Stone soup? Vinik wants MUCH more public funds, despite $100M pledged

Last Thursday, representatives of Jeff Vinik’s company Strategic Property Partners (SPP) met behind closed doors with Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill. SPP is seeking  to have 75% of all property taxes collected on real estate “above [SPP’s] initial $1 billion investment” in Channelside returned to it. SPP also wants additional public funds through a legislatively created special improvement…

PSTA top attorney & staff embarrass themselves, board willfully asleep

At today’s monthly PSTA board meeting, a flawed resolution that was “approved in form” by its top attorney was before the board for approval. The flawed resolution passed unanimously, as written. As explained below, there are also signs that efforts are underway to inpose light rail against the clearly and repeatedly stated will of the…

Hillsborough County commish Stacy White on land use & transportation

Recently, Hillsborough County commissioner White toured portions of Hillsborough County by helicopter with Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee. White has reportedly made “preventing unmitigated sprawl his top priority as commissioner.” The Guardian sat down with White for a Q&A. Guardian: Thanks for taking the time.  You and your wife live in Valrico on 1.6 acres of land…

Clearwater buys 1.4 acres of land, loses 6 acres earlier in same week

The Tampa Bay Times assigned two reporters to cover the City of Clearwater’s purchase of 1.4 acres of downtown land last night. However, the Times assigned no reporters to cover the city’s embarrassing loss in Pinellas circuit court earlier in the week in a matter involving 6.5 acres of land that the city had claimed it owns….

PSTA ridership at 10-year low despite partnership with Uber

The decline of bus ridership on the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) network of routes continues, despite new programs aimed at boosting ridership. At the current rate, PSTA is headed for its lowest total number of bus revenue passenger trips in 10 years. Five months into PSTA’s current fiscal year (FY), which began October 1st last year, revenue…