Scott Wagman opposses sidewalk give away
ST. PETERSBURG -- He won't tell us which mayoral candidate he supports.
But former mayoral contender Scott Wagman wants you to know he doesn't support the BayWalk sidewalk give away.
Here's the e-mail he sent to the City Council:
Friends, the vacation of the sidewalk is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I urge you to NOT support the vacation. Protesters were a small part of a complex problem. The swirling throng of adolescents at 9, 10, 11 PM and later were far more influential in scaring off patrons. As a 33 year experienced real estate operator (retail, office and industrial) I would suggest that all real estate locations have ebbs and flows. These cyclic changes can be successfully influenced by strong, competent management, something that Baywalk hasn't had in a long time. Also, SPPD has been derelict in their patrolling the perimeter of Baywalk for years and if not directed to do so, the problem of security will just move around a bit, without improvement. The city parking garage was also a management disaster, exacerbated by the parking meter fiasco. The mix of tenants at a mall has to be nurtured and pruned from time to time. This devastating economic cycle, combined with the gross mis-management of Baywalk and incompetence by the city has caused this horrid state of affairs. One suggestion, has a curfew within Baywalk grounds on 16 year old and under children ever been considered? As Baywalk evolves into a classier destination entertainment/dining place, getting rid of the video game store and other child attractors will be critical to resurrecting it as a viable real estate and community asset. Giving away the sidewalk won't fix this. City and Baywalk management need to try harder. Thank you.
Cristina Silva, Times staff writer