Bay area mayors gather for RNC promotion
ST. PETERSBURG — Regardless of their political affiliation, four Tampa Bay area mayors united Wednesday evening to produce a message: There is no better area to live, work or play in the United States.
Tampa’s Bob Buckorn, St. Petersburg’s Bill Foster, Clearwater’s George Cretekos, and Sarasota’s Suzanne Atwell taped a video message that will be distributed to Fortune 100 executives and to the thousands who will invade the regions for the August’s 2012 Republican National Convention.
The group met inside the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and held a close-door session, which was moderated by radio host Jack Harris.
Bay Pop magazine sponsored the event. Joe Jiminez, a spokesman Bill Edwards, a self-made millionaire who owns Big 3 Entertainment and is an officer with the magazine, said photos and highlights of the gathering will be in included in an eight-page section in the magazine’s August issue.
The message, he said, is about promoting the beaches, restaurants, parks, museums and other family-friendly venues.
“The mayors are going to talk about what they like about each other’s cities,” he said. “This isn’t about politics or agendas. Ego are checked at the door. It’s about telling people where we take our kids on Sundays.”
Foster called it a “mayor’s roundtable.” When asked what message he wants to tell visitors, he laughed and said: “I don’t know. I was told to be here. I think it’s for the RNC.”
--Mark Puente, Times staff writer