Kriseman pulls measure that eliminates PPC
In the past week, chatter ratched up about Rep. Rick Kriseman's draft bill that would end the life of the Pinellas Planning Council, which oversees growth management and advises the county on development issues.
It wasn't always complementary chatter, and today Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, sent officials a letter saying he's yanking the bill before it's even heard by the county's legislative delegation, or brought to the Legislature. Beyond shifting the PPC's duties to the Metropolitan Planning Council, local governments would gain their own authority over development decisions -- effectively killing the countywide growth plan, according to a draft bill circulated last week.
"While I believe there is a need and an opportunity for consolidation, I happen to be a fan of both the PPC and the MPO, and in light of the legislature's approach to growth management, I believe the planning council's scope of work has never been more important," Kriseman wrote in a letter today to PPC chief Dave Healey and MPO boss Brian Smith.
Kriseman had told lawmakers and county officials last week he wouldn't file the bill unless the qualms about it were resolved.
The latest fracas comes after County Administrator Bob LaSala this summer suggested eliminating tax funding for the PPC -- "zeroing out" its existence -- which some commissioners have sought to do away.
David DeCamp, Times staff writer