Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Politics

No fees waived for mayoral aide; proposal a 'total surprise' for Susan Latvala

Fees not waived for Kriseman aide

After abandoning his home last summer, one of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's top aides has found a potential buyer for his 96-year-old property.

David Flintom, head of the Mayor's Action Center, found a buyer four days after the home hit the market on Jan. 5. The Bayside Drive S home drew attention last month for an unpaid utility bill and liens and fees for an overgrown lawn.

The asking price for the short-sale listing was $60,000, listing data shows. The sale is expected to close in August. Flintom paid $132,900 for the home in 2003.

Flintom, 43, vacated the home and expected the lender to seize the property. But it didn't. The house then racked up fines with the codes department.

Last month Flintom, who earns $70,000 a year, said the city agreed to waive $369 in liens and fees for the overgrown lawn.

On Jan. 2, a resident made a formal complaint about Flintom's fees being waived. A city audit conducted in response found the fees were still unpaid.

Flintom paid them six days later, on Jan. 8.

Last month he paid a $231 overdue utility bill, saying he never received notices of the final bill.

Asked why he said the fees had been waived, Flintom apologized and said he miscommunicated.

Flintom served as Kriseman's district legislative aide in the Florida House.

Something new

Congratulations are in order for Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala, who recently became engaged to her companion of nearly seven years, Jay Powers.

The proposal came as a "total surprise," Latvala said, adding that she and Powers haven't decided whether to have a wedding, but they have planned a Mexico getaway in February. Powers manages the Home Port Marina properties in Palm Harbor, where Latvala also lives.

Latvala, who was married to state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, until the couple divorced in 2005, said she "probably will" change her name, but only after the November election. She recently filed to run for another term after more than 12 years on the commission.

"I think it's important to have Latvala on the ballot," she said.

There will be no deficiency of Latvalas on that ballot. Chris Latvala, Jack Latvala's son from a previous marriage, is running for the District 67 state House seat, and the senator is seeking another term in District 20.

Oops

Last week, the Buzz poked fun at Kriseman for his affinity for prepared statements and mentioned how he chucked a prepared speech to "talk from the heart" about outgoing police Chief Chuck Harmon during his retirement ceremony.

We were mistaken, however, when we mentioned one of his aides had inserted a similar line in a previous speech that said, "Introduce and talk from the heart about family." It was Kriseman who added that line in an internal copy of the speech slipped to a reporter as a favor. We regret the error.

 
Comments

Sean Hannity, a Trump defender, under scrutiny for real estate deals

Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS)ATLANTA — On his Fox News program last summer, Sean Hannity effused praise for his guest, U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson. "I know you have done a good job," Hannity said. "You are a good man."Carson’s presence gav...
Published: 04/23/18
Having Cuba in the name of your company can be a financial risk and there is no solution

Having Cuba in the name of your company can be a financial risk and there is no solution

With the third largest Cuban American population, Cuba’s culture is celebrated throughout the Tampa Bay area and in a diversity of ways.Flags hang in homes, fashion is worn, music performed, food served.But be wary of honoring that heritage by puttin...
Published: 04/23/18
Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

WEST PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump said Saturday that he doesn’t expect Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen’s business dealings. Trump, in a series of tweets fired from Florida o...
Published: 04/21/18

Vive la France: Trump hosts glitzy White House state dinner

WASHINGTON — Now it’s President Donald Trump’s turn to pull off the ultimate charm offensive. Wined and dined on multiple state visits during his tour of Asia last year, Trump is paying it forward and celebrating nearly 250 years of U.S.-French relat...
Published: 04/21/18
Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

The writer of the letter sounds hysterical. Perhaps a little desperate. And maybe that’s just who Marion Hammer is these days.Most of the world knows her as the take-no-prisoners maven of the National Rifle Association who directs Florida politicians...
Published: 04/21/18
Rick Scott’s term limits idea: Hugely popular and highly unrealistic

Rick Scott’s term limits idea: Hugely popular and highly unrealistic

WASHINGTON — Gov. Rick Scott’s first policy idea as a U.S. Senate candidate won’t happen and most of his fellow Republicans don’t support it.But it’s a surefire applause line at political rallies.Scott wants term limits for members of Congress: 12 ye...
Published: 04/23/18
Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

WASHINGTON — Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, is "very upset and disappointed" by comments made by his former boss James Comey that contradict his account of a disclosure to the news media, McCabe’s lawyer said Friday. "Andy has at all ...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

The one thing you can say for sure about electing a mayor in Tampa is you can’t really say anything for sure.Historical proof: A couple of elections ago, Harvard-educated hometown-boy-gone-to-Washington Frank Sanchez was going to be our next mayor, h...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Today across America, high school students are expected to walk out of class in their latest show of solidarity against gun violence and elected officials unwilling to do much about it. It marks a grim anniversary — 19 years since Columbine bra...
Published: 04/20/18
Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

TAMPA — For months, Tampa political aficionados have speculated: Will she or won’t she?Does Jane Castor, the city’s first woman police chief and presumed heavyweight mayoral candidate, really want the job? Asked and answered. Castor filed paperwork T...
Published: 04/19/18