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Jack Sprat July 8, 2014 at 01:21 pm
Mr. Urgo - I am sure you could be an interesting blogger. Hopefully someday we will see someRead More independent thoughts from you rather than your parroting the Greenlight puff pieces........................ Here's the bottom line in the one on the St. Pete city website you cite:.............. "All of these services - based on median home value and median income – will cost the average St. Petersburg homeowner an additional $1.39 a month."................... Think about that - only $1.39 a month = $148 million per year plus $1.2 billion from state and federal grants and more grants are expected every year, just as PSTA currently receives to support the bankrupt bus system. Of course the state and federal money grows on trees so it is free........................... They also don't mention that wealthy homeowners (the 50% above the median) will actually pay less tax and non-homeowners will pay almost all of the $100 million increase................ All for a $2.5 BILLION train (90%) and $300 million (10%) bus expansion.................... Did you read the recent article in the Tampa Bay Times about the non-existent downtown Clearwater? Can you tell us why we taxpayers should fund a $2.5 BILLION train to a non-downtown? ...............http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/does-clearwater-still-need-a-downtown/2187338........................................... By the way, what if Greenlight passes and the $1.2 BILLION in state and federal grants that PSTA is assuming are not approved?...........How will Pinellas taxpayers make up for the potential $1.2 BILLION shortfall?
Jack Sprat July 8, 2014 at 01:22 pm
Mr. Urgo - I am sure you could be an interesting blogger. Hopefully someday we will see someRead More independent thoughts from you rather than your parroting the Greenlight puff pieces........................ Here's the bottom line in the one on the St. Pete city website you cite:.............. "All of these services - based on median home value and median income – will cost the average St. Petersburg homeowner an additional $1.39 a month."................... Think about that - only $1.39 a month = $148 million per year plus $1.2 billion from state and federal grants and more grants are expected every year, just as PSTA currently receives to support the bankrupt bus system. Of course the state and federal money grows on trees so it is free........................... They also don't mention that wealthy homeowners (the 50% above the median) will actually pay less tax and non-homeowners will pay almost all of the $100 million increase................ All for a $2.5 BILLION train (90%) and $300 million (10%) bus expansion.................... Did you read the recent article in the Tampa Bay Times about the non-existent downtown Clearwater? Can you tell us why we taxpayers should fund a $2.5 BILLION train to a non-downtown?.......http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/does-clearwater-still-need-a-downtown/2187338...................... By the way, what if Greenlight passes and the $1.2 BILLION in state and federal grants that PSTA is assuming are not approved?...........How will Pinellas taxpayers make up for the potential $1.2 BILLION shortfall?
Jack Sprat July 8, 2014 at 01:23 pm
Mr. Urgo - I am sure you could be an interesting blogger. Hopefully someday we will see someRead More independent thoughts from you rather than your parroting the Greenlight puff pieces........................ Here's the bottom line in the one on the St. Pete city website you cite:.............. "All of these services - based on median home value and median income – will cost the average St. Petersburg homeowner an additional $1.39 a month."................... Think about that - only $1.39 a month = $148 million per year plus $1.2 billion from state and federal grants and more grants are expected every year, just as PSTA currently receives to support the bankrupt bus system. Of course the state and federal money grows on trees so it is free........................... They also don't mention that wealthy homeowners (the 50% above the median) will actually pay less tax and non-homeowners will pay almost all of the $100 million increase................ All for a $2.5 BILLION train (90%) and $300 million (10%) bus expansion.................... Did you read the recent article in the Tampa Bay Times about the non-existent downtown Clearwater? Can you tell us why we taxpayers should fund a $2.5 BILLION train to a non downtown? .......http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/does-clearwater-still-need-a-downtown/2187338...................... By the way, what if Greenlight passes and the $1.2 BILLION in state and federal grants that PSTA is assuming are not approved?...........How will Pinellas taxpayers make up for the potential $1.2 BILLION shortfall?
