Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg council member upset over 'rude' neighborhood newsletter

ST. PETERSBURG — A crude expression in a civic newsletter has touched off a feud between a prominent neighborhood group and City Council member Jeff Danner.

The June newsletter for the Council of Neighborhood Associations of South Pinellas County included a column penned by Travis Jarman that blasted the city for holding workshops with the billboard industry.

Jarman argued that the city isn't letting residents participate in workshops with billboard company representatives, resulting in proposed higher and brighter digital signs that don't have popular support.

"Without any significant discussion, (council members) bent over for representatives of Clear Channel and CBS outdoor," Jarman wrote.

Danner scrapped a Monday meeting with CONA, objecting to Jarman's wording, which many interpret as shorthand for a sexual act.

"Putting 'bent over' in a newsletter is kind of rude," Danner said. "You can agree to disagree, or be vehemently opposed to what I have to say, but name calling and bashing your elected officials is not a productive way to build relationships."

CONA president Will Michaels said Danner was "unduly offended" by Jarman's phrase, which he said was a typo. It should have read "bent over backwards," Michaels said.

"I don't think Travis meant any disrespect whatsoever," Michaels said.

But Jarman said it wasn't a typo. "I wrote that after we weren't allowed to speak at the last workshop," Jarman said. "In the light of day, maybe 'kowtow' would have been better. I don't think 'bent over backwards' sends the right message."

City Council member Karl Nurse, a former CONA president, said that while Jarman's phrase was inflammatory, sometimes that's the point of a newsletter.

"If you take the passion out of it, you won't engage people as much," Nurse said. "I thought his column was fine. He had a reasonable complaint. The nature of our job is we meet with people who disagree with us."

But Council Chair Leslie Curran sided with Danner.

"The newsletter was very insulting," Curran said. "Don't bite the hand that feeds you. They want to ask for our support, and then they insult us. It was completely unprofessional."

Michael Van Sickler can be reached at (727) 893-8037 or

St. Petersburg council member upset over 'rude' neighborhood newsletter 06/25/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 25, 2010 10:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Father and brother of alleged bomber detained in Libya


    The father and younger brother of the man who British police say bombed an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester have been detained in Libya, where anti-terror authorities said the brother confessed to knowing "all the details" of the attack plot.

    Hashim Ramadan Abedi appears inside the Tripoli-based Special Deterrent anti-terrorism force unit after his arrest on Tuesday for alleged links to the Islamic State extremist group. Abedi is the brother of Salman Abedi, who has been identified as the man behind the bombing that killed 22 people and wounded scores at an Ariana Grande concert Monday night in Manchester. [Ahmed Bin Salman, Special Deterrent Force via AP]
  2. Marijuana extract Epidiolex helps some kids with epilepsy, study shows


    A medicine made from marijuana, without the stuff that gives a high, cut seizures in kids with a severe form of epilepsy in a study that strengthens the case for more research into pot's possible health benefits.

    An employee checks a plant at LeafLine Labs, a medical marijuana production facility in Cottage Grove, Minn. [Associated Press (2015)]
  3. CBO analysis: 23 million would lose health coverage under House-passed bill


    WASHINGTON — The Republican health care bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of Americans without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    President Donald Trump held a press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House with members of the GOP on May 4 after the House passed legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act. [Cheriss May | Sipa USA via TNS]
  4. Tarpon Springs psychic charged with defrauding veteran, widow out of $155,000


    TARPON SPRINGS — A psychic was arrested Tuesday after police said she scammed two clients out of more than $150,000.

    Gina Wilson
  5. St. Pete Economic Development Corporation lures marketing firm MXTR to town

    Economic Development

    St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation has lured its first big catch to St. Petersburg — MXTR Automation. The digital marketing company announced Wednesday that it will fill 20 "high-wage" creative positions within the next 18 months, as well as open an office in downtown St. Petersburg this year.