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KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES | City Council District 6

Council chairman Karl Nurse faces two challengers in his re-election. Trevor Mallory is running for office for the first time, while Sharon Russ has dipped her toe into politics. She ran briefly for mayor in 2009, lost a race to Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch in 2004 and launched an aborted bid for City Council in 1999. Russ, 52, a local activist, did not respond to interview requests. — Waveney Ann Moore, Times staff writer

Karl Nurse, 58
Owner, Bay Tech
Trevor L. Mallory, 41
Night club owner
Background Nurse was appointed to fill an unexpired term in District 6 in 2008. The seat previously had been held by an African-American for several decades. Nurse won it convincingly the following year. A former president of the Council of Neighborhood Associations, Nurse is president and founder of Bay Tech Label, a 36-employee printing company. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1980 from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, majoring in political science. A St. Petersburg native, Mallory graduated from Lakewood High School in 1991 and was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. He played for the organization until 1996. He worked for the city of St. Petersburg as a horticultural specialist and now manages Onyx, a downtown night club. He owns Streamline Logistics and Freight, a trucking company, and is co-owner of Pyramid Venue and Events Promotion.
Why should voters pick you?I have passed a steady stream of proposals to create local jobs, to make our streets safer, to renew our neighborhoods and protect our wallets and the environment through energy-saving technologies. I will continue my focus on these issues if the voters give me the opportunity.Voters should vote for me simply because I am for the citizens in the community. I have fresh, new ideas for District 6 that can and will begin to bring the south side out of poverty, so we can become a better city as a whole for a more attractive appeal for economic development.
Where do you stand on the Pier and the Lens debate?I voted over the last year to give the voters a chance to vote on the Pier. The Lens will be voted down. Then, I will help us reach a consensus on the functions we want in a pier. Once we do that, we can go back to the architects for a new design with a much clearer focus and a much better chance to unite our city.I believe that we need to first let the citizens vote on whether or not they would like to keep the Pier and renovate it. If the citizens would like the Pier to be renovated, then we should develop a plan to do that. If not, then we should provide other options to vote on. We need to build something that residents are proud of and will enjoy revisiting.
Do you think the City Council has been doing a good job managing your tax dollars? Why or why not?Generally. Some of us on City Council have concentrated on trying to gain efficiencies to save taxpayers money. I have played a significant role in decisions that reduce operating costs by millions per year. Well, I must admit that the downtown area is looking great, but where else are the taxpayers' dollars going? It sure isn't the south side, so, in some cases, yes, and others, no.
Do you support red light cameras?I supported the effort to limit red light cameras by eliminating the slow-right-on-red ticket and by readjusting the yellow light times. This will reduce tickets by 50 percent. The other 50 percent need to not run red lights.No, I think the red light cameras make the roads unsafe by the way that it causes drivers to concentrate more on the pedestrian countdown than staying with the flow of traffic, which causes more rear-end accidents.
What can the city do to attract more jobs?The city must do more to grow more and better jobs. I favor matching the Chamber of Commerce dollars to fund business recruitment while the city handles the permitting, zoning and incentive issues. Medical, marine, clean energy and neighborhood renewal are areas we can gain many jobs.There needs to be more locally owned business in the communities that would hire from within their own communities, and for the south side, there needs to be a lot more minority-owned business. It should be a program that makes it a little easier for minorities to start small businesses in their own neighborhoods so we can attract bigger developers that will supply jobs for large amounts of people.
Will you support the one-cent county sales tax increase for mass transit in 2014? How about light rail, specifically?The Tampa Bay area should join the other 24 largest metros and build real mass transit. It will save us money, generate economic development, reduce congestion and reduce pollution. Vote yes.Yes, I would support the tax if it is linked with a reduction in property taxes. I believe that the light rail system would be beneficial to Pinellas County residents, since the Pinellas bus system has seen record ridership in the past few years. The light rail system would expand the transit system by 70 percent. In order for this to pass, the voters need to be well informed of both the benefits and disadvantages of the light rail system so they can make an educated vote.
Do you think the Police Department is doing a good job? What could be better?While the officers do a good job, the department has been slow to embrace newer technologies and tactics that other cities have adopted with better results. We need real community policing and more proactive work on hot spots.Their performance at this time is satisfactory. There is definitely room for improvement. The city is generally safe, but could be safer if the Police Department had a better relationship with community leaders and members in our communities. There needs to be mutual respect between the Police Department and the community. If the budget allows, more officers should be hired and the Police Department needs to engage in more community policing.
PersonalMarried to Mary JoEllen "Jody" Nurse; four children; three grandchildrenMarried to Mashainah Mallory; four daughters
Facebook karl.nurse.9 VoteTrevorMallory

About the job: The council member for District 6 represents large portions of downtown and Midtown and neighborhoods that include Old Southeast, Tropical Shores, Coquina Key and a portion of Lakewood Estates. Council members serve four-year terms and are paid $38,000 a year.

Know Your Candidates: St. Petersburg City Council, District 6

Know Your Candidates: St. Petersburg City Council, District 6 07/26/13 [Last modified: Sunday, July 28, 2013 9:01pm]
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