Candidates Differ on Clam Bayou, Liveaboards and Mooring Field

All four Gulfport City Council Candidates discuss smoking ban, Clam Bayou, red light cameras and more at City of Gulfport and League of Women Voters "Meet the Candidates" forum Monday night.

On Tuesday, March 13, voters will decide who should represent the city for the Ward 1 and Ward 3 council seats. On Monday night, residents and supporters packed the Catherine Hickman Theater in Gulfport for the annual "Meet the Candidates" Forum moderated by the League of Women Voters.

Gulfport Patch put together responses from each candidate about Clam Bayou, allowing live-aboards at the Gulfport Municipal Marina and adding a mooring field in Boca Ciega Bay.

Clam Bayou, Liveaboards, Mooring Field

Ward 3 Candidate Jennifer Salmon

"I'm in favor of all of them. Clam Bayou, I believe that the work that's finishing by swmd is not sufficient. We need to get rid of the build up of toxic sediments that have come in there from our neighbors that are north of us. The 24 boat mooring field to sail boats, and situated away from our swimming area downtown, I think it's a wonderful way to bring boaters into our restaurants but also keep the area for swimming. In terms of the Marina, I support the Harbormaster's suggestion to have at least 20 slips that are for qualified boats, in terms of having Coast Guard inspections."

Ward 1 Candidate David Hastings

"We're not totally in control as far as the Clam Bayou is concerned. We're waiting SWFWMD's project to be completed. We expect that to be completed in April of this year. Then we can meet with SWFWMD officials and establish some ongoing parameters to see and control, to see how the cleanup has gone. The mooring field, I'm in favor of the mooring field. We have passed a limited mooring field of 25 buoys. We have money in the budget that we set aside for that. Hopefully we'll get to that sometime this year. It is for non-powered boats and it will keep the derelict vessels out of the large area outside of our pier. The live-aboards, we're looking at that right now. I'm initially in favor of the liveaboards."

Ward 1 Candidate Dan Liedtke

"Clam Bayou, I am not an environmental scientist so I won't pretend to know better than those that are. The Southwest Florida Water Management District has a big project going on in there and I think we should wait and see the results of that. I think the only way to cleanup Clam Bayou is to get everybody to move out of South Pinellas County, which isn't gonna happen. I'm certainly not in favor of dredging Clam Bayou, I think we should see how the efforts of the recent project take effect.

Mooring field, I'm against it. I wanna know why we're spending money on a mooring field when we can't afford our police services. If a private vendor wants to come up or a private company wants to come up and give us money for a mooring field then I think we should look at it. When we can't pay for our dispatch, I don't think we should be spending money on another place to park a boat.

Liveaboards, great idea. I'm glad to see the city council and the Mayor brought this up. It's finally good to hear these folks talk about something that can generate revenue for the city. I'm in favor of live-aboards. I think it adds additional security to the Marina and I know for a fact that we've lost a lot of business at the Marina because of the limitations on our length of stay."

Ward 3 Candidate James Perry

"Clam Bayou is not the runoff from Twin Brooks Golf Course and St. Petersburg, some of it is. The real problem with Clam Bayou is when I was a kid it was the garbage dump. There's refrigerators, there's garbage, there's everything that a landfill takes today and even more toxins back then that is buried out there. It was also a gun range. There's more lead out there, buried in that place then you can imagine. It's gonna take four years for SWFWMD to come back and take a look at it. Maybe they don't realize what is out there and what's buried. I say, let it sit four years, come in and then take a look at it.

The mooring field, I'm only for it if the Marina is full and the Marina's making money. Otherwise don't spend any money unless it makes you money.

Liveaboards, I'm all for it. In fact, years ago people did live aboard."

