Wednesday, August 7, 2013

St. Pete Mayoral Candidates Debate Rays

My WTSP colleague Beau Zimmer covered the St. Petersburg mayoral debate last night, and when it came to the Rays' Stadium Saga, all three candidates seemed to have been well-rehearsed on their answers.

"I’m very solid on our legal position if out sole objective were to keep the Rays here through 2027," said Mayor Foster, who made hordes of headlines this week with a softened stance on the team's desire to look at Tampa stadium sites.

"What is the objective after (2027)," Foster asked rhetorically.  "I guarantee if we do (nothing) there will be no Tampa Bay Rays in 2028. So if our objective is to let a longer-term commitment for the region those are the kinds of discussions I’ve been having with the Rays organization."

Meanwhile, Rick Kriseman, who has long been at-odds with Foster on the stadium issue, indicated he was flip-flopping because it was close to Election Day.

"Mr. Foster has had as many positions as Ben Zobrist," Kriseman said, "but hasn’t done them as well...This is an important issue…it is not a game, this is serious and it involves our city…and I have said from the beginning I think there are some things we can do to try to make this team more successful."

Kathleen Ford said, "Understand that the stadium is still not paid off. We have debt until 2025.  Understand that the operating costs are significant…so if the Rays do leave…who’s paying? And that’s the issue that needs to be addressed in any negotiations."

Foster, Ford, and Kriseman are all attorneys who have served on city council.  Foster won his first term in 2008 as mayor when he beat Ford in a run-off.

1 comment:

  1. "Mr. Foster has had as many positions as Ben Zobrist,", lol!
    "Understand that the stadium is still not paid off. We have debt until 2025." Newsflash! Mortgage payments AND injected outside revenue AND the amount of additional taxes, ect. is ALL equated into the definition of "debt"! Not just the mortgage it self! Hillsborough co. is the 1's that should be complaining, they're the 1's that continue to lose money in circulation to Pinellas co. because of the Rays! (and their beaches)...