Tuesday, August 22, 2006

St. Petersburg Times Endorsements

The St. Petersburg Times endorsed April Griffin for Hillsborough County School Board, Rose Ferita for Hillsborough County Commission District 1, and Chloe Coney for Hillsborough county Commission district 3.

April Griffin:
"Two candidates stand out among the four seeking to replace Carolyn Bricklemyer, who is retiring after 12 years. April Griffin, a 37-year-old political activist and former substitute teacher, and Ken Allen, 57, who directs the district's adult and community education programs, seem the most knowledgeable and capable. But Griffin comes out ahead for her energy, her concern for vocational and other overlooked programs and the contribution she believes schools should make to civic life.

Griffin lacks the experience Allen brings after 35 years with the school district. Allen is informed, candid about how the district could improve and sensitive to the needs of students in inner-city and crowded schools. Griffin, though, seems to better appreciate how board decisions affect the average family. She also appears more results-driven. She has emphasized important issues the other candidates have not, from meeting the special needs of poorer families and protecting students' rights to strategies for retaining younger teachers. David Schmidt, 57, a school district administrator, and Stephanie Desmarais Georgiades, a 40-year-old former teacher, lack similar depth.

In the countywide District 6 seat, the Times recommends April Griffin."

Rose Ferlita:
"Rose Ferlita is the choice for Republicans in south Tampa and west Hillsborough who want a mature, sensible commissioner. In eight years on the Tampa City Council, Ferlita has championed the right priorities, from making neighborhoods safer and cleaner to boosting the city's economy. She is hard-working, independent and knows how to bring people together - traits especially needed on this fractious board and valuable in a commissioner whose district runs the gamut from the toniest to the toughest neighborhoods.

The 60-year-old Tampa native and longtime pharmacist knows this community better than her opponents. She has a firmer grasp on the issues, and her council experience would serve her well in helping the county work better with city government. Her main opponent, 35-year-old Brad Swanson, has run a smear campaign devoid of ideas. More pettiness is the last thing this board needs. Don Kruse, a 46-year-old auto dealer, and engineer Gary Santti, 52, lack an agenda.

Ferlita instills confidence. She is reasonable, accessible and does her homework. The Times recommends Rose Ferlita in the District 1 Republican primary for Hillsborough County Commission."

Chloe Coney

Chloe Coney's ethics, attitude and record of accomplishment far exceed what her main opponent, Kevin White, brings to the table. Coney, 56, retired recently as president of the Corporation to Develop Communities, where she helped attract millions in public and private investment to impoverished east Tampa. Her work to expand affordable housing, child care and family services in this predominantly black community has left a positive legacy for generations. She could build on that in public office.

White, 41, a Tampa City Council member, is an arrogant, ethically tone-deaf candidate who offers no agenda. East Tampa deserves and can do better. Another challenger, Dorothy Admire, a 39-year-old social worker and health services administrator, seems genuine. But Coney's record is unmatched. The respect she commands would draw more attention to Tampa's poorest neighborhoods. The Times recommends Chloe Coney in the District 3 Democratic primary for Hillsborough County Commission.


Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Does the journalist know Kevin White personally? It doesn't get any worse than this.

Sara said...

The Times chose well in all three cases.