Foster stays away from politics in naming lobbyist | April 18
Mayor already has a lobbyist: himself
So St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster apparently thinks that a "city lobbyist" is more important than a couple of rangers at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. Chances are, the new lobbyist, Todd Yost, will be guaranteed an equivalent salary of more than $80,000 and will have a big taxpayer-funded expense account that will push this cost to above $100,000.
Isn't the mayor a lobbyist for the city? While he's going around kissing babies, shaking potential voters' hands, and posing for all those pictures with that big political grin, shouldn't he be putting aside these nonessential events and lobbying for us?
Why doesn't he ask the people of St. Petersburg who they think is more important to our city? He would be surprised at the answer, as most will probably see this lobbyist position as government pork and unnecessary.
Maintaining a nature preserve to its fullest capacity is vital as it helps us escape the urban woes that are with us now and will probably be with us for a long time, based on what we're seeing from Mayor Foster so far.
Jeannie Cline, St. Petersburg
It's time for equal pay, once and for all | April 21, Diane Steinle column
Commissioners' act insults women
First of all, I would like to thank Diane Steinle for this wonderful column. Steinle reminded all of us how long women have worked to obtain equal pay with men. It has taken us 40 years to reach 77 cents for every dollar for the man.
The first bill signed by President Barack Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in January 2009. Now, we need to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. The House has already passed it, but for some reason, the Senate is dragging its feet.
An intelligent person, an educated person would have to agree that equal pay for equal work is a given. Yet I watched as two elected Pinellas County officials refused to sign the Proclamation for Equal Pay Day. It was signed by the other five members of the County Commission because they believe in equal pay. Commissioners Neil Brickfield and Nancy Bostock have been elected by the citizens of Pinellas County and should believe in equality for all. Yet they refused to sign the proclamation. What a slap in the face of every woman in Pinellas County to have this done to them.
Women in Pinellas County need to remember this at election time.
Margaret Hyde, Clearwater
Appreciation for a simple 'thank you'
I want to thank the woman that I helped Wednesday. I went to the Walmart in south St. Petersburg and found her wallet in a cart in the parking lot. I did the right thing and turned it in (untouched) to the customer service people in the store. They, in turn, got in touch with her and told her where it was. I'm glad that I was the one that found it, and she got all her property back, without having to worry if she'll have to worry about anything.
But when I got home from shopping, she was waiting at my house to thank me. And I do appreciate that. Not that I think I did anything outstanding; I only did the right thing. But that she went out of her way to say thanks says that maybe we don't ignore each other as much as we think we do.
Cathi Lewis, St. Petersburg