Douglas Hudson February 07, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Looks like Mr Perry has done a complete flip-flop since the Town Shores candidates' forum last month where he spoke of the glow-in-the-dark manatees in the Bayou.
Nancy Kelley February 07, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Dan Liedtke at the Candidates forum, smeared the volunteer efforts of the City of Gulfport and the Gulfport Neighbors by referring to the help 96 people gave to one of Gulfports residents as a "Media event." A self righteous remark in my opinion. This from a privileged person who does absolutely no volunteer work in this community. I see nothing regards that comment here on Patch this morning.
Stacy Roberts February 07, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Not sure if you were at the same Candidate forum as the rest of us but Liedtke made no reference to the Gulfport Neighbors. I hope people are smart enough to understand this is a smear attempt on a decent guy who believes volunteer efforts that sometimes have the biggest effect are the ones most of us never hear about.
Ed in Gulfport February 07, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Ms Roberts, you'll find the same attackers in any forum you research from the Gulfport Patch to Facebook and Hudson and Kelley will always be leading the 'pack'. 'They' are determined to undermine the best candidate (Mr. Liedtke) Gulfport has had 'running' in many years. Interestingly enough none of these same people or forums mention Mr. Hastings VERY INTERESING ADMISSION OF HIS OWN PROBLEMS LAST EVENING....but maybe we haven't heard the last of this issue either.
mtober February 07, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Mr. Liedtke broke his promise to answer this question. ======================================= Gulfport Watchdogs Looking forward to this response as we've been waiting since 1/11 From: Daniel Liedtke - Candidate for Gulfport City Council <Dan@GulfportSpirit.com> Subject: RE: Question re: Revenue Generation To: "Gulfport Watchdogs" <gulfportwatchdogs@...yahoo.com> Date: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 8:24 AM Great Question! Look for my answer in the next forum at the Hickman Theater. Thank You, -------- Original Message -------- Subject: Question re: Revenue Generation From: Gulfport Watchdogs <gulfportwatchdogs@yahoo.com> Date: Wed, January 11, 2012 8:51 pm To: dan@gulfportspirit.com Mr. Liedtke - re: your comment: "However, if we start looking now at ways to increase revenue from existing assets and start looking now for new streams of revenue, then maybe in two to four years we can start to bring property taxes back down," Question: A very valuable City asset is the land under the Gulfport Lions Club building for which the Lions Club pays next to nothing to lease. There are obvious potential opportunities for significant generation of revenue there. If elected, would you be willing to approach the Lions Club to negotiate a purchase of their building in order to capitalize on the opportunites that may be available with that property? Thanks,
mtober February 07, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Ms. Roberts - You are correct Liedtke did not mention the Gulfport Neighbors by name. However, there has only been one recent volunteer event with "televison camera" coverage. Why would any candidate disparage the work of almost 100 people from all around Tampa Bay who opened their hearts and extended their hands to help a neighbor in need? ======================================================== Mr. Ed - newsflash-- Mr. Hastings' interesting admission was not a revelation. It came out two years ago and apparently it didn't bother you then or weren't you paying attention? If Mr. Liedtke is the best candidate one would think he would know the definitiion of "public art" and have educated himself on the "enterprise funds". Interesting that he didn't bring up recycling again as a way to raise revenue and bring the city in the black. Last as to his innuendo about Sunshine Law violation by the current council, Mr. Liedtke might view some council meetings from years gone by and watch how those councils made swift decisions and shoved thru any number of matters including the appointment of an interim city attorney.
Ed in Gulfport February 07, 2012 at 01:41 PM
And there she is with more of her vitriolic and hateful statements towards anyone who might disagree with her agenda(s). You are well exposed now, Ms. Tober...there are now a group of very nice, concerned Gulfportians who keep in-touch and let each other know when your 'posts' have again inflicted insult and injury to well meaning citizens. I am not the least bit intimidated by you and will continue to support candidates and issues I sincerely believe are best for the 'city'. Peace to you....
Jennifer February 07, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Ohhh small town politics. This thread is hilarious! The article is very interesting, though. This series has been really useful in helping someone like me, who is REALLY not mired in the ins and outs local election make a decision at the voting booth. Personally, I'm for the candidates who have enough vision to see how beneficial the mooring field could be. But one thing that nobody is bringing up is a budget for marketing. How do we expect boats to come here if we don't also focus on marketing Gulfport as a cruiser's destination? We can't stay a "hidden gem" forever.
