Bill Foster's top 10 reasons to go to the Lens version of the new Pier

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This piece on Fox13 about the group turning in 15,000 petitions on Friday had a great quote from Mayor Bill Foster about him sending two staff members to Maltzan’s office to meet with the architect about the Lens pier design:

“My instructions to my staff: don’t come back from California without ten visuals, the top ten reasons why [we] are going to constantly go out to the new St. Pete Pier”

We initially thought this might be another Foster cost-cutting measure, a way for him to get rid of two staff members by giving them an impossible task and telling them that they can’t come back until they complete it. But then we thought of ten ways all by ourselves to get people to “constantly” go out to the new Lens pier.

So in the David Letterman tradition, here are the top ten ways to get the citizens of St Petersburg to keep going out to the pier:

Number 10: Put a parking ticket payment booth out at the end of the pier, and offer a 10% discount on your bill if you pay out there

Mayor Foster has doubled the price of parking meters and added hundreds of new parking meters around downtown just in the last two years, causing a lot more parking tickets to be issued. Putting a parking ticket booth at the end of the Lens pier won’t take up much space, and it will force people in search of a discount out on to the Lens pier.

Number 9: Promote the “Manatee vs. Speed Boat Destruction Derby” shown in the Lens pier marketing materials

Boats and Manatees together at last, what could go wrong? How about we outfit the manatees with armor, and boat-piercing flipper gloves, then they would have a fighting chance. The city could even sell it as the latest reality show, complete with underwater cameras to showcase that crystal-clear water around the Lens pier.

Number 8: The end of the Lens pier will be the only private place in downtown

With Mayor Foster spending another $270,000 to put more surveillance cameras all over downtown, the Lens pier will be the only place to get some privacy away from Big Brother Foster’s prying eyes.

Number 7: Make visiting the Lens pier count as community service for school children and non-violent offenders

If you can’t get people out there voluntarily, then force them out there. Many school kids need community service to graduate, and there are always non-violent offenders in need of community service hours. So what better community service than helping the city to justify it’s $50 million boondoggle by making it seem popular? All you would have to do is walk out to the end of the Lens pier, and the parking ticket booth attendant, from Number 10, can sign the community service forms.

Number 6: Scrub your own name into the algae on the Lens pier

Give people the chance to scrub their own name in the the algae that will grow on the constantly wet concrete at the end of the Lens pier. It will help to keep them less slippery, and people can have a temporary graffiti picture memento of their trip to the Lens pier. It will always grow back, so they have to keep coming back to do it again.

Number 5: Scrub your own name into the bird droppings on the Lens pier

See Number 6 above, except with the bird guano that will be all over the Lens pier.

Number 4: Get St. Petersburg College to offer an Underwater Basket Weaving course out on the Lens pier

Every college kid needs an easy-credit course, so why not the perennial favorite, underwater basket weaving out at the end of the Lens pier.

Number 3: Hand out virtual reality glasses, so you can pretend you are somewhere other than the Lens pier

Since the Lens pier itself will get kind of boring after the first time you visit, the city should lend visitors virtual reality glasses so they can pretend they are somewhere else every time they go to the Lens pier.

Number 2: Put some of those Redbox and Blockbuster DVD rental vending machines out there

We always see people at those DVD vending machines at Publix and Walgreens, but there aren’t many in downtown, so to get the residents of downtown to go to the Lens pier, just put a bunch of those at the end. Like the parking ticket booth, they won’t take up much space, and you are guaranteed repeat visitors.

And The Number 1 Way To Keep People Going To The Lens Pier…. GELATO!

We must have heard the word “Gelato” hundreds of times in reference to the Lens Pier and what is out at the end waiting for us. It is the only thing that all city staff members can think of when asked what there is to do out there, it’s their go-to answer, so we had to make the undeniable lure of this magical frozen wonder treat number 1 on the countdown.

There you go Mayor Foster, we came up with your ten ways to get people to constantly go out to the Lens pier, no need to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars to send city employees on a week-long California vacation now.

Cross-posted with permission of Bob Wilson of the Bill Foster Watch.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.