5 things I think I think about today’s St. Pete Times and other media

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Ugh, so I really have my fur up after reading Lorri Helfand’s story about how bay area college trustees, including those on the Board of Trustees at St. Petersburg College, are staying on after their terms expire.  Helfand writes:

Four of the five trustees who govern St. Petersburg College remain in their posts even though their terms have expired…

At SPC, two trustees’ terms ended in May. Two others expired more than a year ago.

The issue came to light after the St. Petersburg Times reported Aug. 1 that the SPC trustees approved this year’s $145 million budget without seeing a completed copy of it.

The issue came to light after the St. Petersburg Timesreported…??? Are you freaking kidding me? I have been writing about this issue for months, such as in this post dated May 17 that asks ‘Why is Deveron Gibbons still on the St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees?’

But the issue only “came to light” after the Times wrote about it in August?  Let me tell you something Ms. Helfand, assuming you did not Google “St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees” and not see my posts on the front page, I guarantee you Gov. Rick Scott’s appointments office read my posts.  I guarantee you my old friend Terry Brett read my posts.  I guarantee you Deveron Gibbons read my posts.  I guarantee you former St. Pete College President Carl Kuttler, who is not exactly a friend of Gibbons, read my posts.

And yet the issue only “came to light” after the Times wrote about it in August? Please.

Another item which really has my fur up is a blurb in this week’s edition of La Gaceta:

We hear political consultant Mary Repper will come out of retirement to help (Everett) Rice and controversial political consultant blogger Peter Schorsch will help (Bob) Gualtieri.

While I am excited to (finally) be on Patrick Manteiga’s radar, I am really disappointed with this piece of reporting.  I’m not going to clean up Manteiga’s mess and say whether I am working for or against Gualtieri or Rice, I’ll just say Manteiga should’ve picked up the phone and asked me.

Alright, now I am calmed down.

So, the Times is endorsing Charlie Gerdes for the District 1 seat on the St. Pete City Council.  But it’s not their recommendation of Gerdes that is most worth reading, it’s the smackdown of Gerdes’ opponent Bob Kersteen:

Robert Kersteen, a 74-year-old retired telephone company executive, served on the City Council from 1995 to 2000 and lost to Polson in 2007. His previous tenure was marked by conflicts of interest involving his then and former employer, and he was overshadowed by his more outspoken colleagues. This time, Kersteen is too narrowly focused on budget issues and too quick to call for voter referendums on big construction projects such as the Pier and new police station. There is no compelling reason to return him to the council.

Dude is 74-years-old; why are voters even thinking about putting this antique back on the City Council?

To close today, let me know the next time you read a negative story in the Times about the RNC convention, the host committee on which publisher Paul Tash is a member.  Even when the newspaper tries to balance its coverage, as it attempted to do with Sue Calrton’s column about the “grittiness” of Tampa, it ends up romanticizing the community. That’s fine and all, it’s just not exactly balanced.



Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.