Saturday, February 17, 2007

Randy Baron Gets St. Peterburg Times Endorsement

In Todays' Times
District 1 (citywide) Randy Baron

"Randy Baron has qualities rarely seen in a first-time candidate: a grasp of city issues, an understanding of how government works and an energy level to put that knowledge to work. In a crowded field that includes better-known candidates, Baron is clearly the best choice.

Baron, 45, is a computer programmer and longtime president of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association. His civic work and background as an attorney give him depth in the ever-technical job of guiding a vibrant city. He understands residents want the basics - safe streets, clean neighborhoods and a sense that City Hall is planning ahead. He would spend more on mass transit and focus on rebuilding commercial corridors in Seminole Heights and West Tampa.

Baron's major attraction is his ability to see how government regulation affects people's lives. He understands the city needs to be more creative in rebuilding old neighborhoods and attracting employers. Baron defends historic preservation, but he also recognizes the city can do a better job by giving property owners incentives and making the permitting process more efficient. He is a realist with an up-front style whose broad perspective suits a citywide council member. Baron does his homework. He leaves people with a sense they have had a fair shake.

The incumbent, Gwen Miller, 72, has little to show for her 12 years on the council. Restaurant owners Rick Barcena, 43, and Denise Chavez, 59, are tax cutters who have not thought through how their campaign pledges would affect city services. Club owner and businessman Joe Redner, 66, says the right things, but his personality seems unsuited for the give and take of governing. Julie Jenkins, 45, a travel consultant and neighborhood activist, would bring energy and an awareness of growth-related problems, but she seems unsteady on the major issues.

Baron has a feel for the neighborhoods, a good balance between his concern for services and the tax rate, and a proven record of getting things done for the people he represents. In the citywide race for District 1, the Times recommends Randy Baron. "


IFly said...

Randy will be getting our vote as well.

Anonymous said...

Looks like he got the Trib as well.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what Randy's marriage status is? Is he Single, Married, Divorced... any kids?

Anonymous said...

"He would spend more on mass transit"
"the Times recommends Randy Baron"

Good enough reasons *not* to vote for him.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:41

What difference does that make????

He is married by the way - his wife is a nurse.

Anonymous said...

He's been married three times - latest to Deborah, what happened to Jennifer?

...did he pay for the speeding ticket?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:30

So putting your head in the sand and pretending that it doesn't take at least 30 minutes to get anywhere in Tampa is the right way to go?

Despite the increase in taxes and insurance our cost of living is still lower than many other states and that is reflected in the volumne of people that move to the region on a weekly basis.

The longer we wait for the region to move forward on mass transit then the more painful it will be all the way around. In today's Trib there was an article that mentioned that Detroit is the only other metro area of similar size that is not addressing traffic issues through mass transit.

As association president, Randy has been fiscally responsible and I would be very suprised if he went in a different direction once on city council.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer is now married to a Trib reporter.

Any more information would make it seem like I was trying to do a character assasination on Jennifer to support Randy. That would make me as bad as Anon 4:40. I recommend you ask Jennifer if you'd like to know more. Essentially, there is more meat in the suggestion you make than the facts would support; you'll be disappointed.

If Randy is politically powerful enough to evade a speeding ticket, I'm going to redouble my efforts to get him elected. We need that kind of pull for Seminole Heights!

Seriously, though, enough of this good-natured kidding. How many city council candidates have gotten the endorsement of both the conservative Trib and liberal Times in the same election? That's pretty darned cool.

Anonymous said...

I guess the question is ... how is his "moral" character ... can he be trusted. How come on his street only his immediate neighbor has a sign in their yard - is he not liked by his neighbors enough to show support with a yard sign? Not knowing him, only through these blogs, and what others write .... would he be honest, and forthright - or become another puppet of the system?

We have one lady saying he starred at her boobs to the embarrassment of her husband. The Front Porch banned him over a dispute over the food last year - although I did notice a "Barron" sign outside on the weekend...

The anarchists have a saying "A change of rulers, is a change of fools!"

Anonymous said...

As best as I can tell, and I've known Randy for a while, his moral character is sound. He's never performed his duties for OSHNA with anything less than the highest ethical standards. This can be verified through OSHNA minutes.

