Saturday, April 21, 2018
Opinion

Candidate replies: St. Petersburg mayor

Editor's note: Candidates for St. Petersburg mayor not recommended by the Tampa Bay Times were given an opportunity to respond.

Kathleen Ford

Our sparkling city along the shimmering waters of Tampa Bay should be the beacon that draws people to our teeming shops, humming offices, crowded restaurants and brimming industrial parks while offering safe, secure and well-kept neighborhoods with access to successful schools, lush parks, full-service neighborhood centers, sparkling pools, green athletic fields, stocked libraries, all woven with our cultural arts. We should grow the significant investments made in our academic, medical and marine research institutions while encouraging new technology in our vast industrial park. We are in the Sunshine City in the Sunshine State, and we should lead in sunshine technology!

I am running for mayor because I will ensure that all citizens of this great city will be heard, especially on those issues that matter so much to all of us, like our precious waterfront and significant public projects involving millions of taxpayer dollars. Citizens can trust me to provide coordinated and cost-effective essential city services to everyone while restoring our trust in a fair, responsive and accountable government. I am an actively engaged citizen and I ask for your vote by mail or on Aug. 27!

Bill Foster

Four years ago, my vision for St. Petersburg focused on the maintenance of quality city services; the creation of positive environments drawing in economic development, jobs, and private sector investment; budget reductions; and the development of quality spaces utilizing events, sports and the arts. While recovery was slow, together we realized great progress. Crime rates are the lowest they've been in over a decade. Street-side panhandling was eliminated, and spaces were created at Pinellas Safe Harbor to care for chronic homeless. Wasteful city government spending was slashed, including the elimination of 50 management jobs. New businesses, restaurants and construction in St. Petersburg have continued to thrive during the greatest economic recession of our lifetime.

The number of engaged citizens has grown tremendously over the last four years. When I promised you a seat at the table, I meant it. Whether Breakfast with the Mayor, Mayor's Night Out, or Budget Summits, you came out, and we took care of business. What I learned most: While we are not perfect, most of you are in love with St. Petersburg. Let's keep the momentum going. Please honor me with your vote, by mail or at the polls on Aug. 27.

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