The St. Pete City Council will hear from the public today on whether or not they should approve spending $5.4 million to continue the path toward the razing and ultimate reconstruction of a new Pier with a design called The Lens. The discussion and vote come a day after a judge ruled that the city must sit down with the advocates from VoteOnThePier.com — the first group that tried to stop the push for a new Pier — and allow the citizenry a chance to vote on whether they wanted to go that route.
There is also a campaign going on with another group — StopTheLens.com, which consists of some of the same players— that's on its way to getting the signatures required to have the public decide whether they want to go ahead with The Lens concept.
Will the Council approve the spending with all of this noise in the background? There are certain council members who don't have any issues at all and will probably go forward. Others have made it clear that they're not good with what's happening right now. Should be a fun time down on Fifth Street North today.
There was some drama in Tampa yesterday as the issue of whether or not to approve $8.25 million in road improvements to pave the way for retailing giant Bass Pro Shops to build a new store in the Brandon area. As has been noted by all print outlets this morning, Hillsborough County Commissioner chair Ken Hagan gave an impassioned presentation to his board members, the same board members who voted him chairman once again last month.
But the deal has alienated local small business owners — the same type of small business owners that the GOP said they're fighting for every day. So naturally, the commissioners delayed the vote for two months, though it's not certain what will change about the deal at that point.
And there are committee meetings taking place in Tallahassee. To note the occasion, Florida Democrats are sending school children to hand out pop quizzes to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle about the GOP-led Legislature's reduction in education funding over the years.