Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas Park council candidates tell goals for office

PINELLAS PARK — Two candidates are seeking to fill the open seat on the City Council in Tuesday's election. The Tampa Bay Times asked both candidates, Patricia Johnson, 66, and Eddie Kosinski, 64, three questions about their goals if elected. The answers have been edited for length.

Why you?

Johnson: I have a tremendous amount of experience in various fields. I have business experience with both small and large businesses. I have worked closely with government on the local, state and federal levels. … I have also enjoyed success in my personal businesses, which has allowed me to continue to serve the community in various roles from the Pinellas Park Board of Adjustment to the Pinellas Park Boys & Girls Clubs.

Kosinski: I am honest and "above board" with everything I do. I have never been afraid to think outside the box. I have the courage and ambition to keep making Pinellas Park the great city it is and I will work for all the citizens of Pinellas Park. I have had a very successful business in Pinellas Park for the last 44 years and I want to take that experience, along with common sense, and continue to move Pinellas Park in the right direction.

What do you think are the two biggest issues facing Pinellas Park in the next three years, and how would you solve them?

Johnson: Obviously, the most crucial issue right now is our loss of revenue and the local economy overall. … We must work harder to cut the budget and run the city as efficiently as possible so that our taxpayers get the best value out of every tax dollar. We can boost the local economy by maintaining our relationship with our businesses and helping them keep their doors open by thinking outside the box. There are various incentives and grants available for current businesses, and the city's willingness to work with businesses to secure these funds will also attract new business. … Another issue that will face our city is opportunities to establish interlocal agreements and consolidate services. … There will be many more opportunities that arise to establish interlocal agreements, and there will be many more pressures to consolidate.

Koskinski: One of the issues is keeping the taxes low. Our property values have plummeted, and with the economy the way it is right now, we need to work as a united group on council to keep the taxes low and still meet the needs of the city and its citizens. The second issue is, as Pinellas Park grows, there will be the need for more parks, safe playgrounds and recreational facilities. Our youth is a very important part of the future of Pinellas Park, and we need to have programs and places for them to go. This will take a lot of work as far as the budget goes, but I am confident that all things can be worked through.

Are you in favor of fire-based transport of patients to hospitals? Why or why not?

Johnson: I am in favor of fire-based transport. My response is not based on "the numbers," but on personal experience as a court-appointed guardian. I have witnessed individuals waiting too long for an ambulance, all the while fire department personnel have already arrived and treated the patient. Then, they have to wait longer while the fire department personnel exchange information with the ambulance personnel. I believe that overall, it would be a great savings to the taxpayer not just in Pinellas Park, but countywide. All of the fire departments across the county already cover for each other if units are busy. Fire personnel respond quicker and could likely have the patient stabilized and on the way to the hospital before ambulance personnel start their paperwork. It is a win-win situation for residents because they save money while still receiving equal, if not better, service.

Kosinski: Yes. EMS is usually the first on scene and their units are just as well-equipped as Sunstar ambulances are. As it is right now, EMS must wait for the ambulance to arrive to transport the injured. If they are dealing with multiple injuries, then Sunstar should be called out to assist EMS; otherwise, EMS should be allowed to load the patient and go without having to wait for an ambulance. Sun Star should be backup only. The turn-around time would be quicker, and we would be saving the taxpayers money. Duplication of services is not cost effective.

Pinellas Park council candidates tell goals for office 03/10/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 10, 2012 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Back in bargaining, Hillsborough school district and its teachers are $50 million apart

    Blogs

    It started off nice and friendly. Gretchen Saunders, chief business officer for the Hillsborough County Public Schools passed candy around the room. Negotiators for the district and the teachers' union commended one another for their good work during Hurricane Irma. The union thanked the district for paying everybody a …

    The Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association and the Hillsborough County School District returned to bargaining Friday for the 2017-18 school year.
  2. Federal study says humans harmed by dispersant used during Deepwater Horizon

    Water

    A first-of-its-kind scientific study has determined that the dispersant BP sprayed at the oil gushing from the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010 harmed human health.

  3. Across Tampa Bay, local commercial banks and credit unions appear healthy

    Banking

    In another sign of economic vitality, Florida's home-grown banking industry demonstrated strong bench strength in the latest quarterly analysis by Bauer Financial. The vast majority of commercial banks with headquarters in Florida received five "stars" from Bauer, which is the highest ranking of health on its 0-to-5 …

    Several years ago, First Home Bank in Seminole faced regulators breathing down its neck for inaedquate controls and financial weakness. Under CEO 
Anthony N. Leo, the bank has rebounded. It received a top-rated "5" star rating from Bauer Financial in the latest quarter. Most area banks are doing better these days. [SCOTT KEELER      |     TIMES]
  4. Two linemen lose their wedding rings in Tampa Bay. So far one has been found and returned.

    Human Interest

    Two linemen who spent days restoring power in the Tampa Bay area had the same unfortunate mishap: They lost their wedding rings.

    Facebook helped Michael White find the wedding ring he lost while helping restore power in Tampa Bay.
  5. Need is now for new mental health center at Bay Pines, veterans say

    Veterans

    ST. PETERSBURG — Veteran Ellsworth "Tony" Williams says the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System's new mental health center will help fill an immediate need.

    The new mental health center at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System stands four stories tall and was built at a cost of $92 million. It will centralize services that before were scattered. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Staff]