Jack Sprat July 7, 2014 at 10:36 am
Mr. Finegold, here is one more: This is an important link on the Greenlight website:Read More http://www.psta.net/PDF/Greenlight%20Pinellas%20Preliminary%20Financial%20Feasibility%20Analysis.pdf Not one PSTA official, representative or Greenlight supporter has answered one simple question: .............. What if Greenlight passes and the (assumed) state and federal grants are not funded? .................... Will the BOCC raise the sales tax another 1% to fund the shortfall? Re-institute the property tax? Borrow another $1.2 BILLION? (they can't without raising taxes).................. This "what if" is a very real possibility: the federal debt is already $18 TRILLION and borrowing more to fund a train in Pinellas County may well not be a high priority in 2020. Greenlight will bring higher taxes, traffic disruption and little "transportation relief" with their $2.5 BILLION train they project will serve 9,000 riders/weekday in 2035, TEN YEARS after completion. We need a bus system that works for everyone all over the county, not a train scheme that transfers more of our tax money to corporations.
arthur finegold July 9, 2014 at 08:21 am
Looks like your concern about the property tax is unfounded. I am sure there are all types ofRead More doomsday scenarios that could be applied to any major project. If we gave in to all the multitude of 'what ifs', there were never be any progress. Pinellas needs mass transit for the near future and beyond. This is the best plan out there.http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-greenlight-agreement-puts-double-taxation-issue-to-rest/2187512
Jack Sprat July 10, 2014 at 12:37 pm
My concerns are about the sales tax - the $148 million/year taken out of our economy as a sales taxRead More to pay for a train that will serve 9,000 riders in 2035. .................. My concerns are about an assumption that the fed and state govt will come through with $1.2 BILLION in additional funding - if those finds are not forthcoming, we taxpayers will be responsible for the shortfall. ........ My concerns are for those 99% of the population that will not benefit from a slow train from St. Petersburg to Clearwater - the "city with no downtown." ......... I doubt the Scientologists have any great interest in a train to Gateway or St. Pete. ..... My concerns are for those who think that Greenlight is a free lunch and will solve all of our problems with more debt, more construction, trains on our streets, spiderwebs of wires over our roads. ...... My concerns are about the 41 traffic crossings where the train will have the right-of- way and stop traffic how many times a day? ........ Can you imagine 30 or more trains a day each way stopping cars 41 times? ....... That is 2,500 clogged intersections at a minimum, every day. ........ For 9,000 riders. ....... Is that what you really believe in, Mr. Finegold? Really?..... Tell us the truth, not the Greenlight sales pitch.
Johann July 6, 2014 at 10:57 am
And to be clear, I am ALL FOR reforming PSTA and getting rid of the ineffective hub & spoke busRead More routing currently employed especially at Williams Park. Expand a grid-layout bus system with appropriate-sized busses for the expected ridership on each route. That doesn't cost 130 million a year.
Jack Sprat July 6, 2014 at 11:08 am
Yes, we need buses, many more buses.....but there is no evidence that we need a train from St. PeteRead More to Clearwater. The population of Pinellas County is projected to be the same in 2040 as it is today according to Univ of FL research:..................... http://www.youredc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Population-projections-FPS-162-Revised.pdf........................ PSTA has been spending more money every year for 30 years and today less than 2% of Pinellas population is riding their buses. Is something wrong with this picture? They cannot provide an effective bus service and they want us to trust them with $2.5 BILLION to build a train we don’t need?.................... Let's look at the real facts:......................... 1. Greenlight is a $2.8 BILLION plan that requires a massive tax on the people of Pinellas County. The local tax revenue to PSTA will jump from $34 million/year (property tax) to $148 million/year (sales tax) if Greenlight is approved. Supporters all want a piece of that $2.8 BILLION money grab from taxpayers, they don't really care about anything else......................... 2. The light rail/streetcar from St. Pete to Clearwater will cost $2.5 BILLION (90%) and is expected to have 9,000 daily riders in 2035, ten years after completion, less than 1% of the projected population.......................... 3. $300 million (10%) will be used to improve bus service by 65%. The current bus system serves about 20,000 riders daily. A 65% expansion should add about 13,000 riders. For $300 million................................... 4. PSTA is BLACKMAILING voters by threatening to cut bus service 30% if Greenlight does not pass. PSTA desperately wants to spend $2.5 BILLION for a streetcar that will add only 9,000 riders, TEN YEARS after completion. For $2.5 BILLION............. 5. PSTA assumes they will get $1.2 BILLION from state and federal grants (more tax dollars). If they do not get the grants (who knows what the conditions will be in 2018 and 2020?) then guess who pays the shortfall? That's right - Pinellas County residents................ 6. The increase of $114 million/year tax will be paid by those who DO NOT own property. Property owners will pay about the same sales tax as they are now paying as property tax.................... 7. Wealthy property owners with homes valued over $150,000will actually pay LESS tax and non-property owners will pay MORE tax (the increase of $114 million). Commissioner Susan Latvala explains that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ykd2vtjys8 (start at 6:45). ............................ 8. All the facts are here on the Greenlight site:.............. http://www.psta.net/PDF/Greenlight%20Pinellas%20Preliminary%20Financial%20Feasibility%20Analysis.pdf...................
