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Comic relief for a road-weary crowd

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 3, 2002

NEW TAMPA -- District 2 at-large City Council member Rose Ferlita offered New Tampa residents a humorous idea to solve the transportation nightmare: A levitating hover scooter. As a joke Ferlita handed out an advertisement for $15,000 scooter that looks like a giant air hockey puck with handlebars. The vehicle can hit 15 mph on the open road -- or sidewalk.

Addressing the New Tampa Community Council on Thursday night, Ferlita got an earful from residents about traffic jams, poor ambulance service and water shortages in the area.

She spent most of the 90-minute meeting persuading attendees that the City Council was not oblivious to the problems of New Tampa. When one resident suggested that the problems weren't Ferlita's fault, she said, "They're partly my fault," and then explained that was not an excuse.

Ferlita, a possible mayoral candidate, said former Mayor Sandy Freedman had "administrative talent" and Mayor Dick Greco was a "charismatic salesman," and that the next mayor must be a combination.

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