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St. Pete mayor talks red tide, updated CDC mask guidance at community meeting

Mayor Rick Kriseman joined a group of neighborhood and community leaders Friday at Café Con Tampa to discuss hot topics affecting the Tampa Bay area.

TAMPA, Fla. — Café Con Tampa is a group of neighborhood and community leaders that meets weekly to discuss issues in Tampa Bay. On Friday, Mayor Rick Kriseman was the guest speaker.

If you didn’t catch Kriseman with your coffee this morning, don’t worry — we have you covered. He spoke about some of the hot topics we’ve all been talking about lately. One of those topics was red tide, and how legislators need to take action.

“You know, red tide has been going on for a long time but, fertilizer, that contributes to red tide,” Kriseman said. “Certainly what happened at Piney Point. I’m not a scientist, but I believe that it supercharged red tide, and if those things had been addressed, the significance of the red tide that we’ve experienced might not have been anything like what it was.”

The mayor said the Environmental Protection Agency provided St. Pete with some more boats and resources to help with clean-up.

Kriseman also spoke about the current debate over masks after CDC guidance changed earlier this week.

“Get a vaccine,” he said. “Secondly, I think when you’re indoors, you need to start thinking about wearing these again. CDC is recommending it, even if you’ve been vaccinated. It’s unfortunate, I hate wearing them. I don’t know anybody who likes wearing them, but if I can do something to keep my family safe, that keeps the people around me safe, and keeps me safe, and this is what it is? I’m going to do it.”

With this event happening in Tampa, the mayor also spoke about how neighboring municipalities can work together to make the bay area better for everyone. Especially when it comes to beating traffic with new public transportation options.

“The premium transit option of BRT that goes from Wesley Chapel to downtown St. Petersburg, I really hope it happens,” he said. “Because it’ll connect Pinellas County and Hillsborough County and Pasco County.”

Café Con Tampa meets every week and it’s open to anyone who wants to come and discuss happenings in the Bay Area. If you’re interested in finding out more about the group, just click here.

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