Jack Sprat July 6, 2014 at 11:13 am
Greenlight is all about money – Friends Of Greenlight is an organization set up by GreenlightRead More supporters that is helping PSTA influence our vote. Here are the major contributors: NAT'L ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS $245,000 CHICAGO, IL...... DUKE ENERGY ................................ 50,000 ST. PETE........... RAYMOND JAMES FINANCIAL, INC….. 50,000 ST. PETE SYKES ENTERPRISES, INC………............50,000 TAMPA........ TAMPA BAY RAYS ............ 25,000 TAMPA........ BAYCARE HEALTH SYSTEM.............. 25,000 CLEARWATER......... PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF, INC...... 25,000 NEW YORK, NY.... TECO ENERGY....................................20,000 TAMPA.............. TAMPA BAY PARTNERSHIP ............. 12,575 TAMPA............. TAMPA BAY PARTNERSHIP................. 11,388 TAMPA........ PINELLAS REALTOR ORGANIZATION 10,000 CLEARWATER....... CARLTON FIELDS JORDEN BURT.... 10,000 TAMPA......... FLORIDA BLUE............................. 10,000 TAMPA.......... BLOOMIN' BRANDS INC................. 10,000 TAMPA........... This is a $2.8 BILLION deal and $2.5 BILLION (90%) is for the train. You really can follow the money - from our pockets to realtors, developers, contractors, investment bankers, even utilities like Duke and TECO (it's an electric train), then right back to the politicians in both counties and most cities in Pinellas.............. Yes, $300 million (10%) is planned for more buses, but the donors and politicians really don't care about buses. There's no real money in buses - they are just for selling the voters that something will happen before 2025................................ There is one huge problem: the $148 million/year sales tax is not enough to pay for the train. PSTA is assuming they will receive $1.2 BILLION (50% of the cost) from state and federal grants to build the train. This money is NOT guaranteed; the assumption is based on prior grants and there is NO assurance of future grants............ Not one PSTA official or representative has actually answered one simple question: .............. What if Greenlight passes and the (assumed) state and federal grants are not funded? .................... Will the BOCC raise the sales tax another 1% to fund the shortfall? Re-institute the property tax? Borrow another $1.2 BILLION? (they can't without raising taxes).................. This "what if" is a very real possibility: the federal debt is already $18 TRILLION and borrowing more to fund a train in Pinellas County may well not be a high priority in 2020. .................... Pinellas County could be faced with a $1.2 BILLION problem that would be very difficult to solve. That means us - but all those people in Chicago and Tampa aren't worried, it's OUR problem!
Bill H. June 16, 2014 at 09:10 am
Once again, I will warn people of the misdirection being done here. Greenlight Pinellas is not justRead More about more buses as they would lead you to believe. It is mostly about building a 2 billion dollar fixed track slow train that few will ride. Want to talk buses, fine. After we vote down this giant boondoggle that is this train building law that will greatly increase taxes and help few with a train, then we'll talk about a reasonable increase for buses.
Johann June 16, 2014 at 01:53 pm
It's interesting that the proposed train route does not serve the communities that would benefitRead More from it the most. If they truly are doing this to improve quality of life (instead of profiteering), the route would begin near MLK in Tarpon Springs and terminate near Maximo. Hence why north Pinellas residents are already polling overwhelming against GLP.
Stephen Urgo June 16, 2014 at 04:49 pm
Traffic along the proposed light rail route from St. Petersburg to Clearwater is very congested andRead More not getting better. Thousands of tourists and commuters travel between the two cities every day. A light rail service in North Carolina, of similar length and stations, is very successful with over 15,000 riders daily.
Johann May 9, 2014 at 11:43 pm
The 24mph street cars will take 1hr for actual 24 mile moving time + 4 minutes per stop x 16 stops =Read More 1hr 4min in stop time for a total of 2hrs, 4 minutes to take a train from St. Pete to Clearwater. Let's dump the train and create a real transit system with a fraction of the money.
Stephen Urgo May 10, 2014 at 10:32 am
The projected travel time by light rail from downtown St. Petersburg to downtown Clearwater is 57Read More minutes – and that includes stopping at the stations. Typically, light rail travels at the same speed limits of adjacent roadways, and a look at the map shows these roadways have higher speed limits than 24 mph. For more info about the Greenlight Pinellas plan, see the link I provided at end of article.
