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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jamie Bennett: Everyone gets to keep their job at City Hall



ST. PETERSBURG-- City Council candidate and mayoral hopeful Jamie Bennett said he will not immediately fire any employees if elected come November.

In an interview with the St. Petersburg Times' editorial board, he said he looked forward to a smooth transition.

Still, Bennett said his administration would bring some change. He would call for a return to community policing and advocate for high speed rail.

He called the Tampa Bay Rays' failed waterfront stadium from 2008, "a horrible plan," although he supported hearing the team out at the time.

He supports keeping Tropicana Field, but would remain open about a new stadium for the Rays.

He said City Hall has micromanaged local businesses and tenants. As an example, he cited tension between Mayor Rick Baker's administration and Albert Whitted Airport tenants and the police department's recent crack down of a popular hot dog vendor.

"Let people make money in these enterprises," he said. "Stop micromanaging."

Of fired campaign manager Peter Schorsch, Bennett said, "I'm not proud of my decision of hiring my former campaign manager. I have suffered for it. My campaign has suffered for it."

Schorsch was fired in May for bundling city-issued baseball tickets with Bennett's campaign literature.

Cristina Silva, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:01pm]


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