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Wed Apr 8, 2015, 01:16 AM


Letter to TampaBay Times from Vote on the Pier:The Misinfo Coming from the St. Pete Mayor's office.

Waveney Ann Moore
Tampa Bay Times

Waveney Ann –

Please let me be CLEAR. I NEVER agreed to any new and improved “process” – as the Mayor outlined to a few members of our group last April.

I really wish he would stop telling people that ALL groups agreed with his plan. That is a TOTAL material misrepresentation of the facts.

In FACT – when Mayor Kriseman called me about 4 days ahead of that presentation Mr. Kirby is referring to in your story of this afternoon – to ask if I would stand beside him at his photo-op down in SpaBeach Park last April – I told him there was NO WAY I was going to represent that I supported (just by being there) something that I ABSOLUTELY did not.

Among other reasons – our conversation centered in on our group’s STRONG opposition to using ANY of the Pier funding – to develop ANYTHING on the uplands – when ALL of the funds from the TIF Funding Agreement with the County – dating back to 2009 – were SPECIFICALLY to be used from the seawall eastward – for the refurbishment of the inverted pyramid building – and the replacement of the bridge leading out to it. PERIOD. Please refer to table 2-B in the original TIF Funding Agreement with the County.

He responded to me by stating – that IF he were to take potential development on the uplands (in particular – to begin on what is today the Pelican Parking Lot) off the table – he would also be forced to remove REFURBISHMENT – as an option in the new upcoming Pier Design RFQ and RFP Process.

I CLEARLY told him that one had ABSOLUTELY ZERO to do with the other. He disagreed.

He told me that he hoped I would reconsider. I told him that it was not likely – as I feel I have a commitment to the hundreds of hard working volunteers – that had worked tirelessly to complete the largest grass roots petition drive in the City’s history – collecting more that 23,866 valid petitions from City Voters – and an additional 2,900 from voters that were just outside the City limits – to stand firmly on our position – without compromise.

In addition – let’s remember that it was not even announced by Mayor Kriseman until late summer / early fall – who HIS hand picked committee members of HIS new “Pier Selection Committee” would be. Now really – do you think ANYONE from our group would have EVER supported or approved of Mike Connors (as just one example) to even be on that committee – let alone Mayor Kriseman appointing him as chairman? PLEASE.

Mike Connors has been STRONGLY in favor of demolishing that building for as long as anyone can remember – so it did not surprise me – from watching the entire 12 hours of nonsense from up here in Safety Harbor on Friday – HOW he planned to eliminate several other viable proposals – and even TRIED to convice other committee members to not allow the most publicly popular proposal (Destination St Pete Pier) to get anywhere beyond 3RD place ranking.

Then – LATER – he tried to get them to rank – by offering up Destination to be in 2ND place – behind ALMA.

He was SO ridiculously obvious – IT WAS DISGUSTING TO WATCH!

THEN – a couple of committee members openly asked Mike Connors what would happen – if Council rejects their #1 pick – and he reluctantly THEN explained to them – the whole process must start over. It was then – and ONLY then – a few members realized the magnatude of their decision. They realized there was a VERY GOOD chance that Council WOULD NOT accept ALMA – due to the Citywide support for Destination – that was blatantly and DELIBERATELY being misrepresented by Mike Connors to achieve his agenda – resulting in the whole entire process starting over.

A couple of members also realized ALL of their time and work would go the way of a power flush – thanks to one inappropriate vote by any one of them – as a potential result of the continual prodding of their Chairperson – Mike Connors.
This is when they realized they could not make a final ranking decision Friday evening.

What this has now culminated into:

The public is OUTRAGED AND DISGUSTED to NOW realize HOW BADLY they have been lied to – regarding the Mayor’s initial promises to “listen, learn and lead” when he was running for office of Mayor. He OBVIOUSLY was not (and still is not) listening – he OBVIOUSLY has not learned anything from the last Mayor’s bully tactics – when he closed the entire Pier on May 31, 2013 – putting more than 400 full and part time employees out of work unnecessarily – and fencing it off to ready it for demolition – to make his point: That if the community did not support the LENS proposal in the upcoming 8/27/13 referendum – they would be looking at a closed down Pier – well into / or after 2018.
Well – we can all see today – how well that all worked out for him. Voters decided it was time to fire him just a couple of months later.

A TOTAL BETRAYAL of trust (now, again) by this Mayor – as handed out to City residents by his corrupt partner in this newly created Citywide crisis – Mike Connors.
There is likely NOTHING he is going to be able to say or do at this point – that is going to “change” the embarrassing nonsense that seemed to be never ending - Friday in Council Chambers.

It was nothing short of a train wreck – led by two of the City’s least respected employees (Mike Connors & Chris Ballestra) – with the Mayor DIRECTLY responsible to City residents for their deplorable actions. Isn’t it just amazing how he was nowhere around for that entire deplorable circus? And even today – he is just nowhere around. He has “spokespeople” to cover for him while he tries to figure out what his next steps could be.

