ST PETE CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS - Amy Snider10/22/03
St. Petersburg residents will go to the polls on Tuesday, November 4, to vote for candidates for city council, as well as to cast their ballots on six charter amendments and one referendum question. The two incumbent city council members who are being challenged for their seats, as well as some of the challengers, were in St. Petersburg today to address the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club. WMNFâ€™s Amy Snider was there and files this report.
In St. Petersburg City Council District 1, incumbent Rick Kriseman, an attorney, is being challenged by Dennis Homol, Sr., who works in maintenance for St. Petersburg College.
In District 3, incumbent Bill Foster, also an attorney, faces challenger Bill Dudley, a teacher and coach at Northeast High School. Also attempting to unseat Foster is rock musician Billy Tourtelot from the band Hell on Earth, who made national news recently when the band planned to have a terminally ill person commit suicide during a scheduled Hell on Earth performance in St. Petersburg. The event was cancelled.
In addition to choosing leadership for the city of St. Pete, voters are faced with a referendum question, and six charter amendments, which will decide the hotly contested fate of the Albert Whithead airport.
District 3 city councilor Bill Foster revealed his position on Amendment 1:
Fosterâ€™s challenger, Bill Dudley, weighed in on Amendment 1:
District 1 Councilor Rick Kriseman on Amendment 1:
Krisemanâ€™s challenger, Dennis Homol, Sr., was unable to attend the forum, but told Tiger Bay Club staff to report that he favors the proposal to turn part of the waterfront airport into a public park.
St. Petersburg city councilwoman Rene Flowers was in attendance. She asked the candidates for their positions on economic development in the cityâ€™s Midtown area:
The candidates discussed the morale of the St. Pete police department.
District 3 challenger Dudley:
District 3 incumbent Foster:
District 1 incumbent Kriseman:
District 3 hopeful and musician Billy Toutelot of the band Hell on Earth was not allowed to participate in the forum. Suncoast Tiger Bay Club Vice President Doug Fairbanks explains why:
Tortelot told WMNF that he lives in district 3, but he cannot reveal his address:
Tourtelot, who hopes to win as a write-in candidate, discussed what he would do if elected:
He spoke of his opinion on economic development in midtown.
Incumbent Rick Kriseman cited his work to make St. Pete a model for pedestrian and bicycle safety, while incumbent Bill Foster spoke of his work to preserve Sunken Gardens. Coach Dudley stated that he would work to ensure opportunity for St. Petersburg youths, and of his desire to make St. Pete a user-friendly society, saying that government exists because of its people, not the other way around.
For WMNF news, this is Amy Snider.