St. Petersburg is not America's Saddest City, councilman plans to argue

12:38 PM, Jan 26, 2012   |    comments
St. Petersburg City Councilman Steve Kornell
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Upset with recent rankings that called St. Pete "America's Saddest City" and Tampa Bay "America's Most Stressful" metropolis, Councilman Steve Kornell will ask the city attorney to draft a formal letter to the publishers of the reports, Men's Health Magazine and CNBC, respectively.

Kornell tells 10 News that the studies contained irresponsible inaccuracies and ignored "overwhelming evidence contradicting the claims they made."  He cited Pinellas County's beaches, museums, successful baseball team, and beautiful winter weather.

"You can't tell me," Kornell said, with tongue planted in-cheek, "that some little town in Minnesota with 20 inches of snow right now is less stressful than our beautiful city. It is obvious to me that the people who put out this trash have likely never spent a single day in St. Petersburg."

Kornell said he didn't expect any significant city resources to be expended on his request, but wanted to take a stand for local tourism.

"St. Petersburg's beautiful weather allows us to be outdoors year-round," Kornell continued, adding that the city holds a world record for 768 consecutive days of sunshine.  "Visits to the beach in December, January, and February are common."

The Men's Health report cited St. Pete's high suicide rates, unemployment rates, and antidepressant use as a basis for its "Saddest City" title.

In its "Most Stressful" rankings, CNBC cited Tampa Bay's high unemployment rate (11.2%), suicide rate (15.5 per 100,000), violent crime rate (500 per 100,000), and divorce rate (12.3%). 

Kornell plans to make the request of the city attorney at the next city council meeting on Feb. 2.

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