The St. Petersburg City Council has been raising taxes, over-regulating businesses and removing freedom from citizens for the last decade. It is time for a change in leadership and on November 5, half of the eight member Council can be replaced with those who have are outsiders to the political system. The Sun Beam Times is recommending a vote to replace two incumbents and place two people that represent the people in the place of other candidates that represent the political class first. Sun Beam Times founder and author Dr. David McKalip ran for City Council this year and missed appearing on this ballot by 169 votes. The process provided great insights into the city’s budget, politics and how the needs of the citizens are being ignored while the well-connected members of the political class continue to serve themselves. The Sun Beam Time is encouraging voting for those who are more in touch with the average citizen than members of the political class.
Sharon Russ: Sharon Russ is running for District 6 against incumbent Karl Nurse. Karl Nurse was an early supporter of the Lens and finally changed his position in the face of political pressure. When he could have, he refused to stop the waste of millions in dollars in design fees for the Lens when he knew a vote was coming. He has routinely raised taxes as a member of the board and supported bans on business signs. He also supported the Red Light cameras and has not taken the action he could to end them. Sharon is a long time St. Petersburg Resident who is a black single mother. Realizing that society is best improved by private citizen action (as opposed to government action), she has founded a women’s center to help women with pregnancy and related issues. She is in touch with the majority of residents in Midtown and would best serve them on a city council as opposed to Karl Nurse who has multiple real estate interests that present a conflict of interest.
Steve Galvin: Steve Galvin is running against Amy Foster in District 8. Amy Foster moved into town very recently and appears to have come only with the intent to run for office. As a lesbian, a prime issue for her seems to be the gay equality agenda. This is likely to be more important than city budget issues such as unfunded pension plans that are placing the city in danger of bankruptcy. Steve Galvin is a long time resident of the city and the district who has run small businesses. He worked to oppose the Lens while Amy Foster was testing the political winds. Steve Galvin recognizes that we need to address the massive underfunding of the city worker pension plans and reform them to ensure their success and avoid tax hikes. Steve will ignore the members of the political class while Amy will cater to them.
Lorraine Margenson: Loraine Margenson is running to replace incumbent Jim Kennedy in district 2. He remains an unapologetic and staunch supporter of red light cameras and supported the Lens every step of the way. He has voted to raise taxes and even supported the Fire Fee that ultimately failed. He also approved sign ordinance that would have denied sign spinners the right to have a job and promote business but was ultimately voted down. Nevertheless he supported ordinances stopping other business signs. Loraine is an environmental activist who helped lead the way to stop the lens. She has many roots in the community and is more likely to listen to the average citizen than members of the political class.
Carolyn Fries: Carolyn Fries is facing Darden Rice in District four. Darden Rice is an unapologetic and ardent believer in big government programs. She led as grassroots effort by “The People’s Budget Review” to raise property taxes each of the last two years. Darden Rice refused to take a position opposing the Lens until she was sure the politics were right for her. She claims to oppose red light cameras but has actually taken money for the company that sells them to the city and profits from the tickets. Darden Rice is a poster child for the political class and as a lesbian will also place the gay equality agenda as a top priority while ignoring the real budget problems facing the city. Carolyn Fries is an engineer and entrepreneur. She stood up against red light cameras early and recently opposed the increase in water and utility bills by the city. She is also opposing the 1 cent (14%) sales tax hike to build light rail. Carolyn Fries appears to be a political outsider and is a better choice to represent average citizens in St. Petersburg.