Monday, December 18, 2017
Opinion

Politics continues to get in the way of Rays solution

“I'll probably blow your mind today . . ."

Those were the remarks of St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster at Thursday's City Council meeting. He seemed to be weary of the political maneuvering that appears to have a firm grip on almost every issue on the city's agenda these days. Such is life in an election year.

Like a tenured professor lecturing a remedial class on the finer points of city administration, Foster's statements were measured.

He corrected misconceptions about the contract: "It's a user agreement." He lectured council: "Listen to your attorney.'' Foster also acknowledged that there are many who disagree with his stance: He has forbidden the Rays from exploring sites outside the city.

Truth is, there needs to be an informed, united front if the city intends on keeping the Rays in town.

But some council members have been spinning their wheels throughout the process. They rightly want to be informed about the negotiations involved with keeping the Rays in the Sunshine City. But there's a big difference between being a part of the process and playing a sad game of political grandstanding.

It seems everyone wants a seat at the table, but few bring any depth or insight to the conversation.

Council member Charlie Gerdes should be credited for drawing up a proposal that would allow the Rays to explore other options, because the stalemate has been dragging on for three long years.

But the hyperbole that ensued wasted too much time en route to the 90-minute train wreck.

During the meeting, City Attorney John Wolfe suggested that the team's true intent is to leave the Tampa Bay area altogether.

Like it or not, he's probably right.

Until that day comes, the city is in the best possible position right now to negotiate a deal in the best interest of the taxpayers.

Let's not allow politics to get in the way.

Moms who know best

There's a super Disney Mom in our midst.

Wilma Norton of St. Petersburg is one of 19 chosen from among thousands of Disney parks fans who filed applications for this year's Disney Parks Moms Panel, an online advice board.

Norton, a Times alumnus and assistant director of marketing and public information for St. Petersburg College, is one of only two Florida residents on the panel.

A longtime park pass holder, the mother of two has stayed in almost every Disney resort, eaten in almost every restaurant and participated in almost every attraction. The panel was created in 2008, and this year was renamed the Disney Parks Moms Panel to tap into the expertise of parents who like to share insider tips at disneyparksmomspanel.com.

437's revolving doors

Is 437 Central Ave. jinxed?

It's a fair question considering the recent closing of Pipo's Cafe.

In recent years, a host of good restaurants have called the space home: Emilio's Bistro Bakery and Bar, Diner 437, Grillside Central or Tedesco's Grillside.

A closer look — in this instance — reveals that owner Raymond Hernandez received an offer on the space. We'll have to wait to see who the next tenant will be and hope whoever it is has staying power.

Sandra J. Gadsden can be reached at [email protected] or at (727) 893-8874 and on Twitter at @StPeteSandi.

Comments
Looking back at 2017 through the eyes of editorial cartoonists

Looking back at 2017 through the eyes of editorial cartoonists

The annual Editorial Cartoon Round-Up is a thought-provoking recap of a momentous 2017. The gallery containing 32 cartoons from some of the best editorial cartoonists in the country is made available by the Washington Post News Service & Syndicat...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Editorial: Warren’s smart approach on guns, domestic violence

Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren would make it safer for victims and police alike with his plan to remove firearms from defendants charged with domestic violence. These cases are toxic enough, and having guns at the ready only adds to a dang...
Published: 12/15/17
Editorial: St. Petersburg council right to reject Bayfront deal

Editorial: St. Petersburg council right to reject Bayfront deal

The St. Petersburg City Council made the difficult but correct decision this week to reject the proposed sale of a local nonprofit’s minority stake in Bayfront hospital. Despite months of negotiations, there were too many questions, a few suspicions ...
Published: 12/15/17
Editorial: Congress should fix flood insurance, children’s health insurance before Christmas

Editorial: Congress should fix flood insurance, children’s health insurance before Christmas

Here’s a snapshot of misplaced priorities in Washington. Last week, the Federal Communications Commission foolishly rushed to scrap net neutrality rules and allow internet service providers to treat different content differently despite overwhelming ...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
Editorial: Scott’s smart changes to sexual harassment policy

Editorial: Scott’s smart changes to sexual harassment policy

With misconduct allegations rippling through all levels of government, Gov. Rick Scott has taken the prudent step of ordering uniform sexual harassment policies throughout state agencies. The executive order strengthens protections for victims, which...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
Editorial: MOSI faces a clean slate and should give everyone a piece of chalk

Editorial: MOSI faces a clean slate and should give everyone a piece of chalk

For three years, the only news about finances at Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry was bad news: "Struggling MOSI asks Hillsborough County for $400,000 loan," one headline read, "Audit sees MOSI finances slipping," read another, and "MOSI donor ...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

For once, it would be nice to see Sen. Marco Rubio stand up as the independent leader he aspires to become. For once, the Florida Republican should hold his position rather than bow to pragmatic politics. Rubio can stick with his threat Thursday to v...
Published: 12/14/17

Another voice: A shameful anniversary

Josephine "Joey" Gay should have celebrated her 12th birthday this week. She should have been surrounded by friends and family in a place festooned with purple, her favorite color.Chase Kowalski should have been working toward a Boy Scout merit badge...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17
Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Timing is everything, and Sen. Bill Nelson seized the right moment this week to call on his colleagues to pass legislation he filed earlier this year that would block the Trump administration from opening additional areas to offshore drilling. With t...
Published: 12/13/17

Another voice: Alabama picks an honorable man

THANK YOU, Alabama.In Tuesday’s special election, the state by a narrow margin chose to spare the nation the indignity of seating an accused child molester in the U.S. Senate. Though the stain of electing Republican Roy Moore would have sullied Alaba...
Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17