… and another thing about the City of St. Pete’s efforts to regulate Uber and Lyft

in Peter by

Earlier today I wrote about the City of St. Petersburg’s misguided effort to impose a per-vehicle tax on ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. Judging from the amount of traffic the story received and the reaction on social media, the issue is prompting some strong reactions — mostly from those who do not see the city attempt to fix what isn’t broken.

Fortunately, SPB is hearing that a compromise is already in the works, one that would actually be better than what is found in most other cities. Let’s hope a compromise is reached.

In the meantime, I want to circle back to something Kevin King, chief of staff to St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, said about what may happen under the proposal headed before City Council.

Asked how the city would endorse the new ridesharing ordinance, King said it would be difficult for police to catch rideshare drivers, but “officers would adapt.”

“Like a lot of communities, they’ll just learn,” King told the Tampa Bay Times’ Charlie Frago.

And therein lies the biggest problem, not only with this ordinance but big government in general.

Instead of working to catch real criminals and stop real crime, the Mayor’s Office would have the St. Petersburg Police to “adapt” to stopping the scourge that is ridesharing.

Mind you, no one save a few taxi cab owners are complaining, but now we might have police officers attempting to enforce an unnecessary ordinance.

So instead of breaking up that bar fight or recovering that stolen car or tracking down that purse-snatcher, Officer Smith will be making St. Petersburg safer by, um, ticketing that friend of yours who is working for Uber to pay for his tuition.

After all, that kind of crackdown worked out so well in Hillsborough County.

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.