The St. Petersburg Times changed their name to the Tampa Bay Times on 1/1/2012. To demonstrate how relevant they are to “Tampa Bay”, they began to unveil survey results for Tampa Bay Residents relating to issues that are unique to individual cities. This appears to be a naked attempt to make people think that their city’s sovereignty is not that important. Somehow the opinion of a person on red light camera from Lutz should affect the vote or public opinion in St. Petersburg?
Do the people of your town support red light cameras? Well, if you town is the non-existent city of “Tampa Bay”, then maybe. But the “Tampa Bay Times” seems to forget that we have dozens of sovereign cities to consider when it comes to policies that effect area residents.
A prime example is the survey on the opinion of about 500 people from Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties on red light cameras. The survey demonstrated that most people in “Tampa Bay” supported them. The problem here is that people need to know how people feel about them in the city where they are implemented. The non-city of “Tampa Bay” can’t have a body of elected representatives vote to place red light cameras. These non-council members of the non-existent super city will not face the non-voters to be held accountable. Even the Times recognized that these Red Light cameras have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with making money for bloated governments who have no clue how to cut spending in meaningful ways.
The St. Pete Times, I mean the “Tampa Bay Times”, would do well not to confuse the people of the Tampa Bay Region with the residents of cities when it comes to city specific issues. If they truly want to provide a service to their readers, they would break down their survey results by city and make sure there is a large enough sample size to truly reflect what citizens of that city think.