Crist gets permission to announce 'future' at Straub Park
ST. PETERSBURG -- After a bit of scrambling, St. Petersburg city officials approved a permit application that would allow Gov. Charlie Crist to announce his independent run for the U.S. Senate in his hometown tomorrow.
Sherry McBee, the city's parks and recreation director, said she signed the permit application at about 4 p.m. today. The city received the request hours earlier. It sought to reserve Straub Park on Thursday between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Typically, the city requires applications to be turned in 15 days before the actual event.
"In a perfect world, that would be our preference," said Mike Jefferis, the city's parks and recreation administration manager, who received the application at about 11:30 a.m.
The applicant was John Stross, real estate developer and owner of Leverock's restaurant. On the application, Stross says he will be responsible for paying the $30 fees and charges. McBee said he's agreed to pay another $60 in power charges. On his request, Stross describes the event in simple terms: "Gov announce decision on future." He estimates between 100 and 125 will attend.
McBee said the application, though late, was an appropriate request.
"It's straight forward," McBee said. "We treated it like any other event. There's no real reason to turn it down."
Michael Van Sickler, Times staff writer