Re: Search for new St. Petersburg police chief
Schools, police should unify
Enough! I just watched the second episode of Chicagoland on CNN. In the most crime-ridden areas of Chicago, the police rank and staff work with community leaders, including school principals, to reduce violence and make for an environment that is safe for children to attend local schools. In a union-prone town, they decided to all work together.
Why can't St. Petersburg do the same? Police chiefs and school superintendents have to work hand in hand. Police rank and staff need to be included in school activities, inside and outside the campus. Police, attend prom night, even in high crime neighborhoods! Make the passage of life as high school student and graduation a normal part of life. School personnel, clue police in on at-risk students! You have to take part in the community, too.
Maybe the search for a new police chief should not be bogged down by black versus white personnel and union indignations. Maybe St. Petersburg needs a new police chief from a big city that is willing to overlook these slights. Make it about a better city.
Julie Watts, St. Petersburg
Re: The folly of calling Jolly's win a mandate, Daniel Ruth column, March 16
He won, period
Mr. Ruth's downplaying of the David Jolly victory sounds like sour grapes to me. Alex Sink has sunk and Jolly is the choice made by the voters, no matter the math.
The Affordable Care Act, once proudly known as Obamacare, has been amended, by executive privilege, so often that it no longer resembles what Nancy Pelosi once wanted Congress to pass so that we could find out what was in it. The president has, with his trusty pen, provided so many loopholes that the individual mandate is no longer in effect.
Incumbent Democrats are shying away from their leader because of his doomed master plan. I am waiting for the other shoe to fall, the one that will provide a bailout for the insurance companies at taxpayer costs.
Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole
Adds up to mandate
Daniel Ruth's candidate, Alex Sink, was supposed to win. Ruth forgets to mention the Libertarian candidate, Lucas Overby, who received almost 9,000 votes. He was in the race to draw off Republican votes. The Democrats wanted to ensure that their candidate won. Add the two vote totals together and we have a mandate. The liberals will try their best spin to convince the voters Jolly had no mandate, but facts don't lie. This writer is firmly convinced that the Democrats persuaded the Libertarian candidate to run, possibly financing some or all of his campaign.
Robert Noonan, Clearwater
It is important to note that David Jolly's margin (approximately 3,500 votes) is less than the number of voters who were gerrymandered out of District 13 during the 2012 redistricting, which continued the Republicans' practice — despite our constitutional amendment — of gouging chunks out of progressive parts of Pinellas and tacking them on to Tampa's District 14, across the bay. Each election in decades, including this one, has seen the winner represent less and less of Pinellas County.
Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg
Re: New St. Petersburg pier
This is not hard. This is even better than a no-brainer. You don't need a study group, a lot of surveys, or a panel of expensive consultants. This is just common sense. What do you need to draw people to a destination like the pier? Three drivers: A view, food and drink, and entertainment. And shopping, you say? Nah, that's wasted space. You can do that on the mainland.
Let's take them one at a time. To get a good view you need something at least three or four stories tall. You can then see the beauty of the bay, watch the planes from Albert Whitted, etc. In order to provide good food and drink you need a variety, not just two or three restaurants. Entertainment must be varied and constant — a variety of live music, kids stuff and so on. If one of the three drivers is missing, the result will be failure.
Even if you satisfy the three main drivers to attract the people, the destination will fail if there is not easy access and parking for autos and docking for boats.
The local population will be a significant part of keeping the destination afloat. It must be a place that locals will want to visit many times, not just once in a while or when they have friends visit from out of state.
The pier venue must be self-sustaining. Let's not make the same mistakes again.
Mike Sagese, St. Petersburg