If this were any business – Mike Connors would have been FIRED immediately – for the damage he as caused – by making HIS favorite choice – and HIS least favorite choice – SO obvious. He even went on in a lengthly dissertation – as to how people need to move on from that building – and that it makes no sense to renew a building that HE believes is not worth investing the money on.

This was clearly HIS opinion – and it should NOT have been a part of trying to persuade others to support HIS position.

NOW – Mayor Kriseman OWNS this mess he created. It appears he must have had a lot more confidence in Mike Connors pulling off his plan for demolishing the inverted pyramid – by TRYING DESPARATELY to put STRONGLY DISLIKED – LAST PLACE ALMA into the #1 ranking – CLEARLY AGAINST the majority of City residents that took part in SEVERAL polls over the last few weeks.

So now here we are today.

I have enlisted the services of several good attorneys over the past weekend – to put the finishing touches on – you guessed it – our next petition – that we plan to actually launch in the next few days. A DRAFT Copy – Not For Circulation (until we are ready to launch) – is attached for your review. We are now also in the process of updating our entire website – and creating the online downloadable and printable version of the Petition for our website – and preparing our 18 petition drop boxes – for deployment across the City.

Unlike the earlier petition drive I started in November of 2010 – we are beginning this very important petition drive – with much more hard earned expertise and knowledge – in addition to having literally tens of thousands of really mad City residents at this time – many have even signed up over this past weekend – to assist us in completing our new petition drive very quickly.

We have already received offers to assist us financially to get things moving even quicker this time – which is encouraging.

While it was not my original plan to do another Citywide Petition – this new Mayor – and his staff of mostly the same “bad actors” – as leftovers from the Foster administration – have left us NO CHOICE – but to proceed forward – and put the VOTERS back in charge of their downtown waterfront – finally – and once and for all.

While I DO plan to do a formal Press Release in the next couple of days – I am just too busy right now – to compose that – or schedule any press conference.
I will announce plans for that – when I have the most important aspects of our new Petition drive completed and up and running.

That is my priority. I expect that to only take a few days.

It was just VERY important – as a priority – that I clarify directly to you – the misinformation that is now apparently flowing from Mayor Kriseman’s office – through his “spokespeople”.

It CLEARLY appears that Mayor Kriseman has now lost any credibility for either himself – AND his half-baked plan of trying to push the ALMA Pier design off onto City Residents – by trying to move ALMA – from LAST to FIRST position ranking with his committee - via his appointed Committee Chair – Mike Connors. While I DO NOT believe City Council will support ALMA moving forward – IF that is the way the Selection Committee recklessly decides to rank the remaining contestants – we will all just be in for another long and protracted fight – while the closed Pier sits their as a very obvious example of ignorance and stupidity of the last Mayor’s inability to listen to his constituents!

I WILL NOT BACK DOWN. I am tired of elected (and hired) City employees blatantly and repeatedly lying – in their reckless attempts to accomplish their objectives.

St. Petersburg, Florida is NOT a monarchy – and nobody elected Rick Kriseman King. The Pier does not belong to him – it belongs to every single taxpayer of the City – so it is only appropriate that City VOTERS should select the next Pier as the centerpiece of the City’s downtown waterfront for the next 100 years.

This entire “process” – under BOTH Mayors Foster and Kriseman – CLEARLY demonstrate why City electors need more say in the future of their downtown waterfront.

Our new Petition will provide exactly that.

HOW VERY SAD – we have to go through all of this again.

Thanks Waveney Ann -

Tom Lambdon
Founder & Chairman

Email: tom@voteonthepier.com
Website: voteonthepier.com

6 replies, 2794 views

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Reply Letter to TampaBay Times from Vote on the Pier:The Misinfo Coming from the St. Pete Mayor's office. (Original post)
TheNutcracker Apr 2015 OP
TheNutcracker Apr 2015 #1
TheNutcracker Apr 2015 #2
TheNutcracker Apr 2015 #3
TheNutcracker Apr 2015 #4
TheNutcracker Apr 2015 #5
secondvariety May 2015 #6

Response to TheNutcracker (Original post)

Wed Apr 8, 2015, 01:18 AM

1. Kick and Rec for Tom Lambdon!!


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Response to TheNutcracker (Original post)

Wed Apr 8, 2015, 02:28 PM

2. This letter was sent to the Times on March 23rd, and NO INK for these deplorable acts!


Nothing, notta, zip, by the Tampa Bay Times. Shame on you Waveney Ann.

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Response to TheNutcracker (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2015, 07:55 PM

3. I believe the other letter here is by William Ballard, also uninked.


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Response to TheNutcracker (Original post)

Tue Apr 14, 2015, 02:52 PM

4. People already looking for petitions!


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Response to TheNutcracker (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 11:30 PM

5. meeting tomorrow, thursday at city hall


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Response to TheNutcracker (Original post)

Fri May 1, 2015, 04:47 PM

6. This guy

lives in Safety Harbor, not St. Pete so I'm not sure why he continues to flap his big yap over a St. Pete issue. Scratch hard enough and you'll find he's got some monetary reason for all his opposition to any and all Pier plans.

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