Bryan Tree February 07, 2012 at 03:07 PM
New police dispatch is working better than before and saving us a $300,000 per year. Seems a waste of time to fight that battle again. What about all the air pollution here? How many tickets have the police given for smoking tailpipes?
Ed in Gulfport February 07, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Dear Ms Jo....one can really 'hear' the pain in your words and I'm truly sorry you've had such bad experiences. My only point is that people should be allowed to support any candidate they believe in without being bashed in every public forum by these same group of haters. There are always many sides to every issue that affects the 'city'. There are always many people that will stand up for someone that might be undeserving. But in the case of Mr. Liedtke and Mr. Perry, they deserve common respect from all and on election day let the chips fall where they may. I will point out that the very question that generated the response last evening regarding the substance abuse problem was brought up to the proctor handling the questions by one of these same wanna-be power brokers as we saw him write it in the aisle. When the responses came out no one was more stunned than I because it appeared to be orchestrated by one of Mr. Hastings alleged supporters. Please continue to do your best work out there on behalf of your husband/candidate. I will continue to do my best work for mine. There is no need for vitriolic attacks here on anyone. Peace....Edd Dunn
CJ February 07, 2012 at 03:24 PM
I really like the way Mr Hastings takes positions that are easy to see. He supports the mooring field and the liveaboards. The in depth enviromental issues of Clam Bayou Mr Perry mentioned are oviously are a daunting and valid problem. although I can't see how the problems from several generations ago are ever going to be addressed under the present economy. Mr Perry's comments on that seemed to downplay the importance of the general clean-up efforts that My Hastings has been instrumental in. He helped form the volunteer groups that have certainly been appreciated. I have seen with my own eyes how the clean-up projects not only make a difference..but they also set a fine example. Doing a litter clean-up project in Clam Bayou is not your normal one. For a litter clean-up..it is a daunting task in itself. It does not clean up buried lead, but it sure make things look nicer. Things like this will gain stregth and support and become better and better. Anything good that is going on in Gulfport right now ..Mr hastings is right there in the middle of it. It is easy for anyone to see that. His intentions are excellent and his positions are clear.
Cherlene Willis February 07, 2012 at 03:29 PM
The video from last night's forum is now online. Courtesy of the City of Gulfport. Here is the link: http://www.mygulfport.us/City_Meetings/Videos/2012/020612Candidates.html
mtober February 07, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Mr.Ed- Gosh, not sure what you find vitriolic here. As to following my posts that have inflicted insult and injury--where are they? I am not trying to intimidate you or anyone else. We both have a right to our opinions. I find it interesting that you have on numerous occassions judged me, yet you've never met me. Perhaps you'd like to join me for a coffee at Stella's?
Teddy Kehoe February 07, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I attended the Candidates Forum Last night in Gulfport at the Catherine Hickman Theater Here we had a chance to hear what the candidates will do for if elected to their wards seat as Council Person. The Ward One challenger Dan Liedtke, is walking contradiction to himself. He has stated the obvious of our town, and I can only guess he thinks that he can reinvent the wheel. His platform is of past issues that were costing our town hundreds of thousands of dollars every year and in my opinion, had gross overages due to lack of supervision. His vision to get monies into the Cities coffers seem have nothing to do with putting monies into the city coffers. Lets bad mouth the Mooring Field as once set up it will repay itself and make money, yet in the same breath let’s spend hundreds of thousand of dollars on a miss managed dispatch that can not provide the safety and service the current Sheriffs Department Dispatch Services provides. Another thing I believe is important to know about before he speaks. Is how he contradicted the Police Chief in revenues generated from the red light cameras? He also spoke as an idiot and stated the 50% LESS ACCIDENTS THE RED LIGHT CAMERAS HAVE PRODUCED in not acceptable reason to have them….?
Teddy Kehoe February 07, 2012 at 03:50 PM
When asked if he attended the South 49 Car Show over the weekend, Liedtke sat up and leaned up very close to the microphone and stated (quite proudly) that yes he did attend, and explained his car to the audience. This was an event that was staffed by VOLUNTEERS. Brought to you by the same people you insulted on stage this night, many of them were in attendance as you spoke. His arrogance and ignorance were on the stage for the entire world to see last night. Yet he found it necessary to belittle the efforts of our City, our citizens and our City Council.