David Donald May 8, 2014 at 11:50 am
I'll also add, jack, that by your definition of success, our roads are the least successful of allRead More transit options.
Jack Sprat May 8, 2014 at 01:09 pm
Not when you consider that 100% of the population uses roads and/or benefits from their presenceRead More (delivery of goods, emergency/security vehicles, etc.)............... The challenge with "mass" transit is having a sufficient concentration of riders to justify the expense per user. Transit works very well in high population density areas: Hong Kong and Singapore have private transit companies that provide transit systems (rail, bus, trolley, mini-bus, etc.) at a lower cost per person than our public transit AND they make a profit............... Pinellas people are spread out evenly, mostly in single family homes. Pinellas jobs are spread out equally evenly to provide convenient access to the people.................. Ride sharing is the only efficient means of getting people from where they are to where they want to go - it may take a few years, but sooner or later we will figure out a way to make it work..................... We have an abundant "natural resource" that we are not yet using and it is not going away. It is called empty seats and all we need to do is use them..................... There is not an economically justifiable light rail system in the country - the cost is huge and goes up every year. None of the installed light rails have reduced traffic congestion, none have reduced pollution........ Yes, transit works for the lucky few that can use them conveniently, but that is typically less than 5% of the population except in those high population density cities like New York, Washington, Boston - where people either live in high rises or they all need to get to and from a high job density area about the same time............... We simply do not have those demographics. Our population is not growing - there is no room for growth. People will not move to Pinellas to live in a high rise condo by the tracks............. We already have a bus system with about 20,000 daily riders and the average fare is 91 cents. If we increase that service by 65%, that should give us in excess of 36,000 riders per day. For only $300 million which is 10% of the cost of Greenlight. Increase the average fare to $1.50 for those who do not qualify for assistance and it pays for itself................. A sales tax on everyone would be unfair - we do not need to give PSTA $2.5 BILLION for a train!
Jack Sprat May 8, 2014 at 01:18 pm
As for references, here's one you might like - from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (not aRead More think tank, a govt financial organization): -------- http://www.stlouisfed.org/publications/cb/articles/?id=863 ------------------ "The Cost of Providing Light-Rail Systems: Our research finds that light rail is cost-inefficient compared to using private automobiles. Additionally, the burden for most light-rail costs is placed on America's taxpayers-even those who don't ride light rail." ---------------------- Here's another from the same institution: ------ https://www.stlouisfed.org/publications/re/articles/?id=385 ----------------- "Conclusion: Proponents of light rail argue that it will create jobs, foster economic development and boost property values. While there is some academic evidence of these benefits, it is important to realize that they are not free to society-light rail is kept afloat by taxpayer-funded subsidies that amount to hundreds of millions of dollars each year. ---------------- Concentrated benefits and dispersed costs are one economic reason for the existence of inefficient public projects. The many who stand to lose will lose only a little, whereas the few who stand to gain will gain a lot. Of course, if other public projects exist where overall costs outweigh benefits, then $6 a year per project could add up to quite a hefty boondoggler's bill.
Republican David Jolly. Democrat Alex Sink. Libertarian Lucas Overby.
Charlie Holzler February 15, 2014 at 07:56 am
And carpetbagger Alex Sink will advocate for Pinellas County? Yea right, the only one she will beRead More advocating for is Nancy Pelosi ... don't we already have too many of these 'we have to pass the bill to see what is in it' in Congress?
Dharma February 15, 2014 at 12:52 pm
David Jolly is proving himself a well dressed cave man. Back to the Future is just a movie. ForwardRead More thinking leaders are desperately needed.
Dennis Raymond August 28, 2013 at 10:06 am
Thank to the editor or Robb De for removing the posts that Robb made using my name. Robb, the offerRead More still stands for a face to face conversation.
Dennis Raymond September 16, 2013 at 04:24 pm
My mouth is so bored right now. I could really use a penis right about now. I'm so hungry.
Dennis Raymond September 16, 2013 at 04:25 pm
My mouth is so bored. I could really use a penis right about now. I'm so hungry.
Stephen Urgo August 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm
Shelle, there will be a wheelchair accessible tram that will make stops at the Welcome Mat, theRead More Marina, and the Promontory at the end of pier. The Welcome Mat will have a large turnaround to drop off visitors. The entire new pier will be wheelchair accessible complying with latest ADA codes.
