Greenlight Pinellas next hot-button Green Bench Conversation topic June 24

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On June 24, Tampa Bay leaders will meet with the public to discuss Greenlight Pinellas as part of the latest Green Bench Conversation, hosted by the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

Green Bench Conversation is a semi-regular series of community discussions designed to address the most pressing hot-button regional and civic issues.

The latest in the series will be held on Tuesday, June 24 beginning 5:30 pm. at the freeFall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and PNC Bank serve as hosts.

Among the special guests, invited to exchange ideas and get public feedback on transit options for Pinellas County will be St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos and Indian Rocks Beach Mayor R.B. Johnson. Moderating the Green Bench Conversation will be Chamber President and CEO Chris Steinocher.

Greenlight Pinellas is the countywide transit plan advocated by the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority. In November, county voters will decide on a one-cent sales tax and replacing the current PSTA ad valorem property transit tax.

If approved, Greenlight Pinellas will increase the PSTA operating budget to $130 million, and enact expansion to bus service by nearly 65 percent. Changes include developing high-speed bus lanes and a grid network, which supporters say will improve bus wait times to no more than 15 minutes.

In addition to extended bus coverage areas and additional weekend service, construction would begin on a light rail corridor from St. Petersburg to Clearwater Beach.

Green Bench Conversations are free, but registration is required as seats are limited. To register or for more information, visit www.stpete.com or or call (727) 388-2916.

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 HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, 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 phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.