Friday, August 18, 2017

St. Petersburg Mayor's Race 2013 - What Kriseman and Congemi were saying on the Issues

Kriseman: I support keeping the approach and pier head open to pedestrian traffic for residents and visitors


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

Reposted from June 23, 2013

2013 Mayoral Candidates: Anthony Cates, Paul Congemi, Kathleen Ford, Bill Foster, Rick Kriseman. Two, Paul Congemi and Rick Kriseman, are running in the 2017 Mayoral election.
In the 2013 Post It's Time To Go On the Record, I asked each 2013 registered St. Petersburg candidates to answer seven questions:
1.  Should the LENS come to a referendum, will you support voting to stop the project?
2. Do you support closing the Pier?
3. Will you move to end the red-light camera program?
4. Do you support the Rays talking to anyone in Pinellas County or Hillsborough County about a stadium site?
5. Do you support the neighborhood association concept and what will you do to specifically help rebuild this City asset?
6. Do you support hiring a new Police Chief?
7. What specifically what will you do to begin to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in South St. Pete?
Below are the responses of the two 2013 candidates in the 2017 Mayoral election.
Paul Congemi:
1.    Should the LENS come to a referendum, will you support voting to stop the project?
Of course. I believe in carrying out the will of the people.
2. Do you support closing the Pier?
 Not now. It should be kept open until we know what comes next. That means after the referendum vote.
3. Will you move to end the red-light camera program?
      See my website.
4. Do you support the Rays talking to anyone in Pinellas County or Hillsborough County about a stadium site?
No, but I don't think I can stop them from talking.
5. Do you support the neighborhood association concept and what will you do to specifically help rebuild this City asset?
Yes, neighborhood associations are wonderful. The energy to make a good association must come from the residents, though. This isn't something you can bring about from city hall. I support neighborhood policing as one way to bring more cohesiveness to the neighborhood.
6. Do you support hiring a new Police Chief?
Yes. There were several actions taken by the police that were just really bone-headed, like bulldozing a house to get to a criminal holed up in the attic. We don't need bone-heads in city government.
7. What specifically what will you do to begin to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in South St. Pete? Not nice to insinuate that one part of town has the only crime problem. Steve Galvin had the best answer, so ditto what Steve said.

Rick Kriseman:
1. Should the LENS come to a referendum, will you support voting to stop the project?
Yes.
2. Do you support closing the Pier?
I support keeping the approach and pier head open to pedestrian traffic for residents and visitors to enjoy until we move forward with a new pier (not The Lens).
3. Will you move to end the red-light camera program?
No.  If utilized properly, the use of red light cameras should be for safety purposes only, not for the purposes of making money (the goal is for driver behavior to change, which would ultimately result in revenues dropping and eventually no revenues flowing into the city for the use of the lights).  Red light camera placement priority should be at the intersections with the highest incidents of accidents.  I also don't support right on red tickets being issued via cameras.
4. Do you support the Rays talking to anyone in Pinellas County or Hillsborough County about a stadium site?
My preference is for the team to remain in St. Pete and to thrive here. If that proves to be unrealistic - if the Rays simply do not want to be here any longer - then they should be given the opportunity to pay an exploratory fee in order to look at other locations, provided those locations are in the Tampa Bay area. Throughout the negotiating process, I will ensure that our taxpayers are protected. While a sense of regionalism is important, especially in tough economic times, my primary duty will be to the residents of St. Petersburg. 
5. Do you support the neighborhood association concept and what will you do to specifically help rebuild this City asset?
St. Petersburg is home to many unique, culturally rich, and historically significant neighborhoods. These neighborhoods deserve the full support of city hall.
As mayor, I will encourage effective and influential neighborhood associations by funding the Neighborhood Partnership Grants program and support staff and treating our Codes Compliance Assistance Department as a budget priority.  As we continue to emerge from the economic downturn and related budget cuts, we must look to restore funding to the areas that were hit the hardest, and that includes Codes.
My goal is for each neighborhood or area to have its own vibe, to be its own destination. Visually appealing signage at neighborhood entrances and wayfaring signage in populated areas is an easy first step and a resource for both residents and visitors.  But to truly strengthen the identity of a neighborhood we must better promote its distinct flavor and help tell its story.
6. Do you support hiring a new Police Chief?
I’m not going to discuss specific personnel changes while I’m campaigning, but with a much-needed new police station on the horizon, an opportunity exist to rebrand our department in order to boost morale and to rededicate our department to its three major tenets – Respect, Accountability, and Integrity.   I believe that this is an ideal time to begin a new chapter for the St. Petersburg Police.
7. What specifically will you do to begin to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in South St. Pete?
First, I am a supporter of the traditional community policing philosophy which emphasizes the relationship between the police officer and the neighborhood in an effort to promote trust and cooperation.
But one of the most important things we can do is focus on education. A strong public education system fuels our economic engine and has a positive impact on public safety. That’s why the mayor and all municipal leaders must work with our schools to help our young people succeed.
As a state representative, I passed legislation requiring the Department of Education to make service-learning curriculum available to our public schools. Integrating meaningful community service with instruction and reflection, service-learning enriches the learning experience, teaches civic responsibility, and strengthens communities. As mayor, I will work to have service-learning implemented in all of St. Petersburg’s public schools.
I will continue and strengthen the Mayor’s Mentors & More program and seek out additional corporate partners to assist with volunteering, resources, and strategic planning. And because not all students and young adults take the same path, protecting the Job Corps program located in Midtown will be a priority of my administration.
Finally, as I believe crime is the outcome of many unfavorable conditions, including the lack of jobs paying a living wage, we must do what we can to understand and address these root causes in order to create a safer St. Pete for future generations.
How well do you think Rick Kriseman has done?
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

Please comment below.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Have you voted your mail in ballot for the St. Petersburg Primary?

