A new sheriff
St. Petersburg City Council members are known for long-winded debates during meetings. But it appears there's a new sheriff in town. New council Chairman Bill Dudley, left, reminded members about time limits this past week — and also warned he would be enforcing them.
"When you hear that buzzer, I'll let you finish your thought," Dudley said during Thursday's meeting. "A thought isn't another two minutes."
St. Petersburg police spokesman Bill Proffitt, one of the longest-serving employees at the department, will retire this spring.
Proffitt said he wants to travel and spend more time with his family and young son, whom he adopted.
"Nothing's pushing me away," he said. "I'm leaving on a happy note."
This is the second time Proffitt, who began his career as a police explorer in 1971 and rose through the ranks to become assistant chief, has retired from the agency. He did so in 2001 and returned a couple of years later as spokesman. His last day is April 11.
Chain of command
Mayor Rick Kriseman has filed a new succession plan in case of his absence or disability.
If the mayor and city administrator (Gary Cornwell) were not available, the powers would fall to the deputy mayor (Kanika Tomalin), followed by the public works administrator (Mike Connors) and the neighborhood affairs administrator (Mike Dove). Kriseman recently filed the new plan with the city clerk.
With equipment trucks rumbling toward Florida for spring training, Gov. Rick Scott, below, plans to honor 100 years of baseball in Pinellas County. Scott and the Florida Sports Foundation will recognize the Florida Grapefruit League during the 2014 Governor's Baseball Dinner on Thursday at Tropicana Field.
A cocktail event and auction starts at 6 p.m. A dinner and presentation featuring Frank Caliendo follows. Caliendo, a comedian and master impressionist, appears on ESPN. Tickets begin at $75.
Mark Puente can be reached at (727) 893-8459 or [email protected] Follow on Twitter @markpuente. Kameel Stanley can be reached at (727) 893-8643 or [email protected] Follow on Twitter @CornAndPotatoes.