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Poll: Less Than a Third of St. Pete Wants 'Lens'

StPetePolls has released its latest results. Less than a third of St. Pete wants the 'Lens,' slightly more than half want to get rid of red light cameras and Mayor Bill Foster leads mayoral race.

If a lawsuit and a second petition drive against Michael Maltzan's "Lens" were not enough proof that St. Pete does not like the design slated to replace the St. Petersburg Pier, a new poll also shows minimal public support. 

According to the latest results from StPetePolls, only 30 percent of the 1,916 survey respondents think the "Lens" pier should be built. More than 55 percent do not think it should be built while 14 percent are unsure. 

On Dec. 6, city council voted 7-1 to approve the next phase of funding for the design. While it approved the design, council did put in road blocks for future funding sources so each step will have to be passed by council in increments. 

Council did this in case 'Stop the Lens' is successful in its petition drive, so it could halt the "Lens" construction process. 

According to StPetePolls, there is something else the public wishes to halt — red light cameras. Nearly 54 percent respondents told StPetePolls that they do not think it was a good thing for the city to install the cameras. 

Thursday, council will hear an official report on the first year results of the red light camera program. City staff, despite overall crashes being up at intersections with red light cameras, is recommending nine additional red light cameras in St. Pete.

StPetePolls conducted its scientific survey on Dec. 17 among registered voters within St. Petersburg.

Other results from the December 17 survey from St. Pete Polls include:

  • 45.5 percent of respondents think city council is doing a good job while 55.5 percent do not.
  • 54.3 percent approve of Mayor Bill Foster compared to 45.7 who do not
  • St. Pete is unsure on the local hiring ordinance with only 29 percent for, 23 percent against and 47 percent unsure. 

Finally, in a hypothetical race for mayor between Foster, Kathleen Ford, Rick Kriseman and Scott Wagman, Foster holds a sizeable advantage with 31.8 percent support. The next closed candidate was Ford with 18.1 percent support. Those undecided are the largest number for the St. Pete mayoral race at 35.6 percent. 

JW December 20, 2012 at 05:41 PM
The new plan for the police station is still 40 plus million construction costs which is still above the 37 million construction costs for the Pier. The tough thing on these questions is the supporting information and what you choose to give them. Do you assume they now what was scaled back and what the cost would be. What ongoing maintenance and efficiency is lost without a full station. Is evidence still located in a separate building etc. The Lens question is really a multiple choice question to get down to what folks opinion is. Some want no pier/no subsidy, some what the existing(but renovation funds would not accommodate cars and the first floor is gone so it's not really the existing at that point), Some want the million dollar pier, and some want something else but they can't visualize what that is. Anyone with one of those other opinions will say no to the Lens. This isn't a election between to candidates. It's a subject with multiple opinions and options making consensus or full even majority extremely difficult.
Nicolas Weathersbee December 20, 2012 at 07:03 PM
When asked, the city says they do not know what the subsidy will be on the lens, but, lol, they know it will be less. How do they know it will be less if they don't know what it will be? lmao...they also say they need less parking because they expect less visitation...wat? A refurbished pier would have less of a subsidy as well since much of the subsidy is maintaining the approach. A new approach would have much less maintenance. Lisa Wannemacher, in her presentations, compares the circa 1926 piling configuration(what we have now) to the proposed lens piling configuration, saying that the lens would have less maintenance costs. This is totally insulting to our intelligence, and is completely disingenuous, as a new approach would have less pilings than the current layout by a long shot. To compare the lens pilings to ones installed close together in 1926 is total bunk,
JW December 20, 2012 at 08:44 PM
The Basis of Design had a full conservative breakdown that did not include any revenues from events or tenants. The number was 800,000 less than the current pier so yes they now have a answer to that question. The current 1.4-1.5 million dollar tax payer "operations" subsidy which does not include maintenance and capital improvement which have averaged another 500-600,000 dollars per year currently. We can agree that this maintenance number should be eliminated for a period of time in any option therefore its not a discussion point. However if you do a Air conditioned building those systems will need maintenance escalating in in 5-10 years.
Babak December 22, 2012 at 09:10 PM
our city is famous for Mediterranean revival architecture, not Spanish. Where do you live? Here is some good info on our city since you don't seem to know much about St Pete or our culture. http://www.stpete.org/history.asp
Babak December 22, 2012 at 09:12 PM
why do we have elected officials if we are going to take every issue to the voters? you elect officials to make those decisions for you. perhaps you should read up on how democracies work.

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