Mitch Perry Report 5.15.13 -Decision time (again) for St. Pete City Council

On May 2, the local media pumped up big-time the St. Petersburg City Council's decision on whether or not to fund an additional $1.5 million on the next design phase of the Lens. The vote took place with the threat of a referendum cancelling the project very much in the air.

The Council voted 5-3 to postpone that decision for two more weeks, in part, they said as a collective voice, because they didn't receive a 400-plus page report was released from city staff and the Michael Maltzan Architecture team until just a few business days before, and needed more time to absorb the new material.

But really, what they were hoping for is what's scheduled to take place today, where Leaders of Concerned Citizens are expected to deliver approximately 20,000 signatures to the city's clerk office. If verified next month, the issue would go on the same ballot as the primary election for mayor and city council.

Will Leslie Curran and her other colleagues who staunchly believe in the Lens stop and agree to defer spending the money now? Or does she and others move right along? Expect another long and winding debate tomorrow afternoon. But really - council members have their opinions set, and they should vote up or down and live with that vote as this summer becomes even more about the future of the St. Pete Pier.

We were over in St. Pete yesterday to hear from nearly every member of the Pinellas delegation of the Legislature talk about the just completed session. Republicans fell over themselves to describe how collegial and fair the process was this time around. Not surprisingly, the Democrats on the dais disagreed.

Florida Republicans will be using every tool in their arsenal to win next year's gubernatorial election and cabinet officer elections, as well as increase their majority in the Legislature. And to add a little boost, they also intend on convincing Floridians to vote GOP in House races next year, for fear of a Nancy Pelosi-led House of Representatives.

And religious leaders held a town hall meeting in Tampa Monday night to address concerns about sequestration and other budget cuts on a state and local level.

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