Today the Supervisor of Elections confirmed to VoteOnThePier.com that the group had met its goal of 15,652 petitions to require a referendum on the future of the St. Petersburg Pier.
While that does not mean a vote will happen, reaching the goals marks a huge momentum boost to the group looking to halt the process to build the "Lens". The "Lens" is the current design by Michael Maltzan Architecture that is scheduled to replace the existing inverted pyramid.
From the start only one council member, Wengay Newton, has supported the group's effort and called for a referendum. Now, multiple council members are asking for a vote on the Nov. 6 presidential ballot.
The council will take up the issue at this afternoon's City Council meeting, which began at 3 p.m.
Council member Karl Nurse that the negative response at public input meetings in regards to the "Lens" was eye opening.
"It’s pretty overwhelming that the voters are not enthusiastic about this at all," Nurse said of the "Lens" design. "We need to listen to them."
Today, council member Steve Kornell also released a statement supporting a public vote on the future of the St. Petersburg Pier.
"This is it. The petitions have been certified and it is time for a vote on what we will do with the Pier. I think that whatever happens going forward will show who truly cares about the City of St. Petersburg and does not want to see it torn apart, and who is only interested in pushing their personal view forward. I can assure you that I do not want to see our city going (into) turmoil. We have all suffered enough in this economy, the Pier should be something that brings us together."
Ken Kroger, an architect and supporter of Vote on the Pier, said today was a positive result, but that the work is not over.
"This isn't over," Kroger wrote on Facebook. "City Council is going to try to make it a non-binding referendum. It doesn't matter what the citizens vote for, the St. Pete Government can still decide the fate of the pier if this passes."
"Pinellas County is providing half of the funding and could withhold their contribution if a referendum is not properly recognized."
Vote on the Pier released a statment online as well after it met its goal.
"The Supervisor of Elections has certified that the Vote On The Pier Petition Campaign as sufficient. Our historic, grass roots campaign has succeeded in collecting the required signatures.
"A giant thank you to every single volunteer that came forward to make this happen. You were, and are, a part of history. A big thank you to every single registered voter that signed a petition, without you, this would not be possible."