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ASK THE CANDIDATES

The Times is asking the mayoral candidates questions before the March 25 election.

QUESTION: Both of you supported the City Council's vote to commit another $3.9-million to keep the Florida International Museum afloat. How closely involved should the city be in the museum's day-to-day operations from now on?

MAYOR DAVID FISCHER: The city's current involvement with the Florida International Museum will involve close scrutiny of the organization's operations. The city will be monitoring the activities to stay abreast with the cash flows and various programs. The museum has been a major asset to our community, and it is hoped that the new structural formation will allow it to proceed and match the success of the first exhibition, the "Treasures of the Czars."

BILL KLEIN: Fischer as a museum board member didn't see the financial crisis coming? When told of the crisis (at a museum board meeting) in September, he deliberately withheld that information from the City Council and the public for three months. The City Charter requires the mayor to keep the council informed. His delay lost valuable time to seek a better solution. So Fischer sent to council a "take it or leave it" plan. Failure of Fischer's leadership and fiduciary responsibility has caused these problems. Be assured Bill Klein will be actively involved in day-to-day operations of every partnership the taxpayers are backing.

_ Have a question to ask the candidates? Mail to St. Petersburg Times c/o Adam Smith, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Or send e-mail to asmithsptimes.com or fax 893-8675.

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