Voters in St. Petersburg go to the polls today to vote on the mayoral race and four city council seats, while voters in Clearwater will decide today whether to allow the city to lease prime downtown land for a proposed aquarium.
All of the St. Petersburg races are nonpartisan, and registered voters citywide can cast ballots for the mayor and for each of the city council seats. The aquarium lease is the only question on the ballot in Clearwater. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Tribune recommends:
For mayor: Bill Foster. He’s steered the city through a recession, is presiding over a construction boom downtown, has clamped down on panhandlers and has the backing of public safety unions and the chamber of commerce.
For District 2: James R. “Jim” Kennedy Jr. He has proven to be a conscientious member during his time on the city council, has a firm grasp of budgets issues, and understands that mass transit is vital to the city’s future.
For District 4: Darden Rice. She will be an informed proponent of mass transit, wants to bring transparency to city budgeting, and will focus on job growth.
For District 6: Karl Nurse. He has distinguished himself on the council by attacking problems thoughtfully and offering solutions, is an advocate for mass transit, and is helping clean up foreclosed properties in his district.
For District 8: Amy Foster. She wants to focus on safer neighborhoods, increase transit options, and will work to build a consensus on a new pier.
Lease city property for new Clearwater aquarium: No. The proposed three-story aquarium project on prime downtown land is too ambitious, its attendance projections are too optimistic, and voters are being asked to vote before a feasibility study is completed.