Mayors from Orlando, Tampa, Lakeland meet with Scott, but can't convince him on high-speed rail

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Gov. Rick Scott repeated his opposition to the high-speed train between Orlando and Tampa Tuesday morning, just hours after meeting with three mayors who tried to change his mind. “They have not convinced me,” Scott said at a rally of tourism officials at the University of Central Florida school of hospitality campus near International Drive. Scott said he was rejecting $2.4 billion in federal stimulus funding because he feared that taxpayers eventually could be forced to pay billions in possible cost overruns. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields held an unpublicized meeting with Scott Monday night in Orlando. The gathering was seen as a last-ditch effort by the mayors to convince Scott to support the $2.7 billion rail plan. The Dyer administration had little to say about the gathering. “In an effort to demonstrate the importance of high speed rail to our community Mayor Dyer is continuing to discuss the federal funding for high-speed rail with Gov. Scott,” said Heather Allebaugh, Dyer’s press secretary. Continue reading here.

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.