"Opponent wants Waters to quit council"
I was disappointed in Anne Lindberg's article in that she did not do the research necessary to properly finish her story on Leslie Waters' retention of some $31,000 in campaign funds from her failed Florida Senate campaign. By law, she cannot retain those funds and must dispose of them according to very specific Florida guidelines (Florida Statute 106.141). Her campaign treasurer must file reports detailing all income and expenditures for the failed campaign and explain in detail when, how and to whom the funds were disbursed in closing out the campaign account. If her donors want Ms. Waters to use previously donated funds to run for a seat on the Seminole City Commission, they must deposit the refund from Ms. Waters and write a new check that identifies the campaign she is to use the funds for. Frankly, however, it is hard to imagine why a municipal campaign would require $31,000!
Mary Louise Ambrose, Belleair Bluffs
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Mayor to meet with Rays owner
Step up to the plate
I'd like to express my appreciation to the St. Petersburg City Council for putting pressure on Mayor Foster to finally meet with Stuart Sternberg, the principal owner of the Rays.
Foster said he has a detailed plan for a new Rays stadium that is still secret. This political ploy reminds me of presidential candidate Richard Nixon, who in 1968, said he had a secret plan to end the Vietnam War.
Well, the plan was so secret that President Nixon didn't even know what it was as the war lasted three more years.
It's time for Mayor Foster to show the same leadership that former Mayor Baker showed. If he does not, Mayor Foster will be forever known as "The Mayor who lost MLB."
Frank Lupo, St. Petersburg
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New designs for Pier
Build stadium at Pier
I don't think any of the designs meet the criteria of the demographic for the area. They don't take into account BayWalk ,the historic hotels ,the existing business or the Rays stadium issue. There is no business model that warrants the amount of money it will cost and no way to pay for it.
The people of Pinellas County paid and continue to pay the millions it costs to get baseball here and it's going to cost more to keep it here.
I've got a great idea; build a stadium in its place and keep the Rays here for another 50 years. It's not as crazy as you might think. Any plan calls for a total demolition of the existing structure. How cool would it be to tailgate downtown. The walk-up traffic to the local businesses would triple. Build a tram system on Central to help with parking and you'll have it all!
A stadium, a train, a pier and most of all, a plan.
Hal Batey, St. Petersburg
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Add casino for money
The three designs for the new Pier are so horrible. One is worse than the other. I can't believe the money the city spent on obtaining these designs. The mayor has the wrong goals for the direction for our city. It's not a friendly or welcoming city anymore. I have lived here since 1956, so I'm well aware of the many changes. We have a wonderful history of baseball and yet we are in great danger of losing our team. As for BayWalk, the shops that were in there were too pricey for the average citizen, so I'm sure that was part of the problem. I never go downtown; safety is an issue for me. Why would the city okay bars to stay open later and then complain about having no budget to pay for police to maintain control? I think a casino downtown would bring money and people. If you build it, they will come.
Barbara J. Martin, St. Petersburg
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Now Lens is under microscope - story, Jan. 21
Curran not objective
Thanks to the article about the selected proposal for the St. Petersburg Pier, we now know who are doing their jobs on the City Council as representatives of St. Pete citizens.
It is encouraging that representatives Karl Nurse, Bill Dudley and Wengay Newton are asking tough questions about this very important issue. Council member Jim Kennedy informed us earlier that the City Council is under no obligation to approve of any of the proposals.
Informing us citizens of the protocol and our rights is a main obligation of being City Council chairperson. Why, then, is chairwoman Leslie Curran not telling us this? Why is she being so defensive, with council member Jeff Danner on her side?
There is a true backlash and concern among many, if not most, St. Petersburg residents with the Lens concept. It is the duty of our elected officials to reflect the wishes of the community that put them into office.
Curran is not expressing any objectivity on this matter and seems uninterested in the present opinions that have come about after the process that occurred in the past. She is integrally tied into this pier proposal due to her role in the past. She should be recused from her vote on this matter.
Jeannie Cline, St. Petersburg
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St. Pete City Council volunteers to help baseball
Public being ignored
The fact that the City Council of St. Petersburg was/is willing to be "ambassadors" is a step in the right direction. The fact that Mayor Foster and Mr. Sternberg do not seem to be willing to listen to each other is a step in the wrong direction.
Both sides do not seem to be giving out the appearance of willingness. Willingness to listen, to compromise, to consider and to act. Mayor Foster has a civic responsibility to his constituents, a responsibility that hopefully includes the willingness to listen to them. Mr. Sternberg has an economic responsibility to make money. Part of this includes what is good and viable for the team.
Presently, the needs and wants of the public seem to be disregarded and ignored. The public is saying that they are glad the Tampa Bay Rays are here; it is "bragging rights" to many. Yes, attendance is a problem. To this I challenge the marketing people to come up with a plan, a plan that actually shows a smidgen of appreciation for the public. I also challenge Mayor Foster to listen to the needs and desires of the team and the public.
Mr. Sternberg has said that Tropicana Field is outdated and not usable. Did he not know that when he purchased the team? Did Mr. Sternberg have another agenda up his sleeve? I encourage both parties involved in the ongoing discussions to actually listen and act accordingly. It seems that both parties are acting like bullies on the playground. Neither one is willing to do anything except what they want to do. Again, I challenge them to listen. When one listens, one allows other ideas and opinions to be heard, perhaps something can be learned by the act of listening.
Mark L. Grantham, Gulfport