What might be the got a little clearer Thursday when Mayor Bill Foster informed City Council of the city's need to spend $270,000 for security cameras for an event to be held at on Aug. 26, which is the day before the RNC kicks off in Tampa.
The news that the RNC would be hosting an opening party at the Trop .
The yet-to-be-officially-announced event at Tropicana Field requires the city to use $270,000 for security cameras, which Foster said could be refunded by the Department of Justice.
According to Foster, he said the refund is likely but there is no guarantee.
Foster said he met with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn who Foster said would be the one that submits the funding request to the Department of Justice. "He’s the one that kinds of checks things before submitting it to the DOJ, if the event occurs," Foster said.
According to the Tampa Bay Times:
"More than 15,000 journalists and 5,600 delegates plan to attend the event, which is essentially a cocktail party with live music. It's expected to draw a fair amount of protesters, said Mark Winn, St. Petersburg's chief assistant city attorney.
"There will be thousands coming to protest, and some will be disruptive," Winn said. "The ordinance will be somewhat modeled after Tampa's. One of the reasons we waited this long was to see what Tampa would adopt."
Foster said the city needs to start taking more official steps while it waits for the official word.
"We are 80 days out we cannot wait for the announcement," Foster said of the need to spend the money before any official announcement from the Republican National Committee.
Council member Jim Kennedy expressed concern that the delayed announcement for the RNC could put St. Pete's safety at risk if the city is not prepared.
"I know that (police) are in close communication with the secret service," Foster said.
The city and its police force, Foster said, will be prepared.
"There is still a lot of moving parts," Foster said. "Every body is very, very busy. We will absolutely be prepared. They are training and we are training. We are going to have a very (well) trained workforce that will be prepared."
On April 11, the Pinellas Tourist Development Council voted unanimously to give $600,000 to the RNC for the kick-off party at Tropicana Field, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
"The money will come from bed tax reserves and must be approved by the Pinellas County Commission."
After the event at the Trop, Foster said the security cameras could be used in other parts of the city.
"These cameras can be deployed following the RNC," Foster said. "The cameras will be deployed pursuant to council and a recommendation from the police department."