I’ll leave the politics to another Post; you want your voice to be heard in this election.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.


58,649 ballots were mailed to registered votes for the August 29 St. Petersburg Mayor’s Primary election. 20,367 were returned.

8,768 Ballots were mailed in the District 6 Primary election. 2,533 were returned. You can get a current update at St. Petersburg Primary Election Mail in Ballot Status.

All  voted by mail, Voter Information in Pinellas County you can check the status of your mail in Ballot.

If you requested a mail in Ballot and have not yet returned it, it is time to look around the house or apartment find the ballot, vote and mail it back.

This is an important election and will determine the direction of St. Petersburg for years to come.


In these off-cycle elections turn out is usually low, so every vote is important to the candidates.

Right now, the important point is not WHO you support for these offices it is all about you participating.

Need information of mail in Ballots, Precincts or other election questions check out the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections web site. Safe and secure everything you need to know is all there in one spot.

Be sure to vote.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

Please comment below.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Police are not protecting residents in their homes

If Mayor Kriseman and Police Chief Holloway were concerned about resident's quality of life and the City's noise issue, they would have enforced the Noise Pollution Ordinance


St. Petersburg Fl
Public Opinion by author: Robert Neff

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Police Chief Holloway's Police Department are not protecting residents in their homes.

Robert Neff
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has ignored City's Noise Pollution Ordinance. The Mayor has supported St. Petersburg Police Department decision to not use the ordinance to stop business’s repeat violations. This is a waste of resident's taxes. As a result, multiple residents have been sued for calling the police. To defend themselves, one resident spent $6000 and another over $20,000 and is not finished.

If Mayor Kriseman and Police Chief Holloway were concerned about resident's quality of life and the City's noise issue, they would have enforced the Noise Pollution Ordinance. Since 2009, residents have called to report noise to the police over 29,000 times. Yet, you can count on your finger and toes the number of noise citations that have been issued to individuals and residents. No business has been issued a noise citation. Public Records Request were used to request the data.

Residents must be prepared when they complain to the police about a business and even a residence. The police may try convince you that you are the problem and how they don't want to cause a business to close. Be aware, Chief Holloway's Police Department is not concerned about your quality of life. You must document every call, every officer you spoke with, what they said, and make a public record request for report and audio of the call to dispatch. 


First, you must be seen by the officer if you want there to be any chance for the officer to issue a citation. The police officer must witness the noise with you. At this time the officer will interpret the noise ordinance and decide to do nothing, warn the business or individual, or issue a citation. You must ask what his intention is. Ask if the officer is issuing a case number or incident report, ask for the Call ID,  and get the Case and Incident number.  Then make a Public Records Request for the Call For Service Report and Incident Report if the later as issued.

The Public Records request may be made online. You will be required to create an account.

The audio of the dispatch call is not kept past 90 days. You must immediately request this.


If the police officer files a Call For Service Report or an Incident Report, the facts may not be properly stated or distorted. You need to request any incident report and read it. If you believe the officer's comment are distorted, then you need to contact Chief Holloway and let him know. Regardless, the Police will not alter a report. There is no box for rebuttal! 

Our City leadership has created a hostile environment for residents and this has led to negative police sentiment. When it comes to the Noise Pollution Ordinance and past behavior, Mayor Kriseman and Chief Holloway's Police Department seem to have no problem walking all over your civil rights.

When businesses use lawsuits to stifle resident's voices, this can be a violation of Florida Statute 768.295 Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) prohibited. The SLAPP statute states:
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to protect the right in Florida to exercise the rights of free speech in connection with public issues, and the rights to peacefully assemble, instruct representatives, and petition for redress of grievances before the various governmental entities of this state as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and s. 5, Art. I of the State Constitution.
When a business files a lawsuit against a resident for calling the police, you need to ask your attorney about filing an Anti-SLAPP Motion to stop the business from chilling your voice. This may be a resident's only defense, not Mayor Kriseman, who will support Chief Holloway and his police department.

While some on City Council support the revision to the Noise Pollution Ordinance that is underway, some do not. Know where you Council Member stands. Use email to ask them, council@stpete.org


This article is a series examining the Noise Pollution Ordinance and its upcoming revision.  

Author Bio

Mr. Neff’s recent book, Pelican Beakon, won silver medal in Florida Authors and Publishers (FAPA) national book award. He has run high-end eCommerce operations for major national and international brands. He was Chief Web Operations Division at United States Mint and an executive in luxury retail eCommerce. He has several startups under his belt and has worked in Silicon Valley, Washington D.C., and Dallas. Now retired, he is enjoying life as an award winning photographer, writer, and contemporary artist who has shown his work at one of Art Miami's International Art Shows, Spectrum Miami. He occasionally tests online products for companies in Silicon Valley.

When the City of St. Petersburg noise issue became an issue for others and him, Mr. Neff dusted off his skills to conduct an investigation, data collection and data analysis. Should you have a noise-related story to share or have a questioncontact me directly via email.

The opinions here are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bay Post Internet or the Blog Publishers where it appears.