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Pier Selection Committee sets a date for final Pier ranking

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Pier Selection Committee will meet Thursday April 23 at 2 p.m. to discuss and rank the final three pier designs.

The meeting will be held at City Hall in City Council chambers.

The meeting follows a previous one earlier this month in which members of the committee failed to agree to a final ranking of three remaining designs — Alma, Destination St. Pete Pier and Pier Park despite 12 hours of debate and public comment.

By the end of that meeting, the committee seemed poised to rank the design known as Alma in its number one spot with either Pier Park or Destination St. Pete Pier following.

Alma ranked number five on the city’s public survey while Destination St. Pete Pier and Pier Park held the number one and two spots respectively. This has drawn outrage among some active members in the community. Their public comment prompted the committee to hit the pause button.

They are expected to discuss new information from the three design teams at the meeting. Members said they would be sending individual questions to each of the design teams before making a decision.

Whichever team nabs the top ranking will still be subject to City Council approval. That board will vote up or down the selection committee’s ranking. If approved, that gives Mayor Rick Kriseman the green light to begin negotiations with the top-ranked team. If negotiations fail, the second-ranked team would enter negotiations.

If council rejects the ranking, which could happen based on public opinion if the committee chooses Alma, the process would essentially start anew. The committee would then re-rank the remaining six teams.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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