mtober February 07, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Mr. Edd - you do have a right to your opinion as we all do and we all have a right to point out inaccurate information when it is parlayed. Stating that neither Mr. Liedtke nor Mr. Perry know the definition of Public Art or the very critical Enterprise Funds and how they work is not an attack. It was a statement of fact as they both mis-spoke about both subjects. I've called Gulfport home since I was a kid. I and my brother went to school with the Perry kids. My mother bought vegetables from their parents. Jim Perry is a good guy but I saw an angry side last night that saddened me. I also saw no intellectual grasp of the issues. That, IMO, is not what this city needs to move forward.
Teddy Kehoe February 07, 2012 at 03:51 PM
We also heard that none of our City Council or the Challengers had felony arrest on their records… Now based on the attendance at the forum, I could probably guess who sent that lame question in. But the fact is the fact. D. Hastings has a ticket for Marijuana, A TICKET, a misdemeanor for something that is legal 18 states of the Union, with more states to come. She should of remembered that that question was asked by the Taylor camp last year and was answered the same. I think anyone (or group) who follows the Ian philosophy of campaign tactics is doomed…Just Saying Mr. Liedtke touted the Flag, Our Service Men (while forgetting our Service Women and Veterans) and God as the way we will find fiscal responsibility here in Gulfport. As a veteran I felt dirty with that used, in the context of his answer. All that did was give the Gabber (The FishWrapper) a chance to give inaccurate sound bites of the forum, but very little substance in the knowledge of working for my City of Gulfport.
CJ February 07, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I'm new around here..but since this is Florida..news of someone that has had an incident concerning weed does not bother or surprise me or effect (affect?) my support for Mr Hastings. I mean that candidly. If anything, at least we now know he is Presidential material. Maybe he is running for the wrong office?
Lynda February 07, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Thanks for the link to the video of the meeting.
mtober February 08, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Jennifer- excellent point regarding marketing!! A huge blackhole in the city operations. Unfortunately I think it has also become a "nice-to-have" that we can't afford right now. The same thing for a Grant Researcher / Writer. To me, these fall under "need to spend money to make money" . I suspect the mere mention of spending money for such though will bring about the everpresent, can't let go response of ..."couldn't afford dispatch, but....".
mtober February 08, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Mr.Ed- How does a misdeameanor ticket for marijuana translate to "substance abuse"? That would appear to really push the envelope on the vitriolic attack meter. I am surprised that you would twist that issue so out of context.
mtober February 08, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Mr. Ed- Can you help me and others understand why Mr. Liedtke would disparage the work of almost 100 people from all around Tampa Bay who opened their hearts and extended their hands to help a Gulfport neighbor in need? Seriously- why would he do that?
Juan Happicampa February 08, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Jennifer, to be clear, there will be no Cruisers allowed in the mooring field, only non-power sailboats if there is such a thing. Also keep in mind that the area is very shallow so the boat will need a shallow draft. (that's why the original field was placed to the west in front of the beach, it's deeper there) A shallow draft on a sailboat is a very small boat so the area may get some local sailboat activity, from local clubs, but we will hardly need to start a promotional campaign to attract local sailors. I don't know what the attraction will be for Live-aboards in Gulfport, there are no onshore services. The bayou needs to be cleaned and anyone who actually looks into the issue in depth comes away wondering why not?
Mr. Fish February 08, 2012 at 06:39 PM
More laughs gotten from the other west coast!
Juan Happicampa February 09, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Brian, Tailpipes is under the oversight of the state not the City.
CJ February 09, 2012 at 02:16 AM
..and also under the new ''no smoking'' signs...lol..
Dan Morelli PA February 09, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Anyone who could post information like the above is lower than anything I could denote.
Cherlene Willis February 09, 2012 at 04:16 PM
We thank everyone for reading and commenting on Gulfport Patch. We are currently reviewing comments on the site and want to remind all users of our "terms of use" policy. Please review it on this link: http://gulfport.patch.com/terms. If we find comments that violate our terms of use they will be removed. Thanks, Cherlene


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