Saturday, November 18, 2017
Editorials

Editorial: Frivolous 'influencers' spending

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At a cost of $92,250, St. Petersburg is going to pay social media users with large followings to tweet and post about the city's arts and business scenes. If that sounds like a frivolous use of taxpayer money, it is.

The contract approved this week by the City Council at the request of Mayor Rick Kriseman will pay Sparks Branding House, a Tampa marketing firm, to identify social media "influencers" to come to town and get a feel for the arts and economic development climate in St. Petersburg, and then post about it to their followers. Sparks will identify which influencers to target, and their visits would presumably result in positive promotion, but the city can't tell the influencers what to write.

The city already spends $3 million a year on marketing, and groups such as the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corp. have efforts devoted to exactly this type of promotion. Such a nebulous but pricey pay-to-promote social media campaign seems redundant and unneeded. And to launch it while Kriseman is seeking re-election raises the question of just who stands to benefit from the good press.

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Editorial: Good for Tampa council member Frank Reddick to appeal for community help to solve Seminole Heights killings

As the sole black member of the Tampa City Council, Frank Reddick was moved Thursday to make a special appeal for help in solving four recent murders in the racially mixed neighborhood of Southeast Seminole Heights. "I’m pleading to my brothers. You ...
Published: 11/17/17
Editorial: It’s time to renew community’s commitment to Tampa Theatre

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New attention to downtown Tampa as a place to live, work and play is transforming the area at a dizzying pace. Credit goes to recent projects, both public and private, such as the Tampa River Walk, new residential towers, a University of South Florid...
Published: 11/17/17
Editorial: Rays opening offer on stadium sounds too low

Editorial: Rays opening offer on stadium sounds too low

The Rays definitely like Ybor City, and Ybor City seems to like the Rays. So what could possibly come between this match made in baseball stadium heaven? Hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds) of millions of dollars. Rays owner Stu Sternberg told Times...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Editorial: Wage hike for contractors’ labor misguided

Editorial: Wage hike for contractors’ labor misguided

St. Petersburg City Council members are poised to raise the minimum wage for contractors who do business with the city, a well-intended but misguided ordinance that should be reconsidered. The hourly minimum wage undoubtedly needs to rise — for every...
Published: 11/16/17

Editorial: Make workplaces welcoming, not just free of harassment

A federal trial began last week in the sex discrimination case that a former firefighter lodged against the city of Tampa. Tanja Vidovic describes a locker-room culture at Tampa Fire Rescue that created a two-tier system — one for men, another for wo...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Editorial: Firing a critic of his handling of the sewer crisis is a bad early step in Kriseman’s new term

Editorial: Firing a critic of his handling of the sewer crisis is a bad early step in Kriseman’s new term

Barely a week after St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman promised to unite the city following a bitter and divisive campaign, his administration has fired an employee who dared to criticize him. It seems Kriseman’s own mantra of "moving St. Pete forwar...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17
Editorial: USF’s billion-dollar moment

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Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Editorial: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits

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Published: 11/14/17

Editorial: Deputies’ rescue reflects best in law enforcement

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Published: 11/13/17
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Another voice: An untrustworthy deal with Russia

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Published: 11/13/17
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