Woman jumps into City Council race because of Pier - FOX 13 News

Woman jumps into City Council race because of Pier

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

Long-time environmental activist Lorraine Margeson will challenge James Kennedy for his seat on the St. Petersburg City Council. 

Kennedy has consistently defended the proposed new St. Petersburg Pier known as the Lens. 

Margeson has been immersed in the "Stop The Lens" petition drive for months, first as a volunteer, then as a paid employee. 

Kennedy was running for re-election unopposed.  Then Margeson got her new voter identification card and discovered re-districting moved her into Kennedy's council district. 

"I've just seen such a mess in the whole way this process has been handled from the get go in every way that there really just has to be a sea change in the way we do government in the city of St. Petersburg" Margeson told FOX 13 News.

"This issue has brought to a point I think for everyone that there's something really, really wrong in how St Pete is being run by current elected officials" she said.

The Stop The Lens petition drive gathered enough signatures to require a referendum on the August primary ballot. 

Voters will decide whether the city should terminate the contract with Lens architect Michael Maltzan. 

An earlier petition drive asked for a referendum on whether the existing St. Petersburg Pier should be demolished or renovated.  That petition was deficient under the city charter, and Kennedy was one of the council members who resisted putting any Pier-related questions on any ballot. 

Late Monday afternoon Kennedy told FOX 13 News he had not heard about Margeson's candidacy and had no comment.

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