I’d reckon that this is indicative of how our local government handles situations, here in St. Petersburg. I cannot speak to Mayor Foster’s part in the matter. I will say however that Councilman Newton, Councilwoman Curren, and the Midtown resident that spoke toward the end of the video all have valid points.
The fact of the matter is, had Mayor Foster (and Baker before him) emphasized economic development in the Midtown region of St. Petersburg, we might not be faced with the zero population growth conundrum surrounding the Trop; a problem that is effecting the viability, and future, of baseball in St. Petersburg.
To be fair, purely from an anecdotal perspective, the revitalization of St. Petersburg seems to be greater than that of Tampa. That’s something that needs to be taken into consideration when discussing the future of the Rays in St. Petersburg.
If that carpetbagger across the bridge, Mayor Buckhorn, has done anything, it’s sell the promise of redevelopment. That’s something that has been very enticing to those that would find the Rays in the Channelside district.
I do have to hand it to Councilman Kornell for actively trying to entice businesses in Tampa to relocate to St. Petersburg. Though it isn’t outwardly in reaction to Tampa’s pandering to the Rays, it is a bit funny that they are getting a taste of their own medicine.
Moving forward, our local government absolutely must put economic redevelopment on the front burner, especially in those economically strapped neighborhoods. It is a moral imperative to do so, and it also stands as an economic leverage point in the battle to keep the Rays on this side of the bay.