Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mayor Bill Foster, group of pastors meet behind closed doors

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Bill Foster was tight-lipped about a closed-door meeting he had with a group of pastors Thursday.

Foster met with the pastors, many of whom lead primarily African-American congregations, at the Allstate Center at St. Petersburg College a couple of hours before hosting a Mayor's Night Out event at the Willis S. Johns Center, 6635 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N.

"It was very productive," said Foster.

Some have criticized Foster for firing longtime city administrator Goliath Davis III last week. Foster terminated Davis after he didn't attend the funeral of a police officer killed in the line of duty — the third city officer killed on the job this year.

Former City Council member Rene Flowers said she organized Thursday's meeting to allow the pastors to share their thoughts on how the city should move forward without Davis. Foster would not say who was at the meeting or what was discussed. Reporters were not allowed to attend.

Meanwhile, a coalition of community organizations said it has invited the mayor to discuss his vision, strategy and plans for Midtown after Davis' firing. Local magazine publisher Gypsy Gallardo, organizer of a civic group called Agenda 2010, said she sent the mayor an e-mail Thursday about meeting with representatives of more than 30 organizations across the city.

The Rev. Manuel Sykes, a spokesman for the coalition, had organized a similar meeting that was to take place today, but canceled it after hearing about the black pastors' meeting.

Sykes, contacted late Thursday, said he still feels it's important for the coalition to meet with Foster. He said it will allow the mayor to get the input of many organizations at once.

"We feel that we all want the same thing," said Sykes, who is president of the local NAACP. "We want some concrete effort to turn things around."

Mayor Bill Foster, group of pastors meet behind closed doors 03/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 10, 2011 11:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  2. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  4. Steven Souza Jr. vindicating big trade for Rays

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — There was a time when the three-team, 11-player transaction the Rays orchestrated to get Steven Souza Jr. from the Nationals looked liked a bad deal.

    The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. has 30 home runs this season while improving his defense and baserunning but wants to improve on his .236 batting average.
  5. Fennelly: Lightning's Manon Rheaume made history 25 years ago Saturday

    Lightning Strikes

    The name is part of Lightning history, hockey history, sports history.

    Lightning goalie Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in an NHL game 25 years ago today.