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City Council all talk, no action on school zone tickets

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St. Pete City Council took no action on recently surfaced reports that the city is issuing more speeding tickets in school zones than the rest of Pinellas, Hillsborough and Polk counties combined as a result of improperly marked zones at several locations. St. Pete City Council Chair Charlie Gerdes scheduled a staff report for Thursday’s meeting to get more information following a WTSP investigative report uncovering numerous locations where signage was not in compliance with rules set by the Florida…

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St. Pete City Council to take up school zone controversy, but may not have all the facts

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On Thursday, St. Petersburg’s City Council is scheduled to take up the city’s poorly designed school zones, but they might not be getting all the facts from the department of public works. After a WTSP/10 Investigates report had found the St. Petersburg Police Department wrote an astonishing number of school zone tickets at improperly signed school zones the city began, without fanfare, fixing problems at school crossings. A majority of these zones, according to WTSP reporter Noah Pransky, lacked proper signage…

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WTSP: Inadequate warnings, aggressive ticketing and doubled fines plague St. Pete school zones

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Despite years of safety warnings from citizens and community leaders, St. Petersburg will finally begin to correct street signage to better caution drivers of approaching school crossings. The tipping point came after questions from WTSP/10 Investigates, featured in a new report first broadcast Tuesday night. Before the issue became public, however, St. Pete police may have issued thousands of incorrect tickets during the aggressive enforcement of reduced-speed zones. Reporter Noah Pransky discovered the rate of citations was like no other municipality in Tampa Bay. Strict…

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Mitch Perry Report for 9.22.15 — Hillsborough County transportation tax now DOA?

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Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill is calling on Sheriff David Gee to investigate the contract awarded to Parsons Brinckerhoff for the public outreach effort for a proposed transportation sales tax. He’s also calling on PB to stop all work on the Go Hillsborough campaign, until Gee’s inquiry is complete. That second action sounds more dramatic than it is. The Go Hillsborough meetings will continue over the next two weeks. County Chair Sandy Murman had hinted last week that she was prepared to…

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Reacting to media report, Hillsborough County internal auditor to again review Go Hillsborough effort

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Although there was already a 94-page investigation conducted by Hillsborough County’s internal auditor earlier this year that gave the thumbs up to the county’s contracting of the Go Hillsborough public outreach program with engineering consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff, the Board of County Commission today voted to have internal auditor Peggy Caskey conduct another investigation immediately. The motion by Commissioner Kevin Beckner came two days after a report by WTSP-Channel 10 reporter Noah Pransky that investigated local public relations and communications guru Beth Leytham, and her involvement as…

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About Beth Leytham, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn should’ve gone ‘Clear and Present Danger’

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The Tampa political scene is still buzzing about WTSP’s Noah Pransky’s comprehensive and damning report about the working relationship between Mayor Bob Buckhorn and consultant Beth Leytham.  Undoubtedly, Pransky — already a George Polk award-winner — will collect a cabinet’s worth of trophies and accolades for his work. (I have a few problems with the story, including Pransky’s questions about whether Leytham should “register” as a political consultant ((there is no such requirement)) and his reliance on the paint-by-numbers quotes…

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Jeff Brandes files bill to (once again) repeal the use of red-light cameras

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St. Petersburg based GOP state Senator Jeff Brandes has been trying for several years now to put a stake through the heart of the red light camera industry in the Sunshine State, so it should come as no surprise that he introduced SB 168 today. The bill would repeal the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act and eliminate red light cameras in Florida. “Red light cameras are another example of taxation by citation, and Florida cities are in full retreat as municipalities…

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