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Claude Tankersley

Public gets another shot at suggesting fixes to St. Pete’s ‘Sewer-gate’

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

It’s a crisis that’s become something of a boondoggle — and, moreover, a public health issue. Now St. Petersburg’s overwhelmed and dilapidated sewer system is again at the forefront as officials held another round of public discussions in the costly and complex issue of best to go about fixing the problem. The topic of the evening, as reported by The Tampa Bay Times, a 12-page consent order written by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) – faulting city officials when…

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St. Pete City Council candidate Brandi Gabbard wants more economic prosperity to Gateway District

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Brandi Gabbard calls herself an everyday person representing everyday people. Her bid for St. Petersburg City Council District 2 this year may be her first run for public office, but when it comes to working on public policy and serving the community, Gabbard’s no rookie. The Indiana native moved to St. Petersburg in 2003 and began selling real estate in 2005 (she’s been with Smith & Associates since 2011). Nearly a decade ago, Gabbard joined the Pinellas Realtor Organization as a volunteer and immediately…

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St. Pete hires communications manager for public works

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Petersburg has taken some hard hits recently over two sewage spills, the condition of the city’s sewer system and investigations into the public works department. To get more positive stories out, the city has hired a communications director for the public works department. He will earn $90,000 a year. Bill Logan joined the Public Works Administration staff this week and was introduced to city council members Thursday. “He will be a great addition to our staff,” public works administrator…

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Jack Latvala open to state aid for homeowners needing sewer fixes

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

State lawmakers had harsh words for St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman during a meeting Wednesday to discuss sewage overflows. “I caution you on anymore overflows,” state Rep. Kathleen Peters, a Republican who represents House District 69 in the Florida Legislature. “Please be Superman and make sure there is not another overflow.” Kriseman had just given members of the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation an update on the progress St. Petersburg has made to solving sewage woes. During two tropical storms this…

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St. Pete Public Works Director: Albert Whitted should not have been closed

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The head of St. Petersburg’s Public Works department told City Council members Thursday that he now believes the Albert Whitted sewer plant should not have been closed until the capacity at the Southwest plant had been increased. “I want to make it perfectly clear that it is my opinion, and the opinion of my plant operators [that] the Southwest plant should have been expanded before Albert Whitted was closed,” Claude Tankersley said. St. Petersburg City Councilmembers spent three hours Thursday…

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Rick Kriseman accuses governor of playing politics with the sewage issue

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott is guilty of political grandstanding when calling for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to investigate sewage overflows in St. Petersburg, Mayor Rick Kriseman said. “The Department of Environmental Protection is already involved in this issue,” Kriseman said in a written statement. “And given that the governor is singling out St. Petersburg and ignoring the actions of governments across our region, we have to chalk this up to politics.” Kriseman was reacting to the news that Scott…

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Rick Kriseman suspends two city directors in wake of sewer tangle

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has placed two mid-level city employees on unpaid leave in the wake of allegations that city officials knew that closing the Albert Whitted sewer facility could cause flooding. Kriseman said he plans to address the City Council on Thursday about the status of an independent review, the management study of the water resources department, and the plan for the two directors. Kriseman made the announcement in a short release Wednesday: “Mayor Rick Kriseman has placed…

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