Randy doesn't have the South Tampa or Conservative Christian money machines behind him. So you'll see more Jenkins and Barcena signs (respectively) than Baron signs. They're expensive when you have to buy that many of them. Seminole Heights is diverse. Perhaps his neighbors are conservatives? homophobes? or perhaps Randy didn't think to pressure them into placing up signs. Guess you'll have to ask one of them.

If y'all are gonna throw mud, please come up with something more daming than "he's a straight guy that looked at a woman's boobs" and "The Front Porch got upset when he wasn't happy with his meal and complained." Next thing we'll hear is "his mother is a hamster and his father smelt of elder berries." (Is "elder berries" one word? "elderberries" ?)

Meanwhile, the people most likely to vote for Barcena elected a coke-snorting idiot to the Presidency after immolating Clinton for doing a joint. Fer cryin' out loud get some perspective.

Vote your conscience. I'm voting for Randy. It'll be nice to have someone that knows where Seminole Heights is, the value it represents to the city, and what its needs are. And unlike some politicians that claim to represent us each election cycle, Randy lives here. HERE. Not in New Tampa. He doesn't establish residency for the election and then move to a richer area after he gets elected. He commutes through here, shops here, is active here. Can any other person on the ballot say that?

We're the largest neighborhood in the City. It's about time we have some real representation on the council. I'm tired of monies being diverted to New Tampa and South Tampa and Downtown. Jenkins and Chavez and Barcena aren't going to be there for us.

Anonymous said...

Redner will be there.

Anonymous said...

With Tampa having the worst mayor in Tampa history, the city, and more importantly, Central Tampa, cannot afford 4 more years. However, I think we are stuck with her for 4 more years.

- Spending on frivolous items, riverwalk, etc.
- Crazy salary for unnecessary personnel (Way above average salary)
- ineffective staff - code leaders, zoning,
- inability to effectively work with FDOT and other state departments to ensure that Tampa receives proper funding and attention.
- inability to help clean Tampas litter problem
- touts low crime, yet was recently outed as it was discovered that the numbers have been manipulated to look better than they actually are.
- Has no solid plan for Tampa's future other than "build a park" or "lets put all our money into downtown" Meanwhile all neighborhoods suffer!

While I think we are stuck with her for 4 more years, I cannot in good conscience vote for her. I would vote Joe Redner before supporting her.

For this reason alone, I will vote Randy. Maybe he can help keep her in check to keep the destruction of Tampa to a minimum.

Anonymous said...

"With Tampa having the worst mayor in Tampa history"

Wow. That's quite a hefty claim given Tampa's long and sordid history. Even worse than good-ol-boy Grecco? Got any actual evidence?

"- Spending on frivolous items, riverwalk, etc. "

It's debatable that spending money to uncover a unique and profitable feature of the Downtown area is "frivolous". Every other major city with a large river running through it takes advantage of the river to attract commerce and tourist dollars. Our city fronted it with parking garages, projects, and industrial sites. Fixing that aint "frivolous" it's "overdue". (And one item followed by an "etc" is kinda cheap. List 'em or lose 'em.)

"- Crazy salary for unnecessary personnel (Way above average salary)"

Supporting evidence? Salaries were raised to a national average for cities of the same size. That's "crazy" ?!!

"- ineffective staff - code leaders, zoning,"

All cities have some of this. It's not good, but you'll need to prove she's the worst, and that won't be easy.

"- inability to effectively work with FDOT and other state departments to ensure that Tampa receives proper funding and attention."


"- inability to help clean Tampas litter problem"

We have a litter problem? I've never noticed. (and come on... "worst mayor in history" over litter?)

"- touts low crime, yet was recently outed as it was discovered that the numbers have been manipulated to look better than they actually are."

Outed where? When's the last time you saw a hooker on Nebraksa in Seminole Heights? Drug dealer? When I first moved here it was over 20 of them every night--several per intersection. I've seen a 99% drop in that sort of neighborhood crime. The neighborhood watch crime stats show an overall reduction of over 50% in the Seminole Heights area.

"- Has no solid plan for Tampa's future other than "build a park" or "lets put all our money into downtown" Meanwhile all neighborhoods suffer!"

