Pinellas county administrator Steve Spratt spoke in front of the suncoast tiger bay club this afternoon in Clearwater. Spratt has been the counties administrator for the past 4 years; he said his biggest obstacle is getting the different government entities within the county to work together to solve problems and cut costs.

ACT ‘We have too many layers of government and they re too vulcanized; this is the impediment to solving problems, we have 24 cities, fire dept, taxing district our govt structure is for the days of pastures, but we are an urbanized area.

Earlier this year, Pinellas County conducted a survey of 800 residents this year, to find out what things they tough the county did well, and what things need improvement. Spratt told the tiger bay club that some of the top problem issues surprised him.

ACT ‘Can you guess what number one is…roads, traffic, so transportation is a greater concern from north to south…

Spratt made a call for a regional transportation entity to be created.

ACT “My favorite example is traffic signal system, you can’t point to some agency and have them fix the problem—24 cities, county is recipient –we can build road, mow grass, but we cant control traffic. We need one entity, similarly the transit system—who do you blame for buses?—people don’t know..we need to move from system of independent authorities which doesn’t work anymore�

ACT “We’ve got 1.3 billion in unfunded transportation needs…we need a county wide redevelopment plan, the laws are for growth, were managing regrowth, when we scrape a trailer park—Wal-Mart? Cvs? We need a countywide plan.

One member of the audience asked Spratt how public transportation should play into solving the county’s traffic and transportation issues.

ACT “Transit is a logical part of the solution to the cant build roads, there are a lot of things you can do for that, it will reduce costs everywhere, its gotta be part four strategy, we don't have a long range transit strategy, but again the county government its not in our charter…we will choke on our problems if we don’t deal with it.�

WMNF asked Spratt if he thought the high sped rail train which was repealed by voters two weeks ago could have been a part of a solution to Pinellas county’s transportation problems.


Spratt was also asked about the problem of people who were ordered to evacuate their homes during this years hurricanes, but had no where to bring their pets because animals are not allowed in the emergency shelters. He said they county is working on a strategy, but it’s a difficult situation because many people have allergies, and even kennels usually empty out during emergencies.

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