Weston Willingham August 23, 2013 at 06:22 pm
You fish where the fish are! They'll be every where! Build it!
Bill H. August 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm
Hmmmmm, want to fish? Go to the current pier. You can fish all day.
arthur finegold July 14, 2013 at 09:29 am
Bill, thanks for being open about your preference. I'm big on the lens but could live with aRead More refurbished pier. Not a great solution in my mind but I'd go there. But is it feasible? I believe it will cost more. More importantly, can it happen anytime soon? There are different camps in the opposition. If the contract is broken, then the opposition will fracture. here are some contigents. 1) Those who would refurbish. 2) environmentalists who would prefer no pier3) social activists who resent spending that isn't on our neighbors in need, 4) fiscal hawks who don't approve of public spending 5) entrepreneurial fans who want a developer to come in and build a over water out of place amusement park. 6) those who want to build something new that isn't the Lens. With all those competing agendas, I don't see how anything could happen for ages which means no pier. The Lens is a great solution and maybe our only chance to have a pier in the foreseeable future.
Johann August 21, 2013 at 10:54 pm
More re-hashed trash. Talk about a sore loser, Mr. Urgo is defining the term.
Dennis Raymond August 22, 2013 at 08:52 am
Thanks Stephen for your thoughtful and well researched blog. Your measured responses to theRead More uninformed, sometimes personal, comments posted here is admirable. Keep up the good work.
DRaymond September 16, 2013 at 07:11 pm
Dennis Raymond.
DRaymond September 16, 2013 at 07:22 pm
CJ. For the last time. I have not and would not post comments inciting violence or use the type ofRead More crude language that Robb De posted using my name. Just because I'm a homosexual doesn't mean I'll lay on my back and take it up my warm, soft, wet hole. I'm a citizen of St. Petersburg and I'll be damned if I crumble like a sweet donut when someone like Robb De puts me in my place. Yeah, he introduced me to new ideas, but there's no way I'm going to let someone make me think more rationally than I do on a daily basis. My sexuality should have nothing to do it. Yeah, I'm gay.....but I'm still strong and will stop at nothing to build a new pier. Because when you think about it, out of all world issues, the pier is #1.
DRaymond September 16, 2013 at 07:37 pm
Sorry, Kathy.
Dennis Raymond August 22, 2013 at 11:21 pm
Bill, The retraction about AC on the promontory was made because the restaurant owner decided thatRead More an open air restaurant made more sense. The option for AC is still open. Calling that a lie is ridiculous.
Rob August 22, 2013 at 11:33 pm
Dennis Raymond - Nope, the Times blew it! Air conditioning was never a part of the Lens until justRead More recently when the City said if the cafe owner wants to do it.If you remember, we only had a Gelato Stand then the residents raised cane. Now we have an outdoor cafe. If it wasnt for the residents balking, the city would have been satisfied with Maltzan's art research project! Dont forget, the Lens design added kickers because of the information found in the Lens computer simulation - so says the City.
Rob August 22, 2013 at 11:35 pm
Even still, air conditioning and moveable walls or misters are all a pipe dream until the city getsRead More a proposal. THen we can add that to the subsidy! The Times just blew it...
Stephen Urgo August 17, 2013 at 03:14 pm
Well said Hal. A stoppers win is everybody's loss.
Marc Shumaker December 5, 2013 at 05:42 pm
"St. Petersburg's wide sidewalks, downtown shops, and waterfront parks make it one of the mostRead More pedestrian friendly cities in the country." Actually, Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater is the second most dangerous metro area in the country for pedestrians. Right behind Orlando and just ahead of Jacksonville and Miami, according to Transportation for America.
Stephen Urgo December 5, 2013 at 08:14 pm
Ah well, I was speaking of sites, sounds, and access. And also just making a personal observationRead More – shared by others including making number five in this list: http://goflorida.about.com/od/attractions/tp/city_walktours.htm
Johann August 8, 2013 at 07:30 pm
Hal, I'm starting a "Save the Pier" petition, just for you. I will hire the same petitionRead More collecting company used in this drive. I'm even going to tell them to lie about everything, just as you claim that these collectors did. I'll have them tell you the renovation will be free, there will be free food, free beer, free parking, etc. Will you sign the petition when they approach you?? No? I didn't think so. Dumbest. Fake. Argument. Ever.
