The virtual Suncoast Tiger Bay Club meeting was held Oct. 14 and featured a panel discussion with two candidates running for Pinellas County Sheriff. Appearing at the forum were:
- Bob Gualtieri, the Republican incumbent who has served as Sheriff since 2011 when he was appointed to the position by Governor Rick Scott.
- Eliseo Santana, a Democrat who worked for more than 30 years as a communications maintenance supervisor at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
The candidates were invited to share their platforms, stances and goals before a question-and-answer session moderated by Catalyst publisher Joe Hamilton. They shared their thoughts on what the sheriff’s office of the future will look like, their opinions on having social workers respond to non-violent calls and their strategies on how the sheriff’s office can restore public confidence in regard to its treatment of minorities in its custody. The candidates then responded to questions the internal and external culture of the sheriff’s office, the role of resource officers in schools and the main differentiators between them. Other topics included body cameras, minority representation and community involvement.
Upcoming events include a series of free online forums on the presidential race and proposed state constitutional amendments that are being held in conjunction with nine other Tiger Bay clubs across the state.
- Friday, Oct. 16 at noon: a panel discussion previewing the presidential election
- Friday, Oct. 23 at noon: a panel discussion on Amendment 2, which would establish a $15 statewide minimum wage
- Thursday, Nov. 12 at noon: an analysis of the Florida election