Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg mayor sets deadline for Pier petition

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Bill Foster has thrown down the gauntlet and set a deadline for the group trying to force a vote to save the city's iconic Pier.

Foster has told the group voteonthepier.com that it has until June 11 to submit the almost 16,000 petitions needed to get its question on the Nov. 6 ballot.

"It's either put up or shut up,'' Foster said Thursday, noting that the group's leader had turned up at a recent City Council with three cartons that he said were filled with petitions.

"I support the efforts of the people to add this question on a ballot,'' he said. "That being said, it cannot be open-ended. We need to move forward. They have had two years to do it. It's just time.''

Tom Lambdon, the Safety Harbor man spearheading the group opposed to tearing down the current inverted pyramid for a $50 million replacement, is disinclined to be rushed.

"It's unrealistic to assume we can have everything we require within the next few business days," he said.

"It's a deadline for this election,'' he said. "It doesn't in any way affect our dedicated effort to get this petition drive successfully over the finish line in the next couple of months. We are auditing every single petition before we submit them to the clerk and supervisor of elections. It's such an important issue to us that we are leaving zero room for mistakes."

Lambdon said the group has collected a little more than 14,000 petitions.

Foster's decision to pressure voteonthepier.com appears to be part of a two-pronged strategy that includes a broad campaign to build support for the new Pier. Speaking at a meeting with the Tampa Bay Times editorial board, Foster expressed concern about "the lack of facts" surrounding the need to replace the current Pier. He talked about a website the city is about to launch and of upcoming sessions to get public input about how the new Pier should be developed. He handed out a brochure entitled, "Get the Facts!"

"When people are armed with the facts, they get it,'' he said later.

Foster said he set the June 11 deadline for Lambdon's petitions by working backward, taking into account the time needed for them to be processed and for the City Council to consider an ordinance to put the measure on this November's ballot.

In a May 24 letter to Lambdon, city clerk Eva Andujar said it could take several days for the petitions to be counted by her office before they are sent to the supervisor of elections. "Signatures must be verified and the number of required petitions must be confirmed before council takes action to place your question on the ballot,'' she said.

Foster said the City Council can consider an emergency ordinance if the June deadline is missed.

Lambdon is not worried.

"There's nothing in (the letter) that says if you don't meet this deadline that this is done," he said.

"We are in no hurry. … If we don't make this deadline … we are fully supportive of putting it on the next municipal ballot instead of burdening taxpayers with a special election."

The primary for the next municipal election is August 2013, with the general election in November. The city has announced that the inverted pyramid will close on May 31, 2013. Demolition is expected to take place in August.

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at wmoore@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2283.

>>FAST FACTS

Public meetings about the Pier

6 p.m. Thursday, the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N

6 p.m., June 12, Enoch Davis Center, 1111 18th Ave. S

6 p.m., June 14, J.W. Cate Recreation Center, 5801 22nd Ave. N

6 p.m. June 19, Lake Vista Recreation Center, 1401 62nd Ave. S.

St. Petersburg mayor sets deadline for Pier petition 05/31/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 31, 2012 11:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Waiting for the eclipse: 'Everyone thinks this is cool'

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Hunter Holland came to school Monday with a NASA space T-shirt and solar viewers in his button-up shirt pocket. But he'd rather be in Missouri.

    Paxson Evans, 4, views the solar eclipse Monday with his parents Jen DesRuisseau and Arom Evans at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg. [COLLEEN WRIGHT | Times]
  2. Second person resigns from Hillsborough diversity council after Confederate activist appointed

    Blogs

    TAMPA — A second person has resigned symbolically from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the appointment of a known activist of Confederate causes to the panel. 

    Two people have resigned from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the inclusion of David McCallister, a leader of the local branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
  3. Everyone on Twitter is making this same eclipse joke

    Blogs

    Today's total solar eclipse is, of course, a social media event as much as it is a natural phenomenon. Twitter even rolled out an #eclipse hashtag that automatically adds an eclipse emoji.

    The solar eclipse is inspiring Twitter humor.
  4. Live video: See how the solar eclipse is unfolding across the country

    Space

    Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the midday sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century.

    The moon is seen as it starts passing in front of the sun during a solar eclipse from Ross Lake, Northern Cascades National Park, in Washington on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. [Bill Ingalls | NASA via AP]
  5. Photo gallery: First images of the total solar eclipse

    Space

    Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the midday sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century.

    The moon covers the sun during a total eclipse Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, near Redmond, Ore.  [Ted S. Warren | Associated Press]