Monday, April 23, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Public out in front of leaders on St. Petersburg issues

The next St. Petersburg mayor should step on the gas. That's the message from likely city voters before Tuesday's elections for mayor and City Council. On the Pier, a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays, red-light cameras and mass transit, the public is ready for bold and decisive leadership.

Governing by poll is not advisable, as the Founding Fathers understood when they established a representative democracy rather than a direct one. But polls are informative, and when the results are so out of step with the government on several issues at once, they indicate the public is far ahead of its leaders. That was shown in a recent poll of 800 likely St. Petersburg voters by the Tampa Bay Times, Bay News 9 and WUSF Public Media. On four major issues, the voters are more certain about how to move forward than the mayor and City Council.

The Pier? Less than one-third of the voters have an interest in restoring the inverted pyramid, yet Mayor Bill Foster has retreated on what was once a firm commitment to demolish the dilapidated structure and build something new.

The Rays? Nearly half of the voters want the city to let the team look throughout Tampa Bay for a new stadium, yet Foster has broken off negotiations.

Mass transit? Fifty-six percent of the voters support the Greenlight Pinellas plan for expanded bus service countywide and light rail from St. Petersburg to Clearwater, and the next mayor will have to aggressively campaign for the 2014 referendum.

The loathed red-light cameras? Most voters want them gone, even as Foster and challenger Rick Kriseman continue to support them. Is it any wonder that six of eight City Council candidates on Tuesday's ballot don't support them?

Voters in Florida's fourth-largest city are ready for change. The winners in Tuesday's election will have to deliver.

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Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Not too many people took then-candidate Donald Trump seriously when he famously campaigned to "drain the swamp" as president. But that shouldn’t give this administration a free pass to excuse the behavior of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Env...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Allegiant Air’s safety record remains troubling, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s reluctance to talk about it is no more encouraging. Those are the key takeaways from a 60 Minutes report on the low-cost carrier’s high rate of mid-flight brea...
Published: 04/21/18

Editorial: Women’s work undervalued in bay area

Even a strong economy and low unemployment cannot overcome the persistent pay gap affecting full-time working women in Florida. A new report shows women in Florida earned 12.5 percent less on average than their male counterparts, and the disparities ...
Published: 04/21/18
Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

For all the symbolism, Raul Castro’s handoff of the Cuban presidency this week amounts to less than meets the eye even if his handpicked successor, the Communist Party functionary Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, is the first person not named Castro to le...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission did a lot of things wrong this week by combining unrelated or unpalatable provisions into single amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It also wasted an opportunity to do one thing right. The...
Published: 04/20/18
Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

The Hillsborough school district planted a fruitful seed with the opening of Nature’s Classroom five decades ago on the cypress-lined banks of the Hillsborough River northeast of Tampa. • The lessons taught there to some 17,000 sixth graders each yea...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: Equality pays off on Southwest Flight 1380

The passengers of Southwest Flight 1380 can be thankful that, 33 years ago, the U.S. Navy took the lead on equal opportunity.Capt. Tammie Jo Shults was piloting the flight from New York to Dallas on Tuesday when an engine exploded, blowing out a wind...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Anyone looking to make Hillsborough County government bigger, costlier, more dysfunctional and less of a regional force should love the idea that Commissioner Sandy Murman rolled out this week. She proposes enlarging the seven-member board to nine, e...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

A new foster care provider in Hillsborough County is poised to take over operations in May, only months after its predecessor was fired for what was alleged to be a pattern of failing to supervise at-risk children in its care. Many of the case manage...
Published: 04/18/18

Another voice: Back to postal reform

President Donald Trump is angry at Amazon for, in his tweeted words, "costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy." Yet in more recent days, Trump has at least channeled his feelings in what could prove...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18