Pinellas rail task force begins Friday with big names
The Pinellas County Transportation Task Force - otherwise known as the panel that decides whether to send a sales tax referendum for rail to the County Commission - starts work at 2 p.m. Friday in the Epicenter building near Largo.
It's a weighty list of people, including Commissioners Karen Seel and Ken Welch, St. Petersburg Council member Jeff Danner and Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard. Plus there's heavyweights like Craig Sher, excecutive chairman of the Sembler Co., and Vincent Dolan, president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida (list on the jump).
That strikes the Bay Buzz as exactly the kind of list of high-profile people rail supporters want to sell the idea of light-rail in the county. But Seel, who spearheaded the panel, says not so. Seel said she kept people with possible conflicts of interest - such as Darryl LeClair, CEO of Echelon, a developer of Carillon that's in the possible route of trains - off the panel.
The task force won't be affiliated with political committees associated with local chambers of commerce promoting rail, Seel said.
David DeCamp, Times staff writer
Karen Williams Seel, Chair, Pinellas County Commission, MPO board;
Kenneth T. Welch, Pinellas County commissioner, PSTA board, MPO board;
Jeff Danner, St. Petersburg council member, PSTA board, MPO board;
Frank Hibbard, Clearwater mayor; vice chairman of TBARTA, MPO board;
Ronnie Duncan, chairman of TBARTA;
R.B. Johnson, Indian Rocks Beach mayor, chairman of PSTA;
Joe DeLuca, vice president of Times Publishing Co., Tampa Bay Partnership board;
Judy Mitchell, president of Peter R. Brown Construction;
Mark Carlson, senior vice president of investments of Merrill Lynch;
Cathy Harrelson, Conservation and Coastal Task Force chairwoman, Suncoast Sierra Club;
Craig Sher, executive chairman of Sembler Co.;
Niel Allen, Realtor Century 21 Coast to Coast Realty;
Alan Bomstein, president and CEO of Creative Contractors;
Helen Levine, regional vice chancellor of external affairs, USF St. Petersburg;
Peggy O’Shea, Pinellas County School Board;
Tim Bogott, CEO Tradewinds Resorts;
Stan Vittetoe, vice president of Workforce and Continuing Education, Clearwater Campus provost of St. Petersburg College;
Dan Hester, president and CEO of Special Asset Department, Florida Capital Bank;
Stephan Heimburg, PE, the Heimburg Group;
Ben Godwin, senior vice president of real estate and corporate services, Tech Data Corp.;
Lou Galdieri, COO of Mease Dunedin and Mease Countryside hospitals;
Ted Williamson, founding partner of Williamson Dacar Associates;
Robert Pergolizzi, principal of Gulf Coast Consulting;
Vincent Dolan, president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida