Planning board merger returns -- without Kriseman's name
Last spring, politics stuffed the chances of an otherwise non-controversial plan to combine the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Pinellas Planning Council and save money. One of the Democrats' loudercritics of Florida Republican leadership, state Rep. Rick Kriseman of St. Petersburg, was a sponsor. The bill died.
Kriseman isn’t carrying the bill this year -- and wasn't asked. The county instead enlisted Republican state Reps. Jim Frishe, the majority whip, and Ed Hooper, and Sen. Jack Latvala.
"We tried up the ante and get some strong support this year to push this through," said Carl Harness, an assistant county administrator in charge of lobbying.
The change was news to Kriseman on Thursday, who said GOP leaders had insisted to him that partisanship wasn’t at play. It was, they said, just a lot of local bills dying. After all, Frishe is majority whip and supported the bill.
"We were going to file it again," Kriseman said. "That would have been nice if they had let me know. Quite frankly, I want the bill to pass."
Instead, the county had the three GOP lawmakers listed as co-sponsors by a meeting Tuesday.
Frishe, the delegation chairman, said he and other members didn't receive any notice Kriseman wanted to be the sponsor, though Kriseman said his aides had or were sending a notice. Nonetheless, Frishe expects the entire delegation to back the bill, which will be discussed at a Sept. 14 meeting.
"I'm glad that they're finally recognizing good policy," Kriseman said.
UPDATE: The email about filing local bills went out a few hours ago (another indication planning went around Kriseman). Here's the email Kriseman's office received.
From: Frishe, Jim
Sent: Thu 9/1/2011 12:02 PM
To: Frishe, Jim; FASANO.MIKE.S11; JONES.DENNIS.S13; LATVALA.JACK.S16; JOYNER.ARTHENIA.S18; Corcoran, Richard; Nehr, Peter; Hooper, Ed; Mason, Ash; Ahern, Larry; Brandes, Jeff; Kriseman, Rick; Rouson, Darryl
Cc: Berfield, Sue; GIORDANO.GREGORY.S11; COLLINS.BETSY.S13; WILSON.JENNIFER.S16; VANDENBERG.COURTNEY.S16; ROSETE.RANDOLYN.S18; CADDELL.TRACY.S16; Ochs, Jared; Nehring.Sharon; Hansen, Nick; King, Kevin; Harless, Barclay; CASANOVA.GIOVANNI.S11; Ashton, Jennifer
Subject: Local Bills