Sunday, July 23, 2017

The true measure of man

Congemi’s comments are outrageous in any format and horrendous in this one, yet Baker alone had the courage to speak up.


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


I was at the League of Women Voters Mayoral debate Tuesday evening. Hats off to the group who put this one together.

Details in Mitch Perry’s saintpetersblog Post, Candidates spar again at St. Pete mayoral forum.

The debate went along predictable lines with carefully orchestrated outbursts from the UHURUS supporting their candidate Jessie Nevel. The moderator respectfully let them have their moments.

Nothing much new in the questions or subject matter area and the answers from the candidates are now well-rehearsed and dutifully given.

New to the candidate mix was perennial candidate Paul Congemi

Things went along well until the last minute or so when as part of his closing comments Paul Congemi said, “Mr. Nevel, you and your people, talk about reparations. The reparations that you talk about, Mr. Nevel, your people already got your reparations. Your reparations came in the form of a man named Barack Obama.”

“My advice to you is,” he added, “if you don’t like it here in America, planes leave every hour from Tampa airport. Go back to Africa!”

There was a vocal response from the crowd, but the dais remained silent.

After a moment Rick Baker replied, “I know we’re not supposed to respond to other things, but I first have to specifically reject the comments Mr. Congemi just made. I just think that in 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida, I never would have dreamed we would hear comments like that in a mayoral debate.”

The dais remained silent as Kriseman looked at a loss for words.

Congemi’s comments are outrageous in any format and horrendous in this one, yet Baker alone had the courage to speak up.

The true measure of a man is when he will defend the rights of those he philosophically disagrees with.

This event should be a pivotal moment in this Mayoral election.

Baker did not need to prepare a written response, run it by his spin masters and have someone else deliver it. He instinctively knew these comments were wrong and those offended needed to be defended and he acted.

Rick Baker may not agree with your positions but he will without hesitation defend your right to those positions and work tirelessly to resolve the differences.

There in an instant was real the answer to the question, “What’s the difference between the two Ricks?”

One just wants your vote and the other wants to stand with you regardless of who you are.

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.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Management style – Kriseman’s strength or his Achilles heel

Kriseman’s management style can be summed up simply, view from afar, point to success with pride and view failure with alarm and blame someone else.


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

 Current St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman may have picked the wrong attribute when he started comparing his management style with his chief opponent in the St. Pete Mayoral race Rick Baker.

You can get some details in Charlie Fargos’, Tampa Bay Times article, Rick Kriseman says management style is his strength, rival Rick Baker's weakness.
Since I worked for the City on the management team during Baker’s two terms as Mayor I have a unique perspective from which to comment.

Kriseman began his term as Mayor by completely politicizing the top of the management team. With the exception of Dr. Gary Cornwall, who Kriseman named as City Administrator, his office of the Mayor was completely populated with political cronies or operatives.

In Bakers 8 plus years, I never had to deal with anyone who was a pure political appointee. Baker looked for people who could make a contribution not those needed a place to camp until the next election cycle.

Kriseman has surrounded himself with spokes people and wannabes.

From the Frago article: “Kriseman said his management style has been to hire bright people while taking the "30,000-foot" big-picture view, preferring to delegate to his chosen team.”

You have probably seen some of Kriseman’s bright people on TV and read their quotes on line and in the newspaper. I’ll leave the definition of “bright” to you.

As to the 30,000-foot view, Kriseman rarely gets any closer to a problem than 30,000 feet. That’s why the City is in the mess it is in. Baker is a hands-on guy who is willing to roll up his sleeves and help solve the problems.

Micromanager?

Maybe.

But it sure is nice to have the guy who runs the show there in the trenches with you when things are going bad.

Kriseman’s best hire was Kanika Tomalin.

I remember the first interview I did with her.

They were so worried about what she might say, I had to agree to have Ben Kirby, Kriseman’s campaign mouth piece and newly minted “Communications Director” in the room before they would agree to the interview.

Tomalin, who is bright, talented and articulate has been largely relegated to a show and tell role, when she should have been a primary policy contributor and decision maker.

Kriseman’s management style doesn’t recognize talent when it is standing right in front of him.

Finally, there was the whole Police Chief debacle. After a nationwide search, there was no one Kriseman wanted to hire. Instead of following the protocol, he just reaches out and grabs someone close by. Good decision?

Maybe, maybe not.

Is crime up or down? Hard to tell as the Kriseman spin machine manipulates the numbers.

One thing we know for sure when it comes to things like the Noise Ordinance, Why Does St. Petersburg, Florida Have The Worst Noise Ordinance In The Nation?  the Police Department is right there with Kriseman, 30,000 feet above the problem.

Kriseman’s management style can be summed up simply, view from afar, point to success with pride and view failure with alarm and blame someone else.

Do you really want this guy as your mayor for four more years?

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, July 19, 2017

Good Money down a rat hole

If the Times is relying on its social media platform as its source of future profitability, it is unlikely that will happen.


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

This past week a group of investors some choosing to remain anonymous made a $12 Million “loan” to the Tampa Bay Times.

All It took was the word anonymous, and the conspiracy theorists came flying out of the windows. Much of the concern was over who these anonymous investors were and how much influence they would have over the Times reporting and editorial positions.

Later in the week, it was revealed that Tampa Developer Jeff Vinik was one of the Times angels. See Peter Schorsch saintpetersblog, 5 things I think I think about Jeff Vinik going into business with the Tampa Bay Times.

Maybe Mr. Vinik just made an early down payment on a piece of prime downtown St. Pete property.

In typical responses Paul Tash, Chairman and CEO of Times Publishing Company told us all not to worry, there would be no connection between all this money and how the newspaper operates.

As widely reported the Times had been teetering on the financial brink for some time, Tash went on to say the loan was to help with operating expenses until the newspaper could establish its social media operation.

That makes this a long-term loan. I doubt seriously, and I think there are many who share my opinion, that the Times with its current leadership will ever get social media figured out.

Tash and the other principals at the Times have long blamed social media for the decline of print journalism in general and the Times, specifically.

The Times has made a number of unproductive decisions in the last few years. First the decision to Leave its home town, St. Petersburg, and essentially broaden its print media reach to include all the bay area was a suspect decision.

Next came the decision to dump a ton of money into the naming rights for Amalie arena to bolster the decision to go regional and become the Tampa Bay Times.

Obviously, our group of mysterious and announced investors have a great deal of money to toss around, because the probability of a turnaround at the Times is highly unlikely. And, if the Times is relying on its social media platform as its source of future profitability, it is unlikely that will happen.

The primary reason is it is difficult to be successful in a medium you don’t respect.

No one yet has simply loaded an existing newspaper on to the Internet and been successful. The Times flashing banners, auto start commercials, blinking ads are more annoying than informative.

Finally, there is content. Social media is mostly local. I know I don’t really care what the Times editorial board or their staff writers thinks about Trump, the Russian meddling in the election or what some Senator from Texas said about health care.
Until the Times changes its basic philosophy, it will remain just another old newspaper trying to move to social media.

As for all that money, the “philanthropists” ponied up – it seems to me if these folks would have looked around the bay area, they would have seen innumerable places this kind of money could be invested that would produce tangible results and measurable returns for this community.

The Pinellas County School district comes to mind.

Saving the newspaper may be a laudable objective, but giving the people who currently run the Times more money to keep doing what they are doing seems to me to fit Einstein’s definition of insanity.

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.