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Published Apr. 30, 2013

There has been enough noise from both sides on the Pier debate among Sunshine City residents to drown out a heavy metal band.

Now comes word that the County Commission wants a piece of the action.

Why jump in now? It would seem that this panel has enough on its plate - including the budget, light rail and term limits.

This is the same group that became a national laughingstock before being forced to do an about-face on the fluoride issue.

It's understandable that some members are city residents and have a vested interest in the outcome. There are bigger issues out there. You want to talk about keeping the Tampa Bay Rays in Pinellas County? I'm all ears.

Last summer, commissioners couldn't even agree on a vote banning convenience stores from selling synthetic drugs. But months later, they want to weigh in on an issue that's far more complex. Perhaps they just want to be on a winning team for a change.

More than half of the panel have exceeded their stay on the commission. It would seem far more appropriate that this bunch work on solving that issue than usurping the authority of elected city leaders.

It just seems ironic that a commission with four members who basically ignored county voters' decision on term limits (according to the state court), are now saddling up with city residents who are collecting petitions calling for a public vote on the Pier issue.

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This week the city will host a reverse trade show that targets small business owners and operators who are interested in becoming a city vendor. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Coliseum at 535 Fourth Ave. N.

The event allows small businesses to learn what products and services the city uses, meet with city departments, and register as a city supplier.

Officials from 20 city departments will be on hand to help business owners determine if a match exists between the city and their product or service. Participants will learn about city bid opportunities and available contracts and can register as a city vendor.

Representatives from the Business Assistance Center will also be on hand to help businesses with the necessary step in becoming certified.Foll

For information, visit

Sandra J. Gadsden can be reached at or (727) 893-8874. Follow @StPeteSandi on Twitter.