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Public comment on Trop starts at Feb. 21 hearing

By AARON SHAROCKMAN, Times Staff Writer
Published January 18, 2008


ST. PETERSBURG- The City Council made Thursday's decision to take a step toward the possible redevelopment of Tropicana Field without public input.

Council members said this week that council rules prohibited public discussion, because the item was discussed under a section of the agenda called council reports.

But during a work session Thursday morning, council Chairman Jamie Bennett suggested allowing comment anyway.

A majority of the council members said no.

Most said they believed it would unfair to allow some members of the public to comment when others already had been informed that they could not speak. Others said there would be better opportunities for the public to speak later.

"I would think the appropriate time for public input would be better when the proposals were made," council member Jeff Danner said. "All we're doing today is asking a question."

Instead, the council agreed to hold three public hearings on the stadium plan. The first public hearing has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 21.

"The perception is that the public has not really had a part of this," said council member Jim Kennedy. "The burden is on us to change that perception."

[Last modified January 17, 2008, 23:59:48]

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