Former Pinellas Park mayor asks county commisstion to step in to keep Rays in Pinellas
PINELLAS PARK -- Bill Mischler may have retired last month as mayor of this city but he's not fading into the sunset. He sent Pinellas County commissioners an email Monday titled "Need to step up to the plate." The "plate" is the silent standoff between St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay Rays over the team's future home.
Mischler's email was sent just two days before the Hillsborough County Commission voted to have their attorney tell them if it's legal for them to talk to the Rays while the contract governing the team's commitment to St. Petersburg and Tropicana Field is in effect. Commissioners said they want to keep the Rays in the region.
Mischler wants to keep them in Pinellas -- especially in mid-county, which just happens to be where Pinellas Park is located:
"I believe it is time for the County Commission to intervene with keeping the Tampa Bay Rays in Pinellas County.
"With all due respect to the city of St. Petersburg, every day that goes by, without talks going on between both parties, is another day of losing them.
"This is not only a St. Pete issue, it is a county issue. We all support the team one way or another. The county and St. Pete officials need to sit down together and develop a strategy to keep the team here.
"There are parcels large enough in mid-county to move them there but it will not happen if we don't take the first step.
-- Anne Lindberg, Times Staff Writer