Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mitch Perry Report 2.6.13 - Tampa Bay media establishment rallies behind Gerdes proposal on Rays

Posted By on Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 8:00 AM

The editorial pages of both the Tampa Bay Times and the Tampa Tribune are rallying behind St. Petersburg City Councilman Charlie Gerdes out of the box proposal this morning. Gerdes idea is to have the Tampa Bay Rays pay a fee to the city of St. Pete in exchange for being allowed to speak to politicians, developers and anyone else who might be able to help construct a new ballpark in Tampa, which is where owner Stu Sternberg lusts to relocate.

Actually, there's nothing radical about Gerdes proposal, other than that he is the first St. Pete public official to introduce it. There is, however, considerable doubt about whether he can persuade his colleagues on the council to go along with it. Already Wengay Newton and Steve Kornell have expressed doubts about it, and though Bill Foster is reserving comment until Thursday's council meeting, it would be stunning if he says he's cool with it.

But Foster doesn't have a vote - the council does. And the status quo, which has been to do nothing, slowly, isn't accomplishing anything, other than alienating Sternberg and crew.

Of course it would help if more fans would fill the seats at Tropicana Field. Whose fault is that? That's not on the politicians (or really the Rays). That's on the general public to show they actually care enough to support this team. Because where is it written that a new park in Tampa will unleash the floodgates of fans who think the Howard Frankland is a bridge too far?

Meanwhile, CL traveled to Tampa International Airport yesterday, where we saw a new form of screening passengers that allegedly will allow some of us who fly to avoid having to strip down and stress out at the security lines.

Are congressional Republicans now okay with the sequester that would cut hundreds of billions of dollars out of both defense and social spending programs? And what does Pinellas Bill Young really think of that?

And we've got stories about the aftermath of the Hillsborough County Commission's rejection of a domestic partner registry coming to this space in the next couple of days. On Monday Ybor City businessman and activist Carrie West and his longtime companion Mark Bias paid their $35 to obtain a registry offered by Tampa.

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