Kathleen Ford speaks out against sidewalk privatization

10/01/09 Caroline Cziesla
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:


Wednesday night at Café Bohemia , St Petersbug, the anti-war group St Pete for Peace hosted a forum crusading to keep the sidewalk near Baywalk public.

St Pete Mayoral candidate Kathleen Ford was invited; she also opposes the sidewalk privatization.

The meeting was on the eve of Thursday’s decision by the St. Petersburg City Council to not give the sidewalk to the BayWalk owners. Just in case the vote would have meant the protesters would need to move to another piece of public real estate, the group wanted to know how prospective candidate for mayor, Kathleen Ford, felt about their cause.

Some of the businesses in BayWalk, as well as the owners of the complex, felt that public demonstration was simply not good for business. This sentiment obliged the city council to determine the fate of the disputed terrain. But Ford, an attorney by profession, said that privatizing BayWalk’s sidewalk would set an awful precedence.

After Thursday’s vote, WMNF spoke to Ford’s opponent Bill Foster. Foster, who is also an attorney, said that he would never second guess the Council. However, he would prefer a more temporary measure, like creating a new designated area for demonstrators.

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