Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The Buzz: Governor and Tarpon mayor talk, St. Pete endorses Greenlight

Meeting generates big talk in tiny Tarpon

After Gov. Rick Scott's schedule went out by email Wednesday, Tarpon Springs Mayor David Archie's phone blew up with calls.

Archie's name was right there on the governor's schedule after an event at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.

For reporters who see the governor's schedule every day, the so-called meet and greet with the mayor of bitty Tarpon Springs was unusual enough to make one wonder: Is the governor vetting Archie as a possible lieutenant governor?

"Not to my knowledge," Archie said after the meeting. "We didn't discuss anything earth-shattering."

Archie lacks widespread name recognition outside of Tarpon Springs. But he is also an African-American Republican from an area that has a history of deciding statewide elections. He could bring diversity to the ticket and is well-liked in Tarpon, where he leads nonprofit Citizens Alliance for Progress and has served on the City Commission for 13 years.

City staff members also were curious about the meeting. The governor's office called City Hall Tuesday and requested the get-together without giving a reason, City Manager Mark LeCouris said. "We're all wondering what this is about," he said.

In the end, Archie said, not much happened.

He and Scott had a friendly conversation that involved flood insurance hikes, among other things. He characterized it as, "not a bad way to spend an afternoon."

'Smoke and mirrors' in covering crashes

Last July, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri sounded an alarm about the Florida Highway Patrol being understaffed in his county and relying on his deputies to respond to car crashes. At times, the agency had only two or three troopers on patrol in Pinellas, he said, a situation that either forced his officers to deal with crashes, or left drivers standing on the side of the highway for hours, waiting for a trooper.

FHP officials challenged his claims, saying there were at least 25 people working in Pinellas, an increase over past years.

Last week, Gualtieri, right, gave a brief update on the situation at a meeting of the Pinellas County Commission and the legislative delegation.

FHP has hired people to fill a handful of vacant positions, he said, suggesting it was a small sign of progress but not one that would have a significant impact on his deputies having to pick up FHP's slack.

"Some of that's smoke and mirrors and some of that's real bodies," said state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, above left.

Council gives go-ahead to Greenlight Pinellas

After a vote from the City Council on Thursday, St. Petersburg became the first city to endorse Greenlight Pinellas.

The initiative would use a 1-cent Pinellas County sales tax to generate money for light rail and expanded Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus routes. Residents will decide its fate in a referendum next year.

After the vote, council member Jeff Danner (also PSTA chairman) hosted a news conference on the steps of City Hall.

Times reporters Brittany Alana Davis and John Woodrow Cox contributed to this report. Anna M. Phillips can be reached at aphillips@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8779.

The Buzz: Governor and Tarpon mayor talk, St. Pete endorses Greenlight 12/06/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 6, 2013 4:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Drinking alcohol on St. Pete Beach beaches now allowed — for hotel guests only

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — Guests at gulf-front hotels here can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas.

    Guests relax on the beach near the Don Cesar at St. Pete Beach. Guests at gulf-front hotels in St. Pete Beach can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas after the change was passed unanimously by the City Commission Tuesday night. Residents and other beachgoers who are not registered guests of the hotels continue to be barred from imbibing anywhere on the city's beaches.
  2. Man found floating in 'Cotee River in New Port Richey

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A body was found floating in the Pithlachascotee River on Tuesday morning, police said.

  3. More than 13,000 fact-checks later, PolitiFact celebrates 10-year mark

    National

    ST. PETERSBURG — Bill Adair still remembers the moment when he realized his idea to fact-check politicians could turn into something big.

    (from left to right) Aaron Sharockman, Politifact executive director introduces a panel featuring Angie Holan, Politifact editor; PolitiFact founder Bill Adair and Tampa Bay Times Editor and Vice President Neil Brown at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. The event celebrated 10 years of PolitiFact and its growth since 2007. The panel discussed the history of the organization and how it goes about fact-checking. [EVE EDELHEIT | Times]
  4. Trump, McConnell feud threatens GOP agenda

    Politics

    The relationship between President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

    Sen. Mitch McConnell has fumed over Trump’s criticism.
  5. Baker lowers expectations for primary

    Blogs

    Rick Baker officially lowered expectations Tuesday, saying his “battle for the future of the city” against Mayor Rick Kriseman might last until November.

    Rick Baker addresses supporters on Beach Drive Tuesday