Democracy 2013: St. Petersburg voters to decide on mayor, pier and council members
12:08 PM, Aug 26, 2013
7:04 PM, Aug 27, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Voters in St. Petersburg head to the polls to cast votes on several key issues. At the forefront is the future of the historic pier.
At 2 p.m., the Supervisor of Elections Office reported a voter turnout of 5.6 percent.
Three years ago the St. Petersburg City Council voted to demolish the 40-year-old structure which has been an icon on the city's waterfront.
Now, it will be up to voters to decide whether to move forward with the proposed lens design or start the process over.
Voters are being warned to read the ballot language carefully. It reads:
Shall an ordinance be added to the City of St. Petersburg's existing ordinances that would require the City to send a notice of termination, within five business days of the effective date of the ordinance, to Michael Maltzan Architecture, Inc. to terminate the existing architect/engineering agreement between the City of St. Petersburg and Michael Maltzan Architecture, Inc. which agreement was approved by City Council Resolution Number 2012-233 on May 17, 2012?
So what does that mean? A "yes" vote would stop the Lens. A "no" vote would keep the process in motion.
Voters will also elect a new mayor. There are five candidates on the ballot: Incumbent Mayor Bill Foster, former city council member Kathleen Ford, former democratic state lawmaker Rick Kriseman, Anthony Lenardo Cates and Paul Joseph Congemi.
The mayoral candidate who receives a majority of the votes (50% +1) wins. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the names of the two candidates receiving the most votes will be placed on the November 5 General Election ballot.
The Pinellas County Supervisor of Election reports that of the 63,245 early ballots that were mailed out, 27,409 early ballots have been returned.
Council seats are also up for grabs in District 4, 6 and 8.