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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Foster-LaSala relationship hits another snag?

The attempts to mend the relationship between St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and Pinellas County Admininstrator Bob LaSala could have hit another snag.

LaSala told a breakfast meeting by the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce that the county might support a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays, but probably not one in downtown St. Petersburg. In an interview later, he wouldn't rule out supporting a stadium in Hillsborough County, saying it's too early to decide.

That news -- which moved quickly through the gossip channels -- didn't necessarily square with Foster's position on the stadium.

Foster was at a city news conference when he was told about LaSala’s comments. He said he was surprised by LaSala’s stance on not supporting a downtown stadium.

"We haven’t talked about stadiums and funding," Foster said.

When told that LaSala didn’t dismiss Pinellas support for a Hillsborough stadium, Foster objected in blunt terms.

"If that’s true, then he and I will discuss some legal issues," Foster said. "That’s a mistake. He’s our partner, and I’ve ruled (a Hillsborough stadium) out. It’s a mistake."

Earlier in the day, LaSala told the Bay Buzz that his statements shouldn't hurt his relationship with the mayor. "I don't know if he would judge me or I would judge him on one particular opinion," LaSala said.

-- David DeCamp and Michael Van Sickler, Times staff writers

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:35pm]

    

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