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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Palm trees and race in Pinellas Park



Folks familiar with Pinellas County politics know Randy Heine, who’s run unsuccessfully for several offices and has tangled with the county Democratic Party. In recent years, Heine has become one of Pinellas Park’s regular gadflies. Heine often makes some good points although they are many times lost in his taunting, outrageous statements.

Take Thursday’s council meeting. Heine rose to speak against the spending of $105,000 to plant palm trees – “something that looks like crap” – in the Park Boulevard median.

“This is stupid government again,” Heine said. A moment later, he added, “Plus, I drove by, did not see one white person working on the crew. I saw dark-skinned people on the crew. I’m getting sick of this affirmative action going one way. You know, it’s a one-way street here. Don’t we have state laws and federal laws that say X amount of people gotta be white now to be on these crews? This is outrageous. We live in America. It’s a one-way street for minorities. Now they’re taking over and we’re suffering.”

Council members stiffened and said nothing. A mother who was chaperoning two Cub scouts looked horrified. An audience member commented softly: “When white people become a minority, you, too, can plant trees and put mulch in Park Boulevard’s median.”

-- Anne Lindberg, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:28am]


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