1. Opinion

It’s divisive to turn St. Petersburg’s elections partisan

Here’s what readers had to say in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.
City Council Member Ed Montanari with a campaign flyer attacking him from the Florida Democratic Party [SCOTT KEELER; MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Oct. 14
Updated Oct. 14

City elections are nonpartisan

St. Pete elections aren’t about Trump | Editorial, Oct. 2

I am no longer registered with a political party. After growing discouraged with both parties, a decade ago I registered as “no party affiliation.” I am a seven decade resident of St. Petersburg and a product of its schools. For much of my life our City Council was typified by volunteers who served simply because they loved our city. It has been harder to recruit those people more recently, probably for understandable reasons. Thankfully, a majority of our current City Council has returned to the spirit of what I call “noble volunteers,” whose interest is solely providing exceptional leadership. Most have no ulterior plan. They show respect for each other and remain nonpartisan.

How sad it is then, when a state political party inserts its nose into our community. Both parties have been guilty. In this election the Florida Democratic Party is egregiously making the race partisan, circulating material that is blatantly partisan, negative and willfully misleading. The case in point is its attack on Ed Montanari. He is one of my many council friends, regardless of party. This council honors that nonpartisan goal. His Democratic council members support his re-election — extraordinary in today’s world of divisive politics.

The final straw for me is their flier sporting a laughably crude photo of Montanari wearing a gigantic, digitally altered “Make America Great Again” hat, trying to paint him as a Trump supporter. This has no place in our local politics. Councilman Montanari has volunteered hundreds, perhaps thousands, of hours for our city. His centrist efforts represent the best of citizen involvement. We expect our political parties to show respect to anyone running for local office, regardless of party. This behavior serves only to divide, and will drive more citizen volunteers away from serving just as we need them more. Their disrespect hurts us all.

Bud Risser, St. Petersburg

Why we quit Facebook

A Senate committee confirms: Russia did it | Oct. 14

We deleted our Facebook account today. We’ve decided that social media does more harm than good because many people using it cannot moderate themselves, and the platforms seem unable or unwilling to police themselves. We abandoned Twitter, too. It is just an endless sewer pipe of hate now that feeds a dark and self-destructive urge. We’ve had enough of hate and fear and refuse more exposure. Turn off the spigots of hate that you allow into your life. America will never be great again until we grow up and at least try to treat each and every one of us with respect, compassion and common sense.

David Rettig, St. Petersburg

2016 hopes vs. 2019 reality

Trump was wrong this time | Letter, Oct. 14

President Donald Trump [MANUEL BALCE CENETA | AP]

Congratulations to the supporter of President Donald Trump whose letter recognizes Trump’s big mistake with okaying the massacre of our allies, the Kurds. I pray this recognition may open the door for Trump’s supporters to acknowledge his many other egregious mistakes. There is no shame in imagining in 2016 that he was the best candidate and voting for him. But to continue to support him in 2019 requires either a huge compromise of one’s own integrity or incredible mental contortions to rationalize his multiple moral, political and leadership mistakes. Why do that to yourself?

George Meyers, St. Pete Beach


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