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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

District 6 highlights St. Pete's disparities

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ST. PETERSBURG - Between downtown's condo towers and bustling waterfront and the boarded-up homes in blighted neighborhoods such as Melrose-Mercy, City Council District 6 encapsulates the striking disparities in wealth found in St. Petersburg.

The district covers most of the city's downtown and stretches along the waterfront from Vinoy Park to Old Southeast. It also includes less-affluent neighborhoods such as Bartlett Park, 13th Street Heights and Harbordale.

City Council Chairman, who is seeking what would be his final term in office, has represented the district since 2008. He's being challenged by two relatively unknown candidates from South St. Petersburg: small business owner Trevor Mallory and local activist and former mayoral candidate Sharon Russ.

Whomever voters elect likely have to contend with issues including whether to continue the city's red-light camera program, the future of the city's pier and growing the city's economy.

District 6's next council member also will have to tackle problems caused by foreclosures, high unemployment and crime in the area's low-income neighborhoods.

Residents go to the polls on Aug. 27. The top two candidates will go into a citywide runoff vote in November.

codonnell@tampatrib.com

(727) 215-7654

Twitter: codonnellTBO

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