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Bus system board regains ex-member

Pinellas Park council member Patricia Bailey-Snook switches back to the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority for convenience's sake.

By ANNE LINDBERG
Published April 17, 2005


PINELLAS PARK - Although she seldom attended meetings the last time she served, Patricia Bailey-Snook is back on the board of the agency that oversees the county bus system.

The reappointment enabled her to step down from a different countywide board, the Homeless Initiative, whose monthly meetings were at an "inconvenient" time. The task force was designed to find solutions to Pinellas County's homeless problem.

Bailey-Snook asked at Tuesday's City Council workshop for relief.

"I know you appointed me to the homeless board," Bailey-Snook said.

Rick Butler jumped in: "I'll trade you for the PSTA. I'll name a bus after you before I leave."

The PSTA is the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, which has an annual budget of about $42.6-million.

"You would?" Bailey-Snook said. Then she referred to the homeless task force: "It's totally inconvenient for me to meet the first Friday of the month at 1 o'clock."

Mayor Bill Mischler wanted to know if Pinellas Park had to send an elected official to the homeless board. City Manager Mike Gustafson said yes.

Bailey-Snook: "I did run across old reports, some old reports and in 1989, they were still talking about the same thing they're talking about today over there. So just because the money's available from Washington, they're spinning their wheels again ... They're not accomplishing anything."

Mischler asked if Bailey-Snook and Butler would like to switch boards.

Bailey-Snook: "I don't know when his meeting is."

She was told the meetings are once a month. Bailey-Snook repeated that the homeless task force meetings are only once a month, but that they are inconvenient. After a brief discussion of when the meetings took place, Bailey-Snook and Butler agreed to switch.

The council confirmed the switch at Thursday's meeting.

The Pinellas Park council has tangled over PSTA representation before. The five council members tend to scatter at the thought of serving on that board.

Butler served on PSTA from the time he was elected in 1998 until he and Bailey-Snook tangled over a couch. The neon yellow, green and rust-colored couch in the council chambers is a Bailey-Snook favorite. Butler threatened in 2001 to dispose of it unless she took his place on the PSTA. Bailey-Snook agreed.

Two years later, the PSTA complained that Bailey-Snook had missed 10 out of 12 meetings. She blamed her health. Butler volunteered to take her place.

Last year, Butler tried to avoid another three-year appointment to the PSTA board. He even attempted bribery, saying at the time, "I'll give up my parking space for a month. Two months. A year."

There were no takers.