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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist needs permit for announcement on 'future' in St. Petersburg



St. Petersburg city officials were scrambling this morning to process a permit application that would allow Gov. Charlie Crist to announce his independent run for the U.S. Senate in his hometown tomorrow.

Mike Jefferis, St. Petersburg's parks and recreation administrations manager, said he received the application  at 11:30 a.m. today for a parks permit to reserve Straub Park on Thursday, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Approval isn't automatic because the city requires applications to be turned in 15 days before the actual event.

"In a perfect world, that would be our preference," Jefferis said. "We haven't reviewed it or spent any time looking at it yet."

The applicant was John Stross, real estate developer and owner of Leverock's restaurant. On the application, Stross says he will be responsible for paying the $30 fees and charges, plus service fees and insurance. He describes the event in simple terms: "Gov announce decision on future." He estimates between 100 and 125 will attend the event.

Jefferis said Sherry McBee, the city's parks and recreation director, would consider the permit this afternoon. Would Mayor Bill Foster, a Republican, weigh in? He could, but such intervention on a parks permit was unlikely, Jefferis said.

"Typically it's handled by the parks and recreation director," Jefferis said.

Neither he nor Phil Whitehouse, the city's park and recreation assistant director, could say how many tardy applications have been rejected in the past.

"Our goal is to work with people," Whitehouse said.

Michael Van Sickler, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:32am]


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