Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Davis favors outsider as chief

Chatter about who will become the next police chief has gotten intense lately, with residents and community leaders weighing in on the issue. Former St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Goliath Davis, right, recently offered his thoughts in a column for the Weekly Challenger.

Davis, a former police chief himself, said many were surprised when Assistant Chief Luke Williams, whom he called "the most qualified individual in the department," wasn't named as one of four finalists.

But Davis doesn't think that means Mayor Rick Kriseman should embrace the only hometown candidate left, assistant chief Melanie Bevan.

In fact, Davis wrote, Kriseman needs to hire from the outside to ensure the department can heal and move forward from current internal power struggles.

"The police chief in St. Petersburg occupies a very large stage and given the current state of affairs within the department, there is not a candidate in house capable of providing the stability and direction needed to 'right the ship' and move the department and ultimately the city forward. An internal candidate ensures instability and discord," he wrote.

Davis went on to say that he knows both Williams and Bevan (they both worked for him) and that it's up to the Kriseman administration now to show leadership.

The Mayor's Office has gotten a steady stream of input about the topic, and behind the scenes, many in the community are lobbying for Bevan. Someone has even created a Facebook support page, although Bevan said she didn't have anything to do with it. Bevan and the three outside chief candidates were slated to meet this week with residents, police officers and council members.

Kriseman is likely to make his choice in July.

Council member has parking idea

While the city prepares to undertake a study this summer to address current and potential downtown parking needs, council member Charlie Gerdes, right, floated a novel idea during a committee meeting last week. Why not open the Municipal Service Center parking garage, at Central Avenue and Third Street N, to the public after business hours?

That would provide more parking for patrons of Central Avenue and other nearby businesses, he said.

His idea seemed to please fellow council members Jim Kennedy and Darden Rice, who called the idea intriguing.

"Business owners have said if that MSC building could be open after 6, I think that would be a very good use of money," he said. "Several business owners have told me it would be huge if that would happen. I just want to plant a seed."

Roche just fine with war chest

Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche has raised a fraction of what his two challengers have amassed, but he says he isn't worried.

"I've got exactly what I've needed so far," Roche told Bay Buzz. A Republican seeking a second term, Roche, right, raised $12,255 in cash through the end of May. Compare that to the war chests of Republican Ed Hooper ($115,765) and Democrat Pat Gerard ($98,396). Hooper, of Clearwater, is a state House representative; Gerard is the mayor of Largo.

Roche said he just ordered a batch of campaign signs and will pay the qualifying fee this week. He is also about to ramp up a social media campaign and has a fundraiser tentatively set for next month at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, a Pinellas institution he first visited as a boy.

He said he doesn't have a fundraising goal in mind. He plans to do some radio spots and to send some mailers, but voters shouldn't expect a barrage to hit their mailboxes.

"There's a lot going on in the county, and I've got to keep my eye on the ball," he said. "I'm not about raising a bunch of money to get into a junk mail competition."

Hooper has a meet-and-greet event slated for June 23 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Angry Pepper Taphouse, 9366 Oakhurst Road, Seminole.

Gerard will be walking in the St. Pete Pride parade on June 28. Her supporters are meeting at the Metro Wellness Center, 3251 Third Ave. N, at 6:30 p.m.

Kameel Stanley can be reached at, (727) 893-8643 or on Twitter @cornandpotatoes. Tony Marrero can be reached at (727) 893-8779 or via Twitter @TMarreroTimes.

Davis favors outsider as chief 06/18/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 5:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tributes pour in for ex-national security adviser Brzezinski


    WASHINGTON — Well before he went to the White House in 1977, Jimmy Carter was impressed by the views of foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski. That Carter immediately liked the Polish-born academic advising his campaign was a plus.

    Foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski died Friday.
  2. One year after deaths, Sunset Music Festival kicks off with emphasis on water and security

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Before the beat drops, or even builds, you hear Steve-O.

    "If you don't get water you're lame!"

    "Hey! Free water! Come on!"

    Steve "Steve-O" Raymond motions to guests making the line to grab free water bottle at the entrance of the Sunset Music Festival on the grounds of the Raymond James Stadium parking lot in Tampa. ( LUIS SANTANA   |   Times)
  3. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 27: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a two-run home run as Derek Norris #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the eighth inning of the game on May 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010973
  4. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  5. Fans in Florida and beyond won't forget Gregg Allman

    Music & Concerts

    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)