PRO recommendations for November election

Voting in Pinellas County begins on September 30 as absentee ballots will be mailed out. Some

voters will have more offices to decide on than others, but all will have the opportunity to vote for Greenlight Pinellas. Below are all the candidates recommended by the Pinellas Realtor® Organization and Florida Realtors®:

Yes on Greenlight Pinellas

Jack Latvala for State Senate District 20

Jeff Brandes for State Senate District 22

Larry Ahern for State Representative District 66

Chris Latvala for State Representative District 67

Dwight Dudley for State Representative District 68

Kathleen Peters for State Representative District 69

Darryl Rouson for State Representative District 70

Dave Eggers for County Commission District 4

Ken Peluso for School Board District 4

Rene Flowers for School Board District 7

Julie Ward Bujalski for Dunedin Mayor

Michael Smith for Largo City Commission District 1

Samantha Fenger for Largo City Commission District 2

Harriet Crozier for Largo City Commission District 5

Roger Edelman for Seminole City Council

27 thoughts on “PRO recommendations for November election

  1. YES on Greenlight Pinellas. Not only is this a vote for better transportation and opportunity to spend less time on the road between appointments. It is a vote for the future of Pinellas County and an opportunity for re-development of our aging housing market. In my opinion this is a shrink or grow decision for Pinellas County. As Realtors we should embrace the forward thinking as an action to keep our business going forward as well as securing Pinellas County’s destiny as a great place to live, work and visit. The extra one cent per dollar will give us growth. Without it we are in a quagmire of rising housing costs pushing the workforce and eventually business out of our county. Is that really what you want? Vote YES!

    1. Greenlight is a 14% tax increase and will not solve any transportation problems. Light rail works better in non-spawl regions, but even then, the rider number gains come from existing customers. The gains that will be reported will include bus riders that stopped riding the bus and started riding the rail (that won’t be built for another decade). When it fails to gain net riders, we will continue subsidizing the new system to the same percentage we are now subsidizing PSTA. Eventually, property taxes will again be on the table to save public transportation. Those who used to say “we don’t care how you did it up north” are starting to fall into the same traps that lead to State Income Tax with ubiquitous fees on top.

  2. For clarity sake, PRO is not only recommending candidates, but has taken a position on Greenlight, a tax-related issue. It is unfortunate that I have to explain to my customers (many of whom have been gouged on Pennies For Pinellas and Park Usage Fees, and do not live in St. Petersburg, but in Unincorporated Pinellas, and are in a very high tax bracket) why our member-supported Realtor association is identifying itself as “The Realtor Party.” As a dues-paying member, I believe it would be helpful to all members if you would disclose what percentage of our membership dues have been directed to this cause and also identify who (by name and political affiliation) is responsible for “deciding” PRO’s recommendations? For the record, I signed on to be a member of a Realtor organization, not a political action committee. You are not serving my interests or the interests of my customers. Please get back to the core mission of serving the needs of your membership.

    1. Well stated Connie! Agree entirely.

      And just to clarify, unincorporated Pinellas got hit starting last year with a non-ad valorem assessment (sneak tax), for “unincorporated surface water” which amounted to $266 on this years bill- adding 4% to my property tax bill.

    2. You are right on Connie!!! I’m sure you have a lot of realtors thinking the same way, so I’m glad you expressed your position openly.

    3. I too would like to Thank You for your comments…..much nicer than the way I have been stating for years.

    4. Thank you Connie – and all who support her comments. I am very disappointed that PRO would even attempt to persuade their members to vote according to their beliefs… extremely unethical on their part. I would like to know who was responsible for that dishonorable decision.

    1. The reduction in property taxes will be about the same as the increase in sales tax for the average Pinellas family, within just a few dollars, but will hit homeowners disproportionately. The percentage of taxable goods bought by homeowners is much higher than that of renters.

  3. If we are funding the RPAC / “Realtor Party”, then we should receive a detailed explanation of why RPAC / “Realtor Party is backing certain LOCAL candidates / Issues. There needs to be accountability of where the money goes LOCALLY and why.

  4. I am not sure how many of you know that over $250,000 was donated to Greenlight Pinellasby the National Association of Realtors.

  5. No, on green light. We have a great bus system that’s 75% empty and cheap. Also No to common core and No to Obama care and anyone who supports these.

  6. Connie and Ray Cook are correct! Our Realtor Association should not take a political stand and if they are using part of our fees to fund certain political campaigns or candidates, I want to know about it. My Realtor Board should stay focused on helping Realtors help their clients. Why aren’t they tackling issues that affect their members like the merging of Zillow.com and Trulia.com, 2 of the biggest RE sites and on helping homeowners. I feel like I belong to a union instead of a Realtor organization!

  7. In my humble opinion, having lived in cities with excellent mass transit systems, and having lived in cities during public debate (and passage) of light rail, and having lived in this community off and on over so many decades, I feel a special kinship to the issues. I support much of the concept of Greenlight but not the means of funding the measure. A 1-cent additional sales tax is not the way, especially in a county that already has an extra penny being levied.

    Many people apparently do not realize how relatively low our property taxes actually are, compared to other parts of the country. Reduction? Am I the only one who actually read the insert supporting Greenlight included with the city water bill a few months ago? According to those calculations, the average homeowner would pay LESS than $2/month (it was something like $1.80) in property taxes to fund the project. I don’t know about you, but paying $24/year is far more palatable than an extra penny on every dollar. I’d happily pay that. It seems logical also to suggest the businesses that stand to gain the most from Greenlight be asked to support it, too. Never heard anyone address either of these ideas. Did you?

    As for the slate of candidates, to be truly representative, I would support PRO holding a forum inviting the candidates to present their positions and field questions from the membership. Support for or against Constitutional amendments deserves attention and informed debate as well. Something along the lines of Tiger Bay. If that’s too much trouble, how about a survey of the membership? Otherwise, it isn’t truly representing the membership.

  8. VOTE NO on Amendment 2 as this will affect our neighborhoods in an adverse way. If you are skeptical then take a look at other States where they are spending money to now regulate their marijuana laws. Amendment 2 has no age limit, NOT a prescription, caregivers only need be 21, no regulations and total immunity for growers, etc. Keep Florida the safe, clean, fresh air, family vacation destination and keep the medicines for actual Drs and pharmacies to sell.

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