Friday, May 25, 2018
News Roundup

St. Petersburg Pier lawsuit is refiled with scaled-back plaintiff list

ST. PETERSBURG — After dropping more than 15,000 petitioners as plaintiffs in a suit seeking a vote on the fate of St. Petersburg's 1973 Pier, former City Council member Kathleen Ford has filed an amended version with a much smaller group.

Besides Ford, the complaint names Fred Debardelaben, Gregory J. Cahanin, Frank Carter "Bud" Karins, Joseph Reed and Burton Kline.

Reed, 68, is a longtime supporter of the voteonthepier.com effort that launched the petition drive that drew the 15,000-plus residents initially part of Ford's suit. Karins, 71, chief executive officer of Karins Engineering Group, is also associated with Concerned Citizens of St. Petersburg, whose petition effort aims to stop construction of the proposed Pier replacement known as the Lens. State records show that Debardelaben, 69, has been a director with Pier Dolphin Cruises. Kline, of Kline Realty, is 69. Cahanin, 63, is with Assured Fire Services.

Ford filed her suit in August to force the city to hold a referendum to amend its charter to save St. Petersburg's current Pier. It also asks for a temporary injunction to halt demolition of the Pier pending the court's ruling and outcome of a vote. The two sides are scheduled to meet Friday for court-ordered mediation.

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