"build a park" is boiling her plans down a bit too much, don't you say? That's like pointing to a freeway project and calling it "build a path." Downtown revitalization is important for, among other things, reducing crime (one point above this one on your list.) If people live down there, work down there, and it's not ghost town after 5, there are fewer opportunities for crime. How do you get people down there, maybe by providing them access to the huge river that flows through our city. If you're one of the lucky rich few that can buy frontage, this is no big deal. But if you aren't, your opportunities to enjoy it are mostly by looking down while crossing bridges. "Build a park". Heh. What an absurd reduction.

You took this from a RickF playbook, didn't ya? :-)

stevekflorida said...

I just wanted to comment on the earlier posting concerning the lack of yard signs for Randy on his street. My wife and I live on the same street/block as Randy. We are still new to the neighborhood, and only recently met Randy when he was beginning his efforts to run for the district 1 seat. He made a favorable impression on us as a neighbor, as well as a candidate for office. I have read enough of the blogs, local news, etc. to feel confident that he has done many positive things for our neighborhood through OSHNA and would be able to work within the system for the betterment of our neighborhoods and City as a whole.

There has been no request or pressure from Randy to put his sign in our yard. I cannot speak for my neighbors, but I assume this has been the same case for them. I’ve thought in passing about asking him if we can put one in the yard, but have never followed through. I’ll be asking Randy for a sign now.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to comment on the lack of yard signs. I see most of Randy's signs on city right of way or public places, not private homes. The same with Barcena. Barcena is worst. I hear Barcena put his signs on private properties without permission -- which can cost him many votes, etc. There is a reason why candidates can't put signs in private properties or private homes. It's a sign they don't have support. I live in North Tampa but I have friends all over the city. Everywhere I go, I see Julie Jenkins signs in private homes all over town. This tells me she has solid support. There will be a run off. Julie Jenkins will be the "dark horse" who will come first or second in the finishing line. It'll be an interesting race to watch!

Anonymous said...

Well, in so far as North Tampa votes, you have good points.

However, here in Seminole Heights, I only see Baron signs in personal yards. The same for Barcena signs. Chavez, Miller, and Jenkins signs are all over the freeway onramp, the plantings on Hillsborough Blvd dividers, and the right-of-ways on all major intersections.

I won't speek for North Tampa because I rarely get there. I do know that Randy doesn't have the same rich backers that Barcena and Jenkins have and as a result has purchased fewer signs. This would explain why you see more Jenkin or Barcena signs. It also calls into question seeing many Baron signs in public places all over town; he just doesn't have that many to waste.

I won't vote for anyone over Miller, given how ineffective Miller is. Barcena, for example, is a right wing social conservative. We've seen the sort of "good" they do to our community. (Rhonda Storms, anyone?) If the runnoff is Jenkins over Miller, I might vote for Jenkins since both of them will do nothing for Seminole Heights. Miller because she doesn't do anything anyway, and Jenkins because she'll focus on those things that affect her family and daily life in South Tampa. It's better that at least someone gets some benefit out of that race, and with Miller, no one will.

If you live in a neighborhood struggling to revitalize itself and improve its appeal to resident-serving businesses, fix its roads, parking, and improve the general quality of life, Randy Baron is your best choice. If your neighborhood already has these things and your goal is to maintain and protect it, Jenkins is your best bet.

Anonymous said...

Your very wrong to think that Julie Jenkins does not know where Seminole Heights is - or that she doesn't care.

She does have some support in SH - witnessed by the few lawn signs that are on display - not many compared to Randy - but neverless, there is support.

As far as "rich" supporters - Julie's funds are coming from small donations - most in the $100 or less range. She has not loaned the campaign any money - nor could she - the support is coming from friends that she knows, and those now who are hedging their bets as to who might pull through.

One telling line item is the amount of services donated ... this is making a difference, and shows the support of the "small" business community.

She is most willing to meet with anyone from Seminole Heights, or any part of Tampa - and you can reach her by email ( or phone (813) 902-1175

Anonymous said...

correction on email address ...

keepNitReal said...

yeah. all politicians say that then they forget us. Shawn Harrison. Kevin White. Gwen Miller. Julie knows where we are now cause she is wanting votes. Will she know later when we want support? Randy lives here. We can't rely on south tampa to look out for us. we need to do it ourselves.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Oh yeah? Prove it.

Will Joe help us keep the adult sex businesses out of our area?

Whassat? No?