Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Friendship TrailBridge Committee Shows No Leadership On Bridge Repairs and Makes No Decision On Recommendation

Wanted: One elected county commissioner in Pinellas or Hillsborough county who has the balls to stand up for the people and move ahead in fixing the Friendship TrailBridge, or the old Gandy Bridge.

Last night I attended a Friendship TrailBridge oversight committee meeting in Tampa and listened to dozens of people plead with the county commissioners who serve on the committee -- Al Higginbotham and Jim Norman from Hillsborough and Karen Bostock and Calvin Harris of Pinellas -- to vote and recommend that the counties apply for a $15 million federal stimulus grant to fix the bridge.

Jim Norman wants both counties to beg Charlie Crist and the state Legislature for money to fix the bridge -- something that has been done before. Hardly new, Jim Norman.

Here's a typical Jim Norman photo at the meeting -- he's looking bored listening to people tell their stories about how important the Friendship TrailBridge is to their lives. There's Jim with his chin cupped in his palm, thinking that he'd rather be watching Bucs highlights from their Super Bowl season.

He's l;ooking bored because Jim Norman, who's in the back pocket of the Tampa Bay Bucs and wants to be the Hillsborough County "Sports Commissioner," had already made up his mind to not support the repair of the Friendship TrailBridge

So in the end, the bi-county panel entrusted to make a recommendation made no recommendation and adjourned tonight. How's that for showing no leadership?

How disappointing.

Meanwhile SWFBUD stepped up. One of SWFBUD's eight bike shops -- Bicycle Outfitters of Seminole -- promised to donate 10 new bikes for rental purposes at the Fiendship TrailBridge for the use to make money for the bridge if the two counties fixed and re-opened the bridge, which has been closed since November.

Let's see the county officials step up, too.

See you at the Hillsborough County Commission Budget Hearing Thursday night at 6 PM at the People's All Life Center at 6105 East Sligh Ave. in Tampa.

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