Builders Association Endorses Baker
Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker is running to get his old job back.
ST. PETERSBURG – –The Tampa Bay Builders Association announced it has endorsed Rick Baker for mayor of St. Petersburg.
Association leaders met with the top candidates and made the decision at their board of directors meeting.
“We appreciate both candidates for their leadership and service to the community; however, based on our experience we feel strongly that Rick Baker’s responsiveness to issues facing the community, and willingness to include all parties in conversations that affect development is key to St. Pete’s success,” Mark Spada, association president, said.
The association monitors key issues such as level of service for permitting and inspections, and supports hiring additional resources, funded by building permit fees, to maintain a quality and responsive building department. Under Baker, the level of service and response times for the building department was a model for the region, the association said. That service and open dialogue between neighborhoods, homeowners, builders and city officials has deteriorated.
The Tampa Bay Builders Association has more than 800 members from the local building industry. Headquartered in Tampa, the TBBA is a professional organization serving Tampa Bay area construction-related businesses in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties. These include builders, developers, suppliers, subcontractors, lending institutions, architectural and engineering firms, as well as other related businesses.
The TBBA promotes professionalism and continuing education within the tri-county building-and-development industry, while encouraging industry participation in the community at large.
Baker is one of six candidates running for St. Petersburg mayor. The others are incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challengers Paul Congemi, Jesse Nevel, Anthony Cates and Theresa Lassiter. A seventh opponent, Ernisa Barnwell, was disqualified after she failed to pay the filing fee, according to city officials.
The St. Petersburg mayor serves four years and earns $180,895 a year.
The primary is Aug. 29. If no candidate gets at least 50 percent plus one vote, the two top votegetters will advance to the Nov. 7 General Election.
For information about TBBA, call (813) 571-TBBA, or go to tbba.net.
For information about Baker, go to bakerstpete.com.
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