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COMMUNITY IS MORE THAN BASEBALL

Downtown St. Petersburg's revival isn't due to Rays - June 27, Sandra Gadsden column

Thank you for this article. Sandra Gadsden said what a lot of people are saying. I loved the headline. It was good to see someone mention the fact that the Rays, only 21/2years ago, wanted a downtown waterfront stadium and now the area is not viable.

I, too, hope the team stays, but I am not willing to pay for a new building for a for-profit venture.

My husband and I are in the real estate business and own a small office near downtown St. Petersburg. My building could use a coat of paint this year or next. If I can't ask the residents of the city to paint it for me, why should the Rays expect us to build them a stadium?

One more thing: As a Realtor I am a huge advocate for the Pinellas County area in particular and the Tampa Bay area in general. When I run down the list of why I love living here and why I believe my clients will love living here, professional sports are just one item on the list. There are dozens of cities in the county all offering a unique style of living and entertainment. There are beaches, shopping, restaurants, community theater, music, libraries, street fairs, parks, amateur sports like softball leagues, golf, tennis, the Pinellas Trail, biking and running clubs, museums, book clubs, writing organizations, garden clubs, bowling, and on and on. I tell people whatever they are interested in doing there is a group of people doing it here. The people who buy here as permanent residents or snowbirds appreciate all the communities have to offer, and the sports teams are just one of the attractions.

Thank you again for speaking up for all of us regular guys.

Sheila McNaughton, St. Petersburg

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School Board feels left out, story - July 2, story

Board should let Janssen do her job

I was encouraged by the recent headline indicating that the Pinellas County School Board felt "left out" of decisions made by superintendent Julie Janssen.

It seems that Janssen, charged by the board to reduce spending by $26 million, has struggled to meet that policy decision in a timely manner.

It appears that the board now wants to get involved in operational decisions that are the responsibility of the superintendent.

There will be no educational reform in Florida as long as school boards, particularly those whose members are paid, given offices and engage in constant meddling in operational detail, feel "left out" when their chief school officer makes decisions that impact operations.

No professional school administrator would want to take a job that comes with a meddling, egocentric board of education.

John Mason, Clearwater

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Letters for publication should be addressed to Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. They can be sent by fax to (727) 893-8675 or through our website at sptimes.com/letters. They should be brief and must include the writer's name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

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