Thursday, September 20, 2018
  • Bay Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Two public forums will discuss Clearwater’s strong mayor referendum

CLEARWATER – Residents can hear varying perspectives on the Nov. 6 referendum on whether to change Clearwater's form of government into a strong mayor system at two upcoming forums.
The Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce will host a forum Monday at 5 p.m. at St. Petersburg College Clearwater's arts auditorium, 2465 Drew St. The panel of former mayors Brian Aungst Sr. and Frank Hibbard, and former city council member John Doran, will discuss how the change would affect the city's business community.
Clearwater Neighborhood Coalition and League of Women Voters of North Pinellas County will host a forum Oct. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N Osceola Ave. Zach Thorn, who chairs the political action committee advocating for the referendum, will speak in favor of a strong mayor; Beth Rawlins, political consultant and founder of the No Boss Mayor PAC will speak against; and Karl Nurse, a former St. Petersburg City Commissioner, will speak neutrally, according to Coalition President Karen Cunningham.
Dr. J. Edwin Benton, professor of political science and public administration at the University of South Florida, will moderate the event.
The City Council voted last month to place a referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot asking voters whether the council-manager form of government should be changed to a strong mayor system. The initiative began in April when a group of downtown business advocates proposed the change to city officials.
A 13-member task force spent seven once-weekly meetings with the council to write the 16-page ordinance detailing the powers and authority of a strong mayor, which would take effect in 2020 if voters pass the 75-word referendum.

Comments
Buckhorn says Tampa City Council playing politics with budget

Buckhorn says Tampa City Council playing politics with budget

Mayor Bob Buckhorn's hot take from watching Monday's City Council budget hearing?"I think, unfortunately, reality met election year politics," said the mayor on Tuesday.The City Council voted unanimously to delay final approval of the city's more tha...
Published: 09/18/18
Updated: 09/19/18
DeSantis’s school visit is “not a campaign stop,” Hillsborough district says

DeSantis’s school visit is “not a campaign stop,” Hillsborough district says

Social media this morning was abuzz with questions about gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis's planned 2 p.m. visit to Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy, a public middle school in Hillsborough County.Educators are asking: Wouldn't this be a violatio...
Published: 09/18/18
Bronze bust of Princess Ulele hauled away before dawn from Tampa Riverwalk

Bronze bust of Princess Ulele hauled away before dawn from Tampa Riverwalk

TAMPA — With only a moving crew as witnesses, an 1,800 pound bronze bust of Native American Princess Ulele was hoisted up and hauled away before dawn Tuesday under orders from the city of Tampa.The sculpture was installed in December on ci...
Published: 09/18/18
Tampa City Council rejects Buckhorn budget over health care costs

Tampa City Council rejects Buckhorn budget over health care costs

TAMPA — The city's $1 billion-plus city budget was put on hold Monday evening by a City Council determined to strike a better deal for Tampa employees on health care costs.After a sometimes tense 2 ½ hour hearing, the City Council delayed ...
Published: 09/17/18
Updated: 09/18/18
Pinellas commission will let St. Petersburg use some tax dollars to develop Trop site

Pinellas commission will let St. Petersburg use some tax dollars to develop Trop site

The Pinellas County Commission agreed last week to let St. Petersburg direct about $115 million in tax dollars to help redevelop 86 acres around Tropicana Field, regardless if the Rays move to Tampa or not.With a 5-1 vote, the commission approved May...
Published: 09/17/18
Skyway 10K glitch overcharged some, but could open race spots for others

Skyway 10K glitch overcharged some, but could open race spots for others

ST. PETERSBURG — Jen Corn's phone alarm went off at 12:45 p.m. Thursday. She had 15 minutes until registration for the Skyway 10K went live.What the 46-year-old Bradenton resident didn't realize was that tens of thousands of people across the b...
Published: 09/14/18
In second year, Skyway 10K nearly sells out in just 20 minutes

In second year, Skyway 10K nearly sells out in just 20 minutes

ST. PETERSBURG — The second running of the Skyway 10K race nearly sold out when 7,500 tickets were sold within the first 20 minutes of registration on Thursday.Last year's inaugural 6.2-mile race across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge sold out ...
Published: 09/13/18
St. Pete’s potential solution to affordable housing? Development fees

St. Pete’s potential solution to affordable housing? Development fees

ST. PETERSBURG — The city is considering fees on new development in its latest effort to provide more affordable housing.City Council's Budget, Finance and Taxation Committee voted Thursday to seek proposals for a study on the impacts of a...
Published: 09/13/18
Pinellas County will seek $1.3 million grant for Red Tide cleanup

Pinellas County will seek $1.3 million grant for Red Tide cleanup

In the aftermath of the Red Tide, the Pinellas County Commission will vote Thursday to seek a $1.3 million emergency grant to offset the cleanup of tons of dead fish.Commissioners will vote on the emergency measure during a scheduled meeting Thursday...
Published: 09/13/18
Two public forums will discuss Clearwater’s strong mayor referendum

Two public forums will discuss Clearwater’s strong mayor referendum

CLEARWATER – Residents can hear varying perspectives on the Nov. 6 referendum on whether to change Clearwater's form of government into a strong mayor system at two upcoming forums.The Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce will host a forum M...
Published: 09/13/18