Tax policy, not Jim Smith, the talk at Tiger Bay
Ben Friedlander went after Pam Dubov at this afternoon's Tiger Bay Club lunch in St. Petersburg. Friedlander, the Democratic contender for Pinellas Property Appraiser, tried to link Dubov to last year's Jim Smith land deal scandal.
"My opponent stood by Jim Smith when she should have stood by the taxpayers of Pinellas County," Friedlander said.
Dubov, a Republican and Smith's longtime chief deputy, is on the record as having said she urged her boss to reconsider his plan to sell property to the county at nearly four times its assessed value, telling him the public would never accept the deal. Dubov says her boss went ahead anyway.
Dubov brushed aside the Smith fiasco, stuck largely to what she feels is wrong with state tax law, and urged the audience to worry not about the past but about the kind of government they will have tomorrow.
If the questions from the audience are any indication, at least Tiger Bay folks may be willing to do so. None of the questions asked of the candidates dealt specifically with the Smith deal. Most were questions about tax law and policy and the operations of the Appraiser's Office.
Will Van Sant, Times staff writer