Elected officials skip out on Pier sessions for Rays rallies
ST. PETERSBURG-- Mayor Rick Baker and the City Council planned three brainstorming sessions for the public to discuss the future of the historic Pier.
Then they skipped out on the discussion to attend celebrations for the Tampa Bay Rays instead.
Only Council members Leslie Curran and Karl Nurse bothered to attend the city's two visioning sessions in recent weeks.
Curran attended a session on Sept. 29, the same day the Rays hosted a party to celebrate making it to the playoffs at Straub Park. Baker and other council members attended the party.
On Monday, Nurse was the only elected official to join 30 other residents for a visioning session at the Coliseum. Baker and other council members chose to celebrate baseball with a city-sponsored party at the Pier of all places.
A third visioning session is scheduled tonight for 6 at the Coliseum, 535 4th Ave. N. Again it seems city leaders will have to choose between policy and baseball.
Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig will host an exclusive party at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort tonight in honor of the World Series. Baker and the council are invited.
The visioning sessions allow residents a chance to discuss how to spend $50-million earmarked for renovations beginning in 2012. Both the Pier and the main building are up for a redesign. City staffers will eventually provide a report of what happened during the sessions to city leaders.
Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer