sales tax increase.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Looking for a great review of 2015?

Check out one of my favorite blogger/reporter's list.

St. Petersburg, FL
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin
  
 From saintpetersblog, Janelle Irwin's Top St. Pete Headlines 2015


My favorite headline from 2015?

It has to be from the Tampa Bay Times: Failure Factories. You can go to the online edition and search "Failure Factories" to see the continuing series of articles.

Nothing in the local news touched me any more than these articles. To think that as a community, we could let something like this happen brings tears to my eyes.

In typical "shoot the messenger type reactions" members of the Pinellas County School Board and others have accused the Times of grandstanding for a Pulitzer. The fact simply is that the people we elected to the School Board let everyone in Pinellas County down by deliberately causing this situation to happen.

Putting a glaring spotlight on the problem and those responsible was the right thing to do.

When election time comes around, be sure you make your vote for school board members count.

E-mail Doc at mail to:dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, and be sure to share on Facebook. See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.