Leslie Curran really wants you to understand “The Lens”, hosts discussion July 10

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 St. Pete City Councilmember Leslie Curran really wants to keep “The Lens” alive. She is hosting an “informational meeting” about the proposed replacement for the Pier, hoping to “clarify issues and address questions regarding this important project.”

Curran’s meeting with the public is set for Wednesday July 10, 6:30 p.m. at Sunken Gardens, 1825 4th Street North.

A strong advocate of the Lens, Curran, along with fellow Councilmember Jeff Danner, believe the lack of support for the replacement of the Pier’s inverted pyramid is due to not enough education about “The Lens.”

However, according to a recent survey by St. Pete Polls, Curran might face an increasingly uphill battle.  

In a June 17 poll of over 1500 registered voters, public support for the Lens has weakened substantially in the lead up to the Aug. 27 referendum. Nearly 63 percent opposed the Michael Maltzan-designed structure compared to almost 27 percent favoring the plan, with 10 percent undecided.

Given six choices to explain why they oppose “The Lens”, more than 35 percent of respondents said they did not get to vote on the future of the Pier.

The next biggest reason was that they didn’t like the design, with 18 percent.

Mayor Bill Foster recently announced a forum to identify what action to take after the city votes on the future of the Pier, called the 828 Alliance. However, many residents still blame Foster and other city leaders for not letting the public have their say on keeping Pier open.

This makes the handling of “The Lens” project the hottest topic on the campaign trail for both Mayor and four City Council seats.

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.