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Romano: A possible look at how things will play out in St. Petersburg

What will become of St. Pete’s waterfront now that the Lens project has been crushed? Perhaps architect Michael Maltzan will submit a new pier proposal, updated with exciting T-shirt shops and empty storefronts. Let’s call it the Corrective Lens.

Michael Maltzan Architecture

What will become of St. Pete’s waterfront now that the Lens project has been crushed? Perhaps architect Michael Maltzan will submit a new pier proposal, updated with exciting T-shirt shops and empty storefronts. Let’s call it the Corrective Lens.

First a statistic, and then a question:

The previous two mayoral primaries in St. Petersburg drew an average of about 37,000 voters. This week's primary topped 50,000 ballots.

So does that mean folks were really, really enthusiastic about choosing between the likes of Bill Foster and Rick Kriseman, or were they unhinged over the Lens?

Yeah, I know, silly question.

Still, the heavy turnout and overwhelming Lens defeat on Tuesday could lead to some entertaining developments this fall.

For instance, what becomes of St. Pete's waterfront? Who will scoop up Kathleen Ford's 9,600 supporters? And will those people who voted for Ford bother to show up in November now that the Lens is history?

While voter turnout typically sees a significant increase between primaries and general elections, it's not likely to happen this time around. After all, the 50,029 voters who cast ballots this week outnumbered the general election totals in 2001, 2005 and 2009.

With that in mind, let's take a stab at predicting what the coming months will look like.

Sept. 12: Concerned about the number of F-rated schools in the city, Foster says improving education will be the No. 1 priority of his next administration.

Sept. 13: Concerned about the number of people who voted for Dr. David McKalip in a City Council primary, Kriseman says improving education will be the No. 1 priority of his administration.

Sept. 24: Saying he has listened to the suggestions of residents, architect Michael Maltzan is ready to submit a new Pier proposal. The updated design will make exciting use of T-shirt shops, empty storefronts and a hellishly long driveway. The project is called the Corrective Lens.

Sept. 24: Fresh off their victory in the Lens battle, the Concerned Citizens of St. Petersburg turn their attention to ridding the city of red-light cameras.

Oct. 12: After studying primary results and realizing not a single voter cast a ballot in Precinct 165 near Feather Sound, the Kriseman campaign begins a door-to-door push. Residents are stunned. "We live in St. Pete?" they ask repeatedly.

Oct. 16: Fresh off their victory in the red-light camera battle, the Concerned Citizens of St. Petersburg turn their attention to ridding the city of actual red lights.

Oct. 20: Email documents reveal Foster wants a seven-figure settlement from the Rays in exchange for allowing the team to talk to Hillsborough County officials about a stadium. The Rays have instead offered the city Fernando Rodney.

Oct. 21: Former Mayor Rick Baker calls a news conference and brings an entourage to announce he is endorsing Kriseman.

Oct. 22: In a candid television interview, Ford acknowledges it was a mistake during a debate to single out her contribution of potato salad as a Midtown accomplishment. It was, in fact, macaroni salad.

Oct. 25: Paul Congemi announces his candidacy for the 2017 mayoral election.

Oct. 30: With the waterfront debate going nowhere, officials at Albert Whitted Airport have suggested turning the Pier into a new runway. With 110 acres of prime waterfront land already devoted to an airport that 98 percent of the city's residents have never used, the theory goes, what's another acre or two?

Nov. 5: In a stunning development, the winner of the St. Petersburg mayoral election is a middle-aged white guy who used to serve on the City Council when he wasn't working as an attorney.

Romano: A possible look at how things will play out in St. Petersburg 08/28/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:18pm]
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