Dennis Raymond August 8, 2013 at 10:54 pm
Johann, Must you keep repeating yourself? How about a detailed proposal of what a new pier wouldRead More look like that would please everyone? Leave out the generalities and be specific, costs, design, construction timetable. Some architectural renderings of your plan would be needed too.
DeRusha August 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm
Dennis , The sad part about what You are asking Johann to produce is , Not even $4 million dollarsRead More invested into the undeniable mistake of a project that You support has accomplished what you just posted as a request. We do have a good majority of what your asking for in the Ken Kroger design. The only thing that is not there, is something "EVERYONE" can agree on.
CJ August 8, 2013 at 11:49 pm
It sounds like somebody got a room with McCracken, after the NO vote ''crack''. By now, few areRead More falling for that joke. I won't say ''Vote YES to Stop The Lens''...oh...I just did...because there are still 20 days or so until the vote. I like an honest vote....so I would instead encourage everyone to think this all over. I personally don't find it an easy decision. A person can read just about any pro or con on that exists on both sides of this issue right here in this thread by Steven. I am probably still leaning to where I started, though. I am not comfortable saying I am out to ''Stop The Lens''...I prefer to look at it as I am wanting to see what a YES vote can offer us instead. I like both The Lens and The Pier...what I don't like is The Lens being built at the cost of The Pier's demolition. I could be on board ''possibly'' with ''some'' other choice...but don't think I want it to be The Lens. I admit I could change my mind. Not because I hate The Pier, but I might decide I'd like to see this move forward. I would miss The Pier, but I also am sure I will enjoy The Lens if it is built. I believe that if you vote for a cause that loses, then it is better citizenship to then support the winning side. I have also tried that with Obama, and it is not going well with me.
Bill H. August 10, 2013 at 05:35 pm
Stephen, You may just be right about the food truck space. I don't really see it happening, butRead More there may be just enough space.
Stephen Urgo August 10, 2013 at 07:20 pm
Bill, I appreciate that.
Stephen Urgo June 23, 2013 at 08:29 pm
Shore Acres Rick, an old Navy guy, I love Navy ships and always interested in military museums. ARead More few years ago a group in Tampa was trying to get a decommissioned aircraft carrier (I forgot which one) brought to the Channelside area. Unfortunately, the efforts failed. Personally, I'm not sure it's such a good idea for large ships on the waterfront near or at the pier. The Channelside area in Tampa is far more commercial than our waterfront. Anyway, I hope we don't have to start from scratch. I don't want to wait years to see a new pier. I'm hopeful that we will build the one already being designed and scheduled to open in 2 years.
CJ June 23, 2013 at 09:29 pm
Yes...I knew most of what you said. It may somewhat come down to whether they are wiling to eat theRead More money they have already put into The Lens. That is a considerable sum to eat. Plus the breech of contract issue will only grow. The designers, etc, "are not" just going to roll over and say ''no hard feelings''. It's not going to happen. My guess is that the City is just "snowing" us and pretending to be more fair about it all. Hence, the vote this Fall. But in the end...like it seemingly always does...the city will have it's way...right or wrong...with or without the approval of the majority of the citizens...and then somehow manage to simply proceed with The Lens "as presently planned" and "contracted" already. Key word: contracted. One of the biggest problems all along is they chose to do this project at a time when money is obviously still tight due to the economy., and they are trying to build an ''economy world class'' attraction. Is there such a thing? The 60 million, or whatever it is they want to spend, is like trying to build a world class NFL stadium nice enough to host the Super Bowl out of Circus Tents. The Lens is "OK", but that is about all it is. There have been quite a few "extremely" valid points why The Lens is not the answer. I don't need to list them. It won't happen...but spending about twice as much as the 60 million ''is'' the answer. "Then" (oh yeah) the paid Architects could design something much easier to appeal to more people. Duh. You get what you pay for. If St Pete wants a world class attraction...like The Pier was in it's day...then they need to spend world class money. I am not sure, but I think 60 million is chump change. This may be the biggest problem...and if we are now talking about eating the money already spent...then we are already in a big hole with nothing to show for it. This is why I think somehow, someway...The Lens is going to be built, and the cities officials are beside themselves smirking about how the citizens are fooled they care. I don't like it...but I did not like seeing The Pier close, either. We see how that turned out.
DRaymond July 12, 2013 at 11:14 am
Stephen, Thanks for your informative posts and your grace and patience in dealing with theRead More "just say no" crowd and the tin foil hat conspiracy theory types.
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