Referendum to kill the Lens needs a name

06/06/13 Janelle Irwin
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The new St. Pete Pier design known as the Lens will have its fate decided by voters in August. But first, city council members will have to decide how the measure will appear on the ballot. A question proposed by the group Stop the Lens asking whether the city should cancel its contract with Michael Maltzan Architects was not challenged during a meeting Thursday, but the title was. Critics of the Lens are proposing a 30-word title that includes the name of the design. The city is proposing a 15-word alternative that makes no mention of the Lens or the Pier. Lens critics including Howard Taylor are also asking the city to remove outdated photos of the design from their website.

A Public hearing on how to name the Lens referendum was scheduled for June 20. Hal Friedman with a group that likes the new pier design urged council members not to alter their original title which made no mention to the Lens.

The St. Pete Municipal election will be on August 27. City Council members also removed an item from discussion that would have put a series of straw polls on the ballot asking voters for their input on alternatives to the Lens as well as whether or not they favored a fee-based curbside recycling program. Those items were removed from the agenda because council members feared they would confuse voters.

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