Mitch Perry Report 10.23.14 - Will PSTA's unforced errors doom Greenlight?

The PSTA board continues to stand firmly behind CEO Brad Miller, believing that there's not much "there, there" to the most recent report by Mike Deeson on WTSP-Channel 10  that aired last Friday night. That story focused on emails that Miller and the PSTA staff sent to the Dept. of Homeland Security regarding a public awareness campaign that was supposed to be about promoting safety, but actually (or in addition) ended up being subtle ads for Greenlight Pinellas. The board is allowed to provide education about the transit tax initiative, but not advocate for the measure. 

The newly published emails brought to light are nothing if not embarrassing, and Congressman David Jolly (a Greenlight critic) actually called them "shocking." It goes back to the $354,000 in DHS funding that PSTA was forced to return because ads that were supposed to focus on security but featured a Greenlight logo at the end of them.

At yesterday's PSTA meeting, however, the only outrage being expressed was by the usual assortment of  activists and regular folks who loathe Greenlight Pinellas. Frankly, their concerns just aren't taken that seriously by PSTA board members, who feel that they've got an agenda (they do: they don't want the transit tax swap measure to pass). 

Would the board be feeling more of the heat if some of the critics who came out to denounce Miller at their meetings were considered more mainstream? 

It's easy to dismiss the critics as "haters" who simply are anti-public transit. But the fact is, if Greenlight loses narrowly, there will be lots of Monday morning (or Wednesday morning, in this case) quarterbacking about how much PSTA"s sloppiness has hurt the bigger cause.

If the measure loses by more than a few percentage points, it's a moot issue. And it's totally a dead issue if Greenlight passes, except to the critics, whom Miller will never be able to mollify. 

Meanwhile, Yes on Greenlight, the private political action committee dedicated to pushing for the measure, is going all out with just 12 days left to go in the campaign. That includes a television ad featuring former Republican County Commissioner Sallie Parks, who represented the more conservative north part of Pinellas County for 8 years.

In other news...

Bob Buckhorn doesn't support medical marijuana. The husband of a physician, the Tampa Mayor says he knows there are other, legal substances that people can take to relieve their pain. 

And did you know that strokes are the fourth leading killer of people in the U.S.? There's a whole I learned about strokes in anticipation of World Stroke Day, which will be recognized with an event in Tampa next Wednesday. 

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