Direct mail round-up: “Rip Van Steingold” in Safety Harbor

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Safety Harbor Mayor Joe Ayoub’s current direct mail blast paints former mayor and mayoral candidate Andy Steingold as a “Rip Van Winkle” waiting 25 years to start a new waterfront park behind the Safety Harbor Spa.

“When we initially purchased the park, the idea was that it would be a 10-25 year project that it would span over many subsequent commissions to come, not just one commission,” Steingold said in a January 29 candidates forum, reports Jeff Rosenfield in

Steingold also announced what he referred to as the Safety Harbor Preservation Act, which would “maintain the small-town charm” of Safety Harbor, preventing it from developers turning the area into “a concrete jungle.” Ayoub wants to start work this year with city funds allocated for the park, saying he is in favor of enjoying amenities “sooner rather than later.”

Ayoub’s mailer latched on to his opponent’s words, blasting him while outlining the facts behind the park’s early development plan — which the incumbent wants to start immediately.

The mailer talks about the “steering committee, appointed by the Commission” that already developed with a plan for the park, one with “landscaping, walking trails and benches” and how the public was engaged throughout the process.

In addition, after Steingold’s resignation, Ayoub had the Commission budget $2.5 million for the park to begin work this year — not in two decades.

The flyer declares Ayoub’s commitment to “giving residents the park they were promised and asked for,” while showing Steingold dozing off, like Washington Irving’s hero.

“Wait 25 years … Seriously? We’ll be pretty old by then.”

Pretty funny for a non-partisan race.


Postcard2 6x11 Front_Waterfront Park_mailed on 2-17-2014



Postcard2 6x11 Back_Waterfront Park_mailed on 2-17-2014


Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.