Documents show why federal gov’t isn’t funding Central Ave BRT project

Formal project assessments made by the FTA (Federal Transit Administration) and obtained by the Guardian appear to show  why PSTA’s Central Avenue BRT (CABRT) project is still isn’t eligible to be funded by the FTA. The documents show also that that PSTA has failed to implement key FTA recommendations three years in a row. PSTA…

PSTA falsely reports bus ridership for year 15% higher than actual

PSTA staff have provided its board with inflated year to date bus ridership data two months in a row. Seven months in to its current fiscal year, PSTA’s official report for April shows a 52% decline in ridership on PSTA’s network of routes compared to last year, yet the same document reports ridership increased 2.3%…

TV anchor Cintron didn’t apply for $223,000 public sector job – got it anyway

Public records request by The Guardian revealed that zero (0) employment applications were received by Tampa International Airport for an unadvertised $223,000 per year position as Vice President of Marketing. Former TV anchor Veronica Cintron was hired for the position on April 10th, even though also she did not apply for employment. HCCA, the Hillsborough…

St. Pete: still no recovery donations from mayor and most city council members

A month after St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman used emergency powers to create the “Fightning Chance Fund” (FCF), only two council members out of seven have donated more than $50 to the effort. Mayor Kriseman and four city council members have donated bubkes (zero). As we reported previously, Council Member Ed Montanari donated $1,000 before…

Local government agency implements plan to “shape what the public thinks”

Hillsborough County Independent Oversight Committee (IOC) staff have developed a media plan that includes “key messages” for committee members and staff to advance to the public. The media plan says that those key messages “shape what you want the public to think and do.” First reported on by TampaBayBeat.Info yesterday, the effort to use tax…

Sheriff Chad Chronister seeks out criminal pastor he arrested – lunch with no social distancing

Last Wednesday, Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister sought out and visited Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne for lunch at his house. Chronister’s initiative took place a month after he had Howard-Browne arrested for allegedly violating a county order during over a church service that practiced social distancing. Howard-Browne’s arrest on March 30th made national and international news. We…

Gualtieri’s coronavirus arrest of “jerk” biz owner results in no prosecution

“He wanted to become unreasonable, frankly, he was being a jerk about it, so he went to jail,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told (video) county commissioners in a meeting on Tuesday about Pinellas Park business owner Galen Wood. Gualtieri’s deputies had arrested Wood twelve days earlier for allegedly violating the governor’s “Safer At Home”…

Kriseman donates zero to city’s own relief fund, Montanari donates $1,000

Twelve days in to St. Pete’s Fighting Chance Fund (FCF) program, Mayor Rick Kriseman had not made a donation to the fund. Kriseman called the fund recipients “the backbone of this city” when he announced the FCF program. District 3 City Council Member Ed Montanari donated $1,000, and District 4 City Council member Darden Rice…

Castor mixed city resources with her political campaign and political committee

In an e-mail Thursday morning announcing a City of Tampa pandemic relief program, Mayor Jane Castor wrote “We will get through this together. We are one city, one community, and One Tampa.” The city named its pandemic relief program “One Tampa” and is allegedly aimed at residents and businesses “most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.”…