Priorities? Bill Foster leaves key presentation by Rays to meet with owners of Sweetbay

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Just to recap…

Bill Foster sat in the audience Tuesday for the Rays’ presentation to the Pinellas County Commission, but slipped out midway through, leaving the commission chairman, Ken Welch, to pass along Foster’s offer to meet with Sternberg on Thursday.

Turns out Foster left the meeting to talk with Sweetbay executives about keeping one of their stores in Midown, St. Petersburg open.

In other words, a grocery store used so infrequently its owners are shuttering it took precedence over a billion dollar sporting enterprise?

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board described Foster’s leaving early as an “awkward move that captured the mayor’s halting performance on a day when the focus was opening lines of communication.”

I think it’s just a poor sense of priorities. I want to keep a grocery store in Midtown as much as Foster does, but the Rays presentation was more important than meeting with grocery store magnates.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.