Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's Time To Vote - South St. Peterburg


The campaign is almost over.

You can still mail in your ballot or next Tuesday, November 5, you can go to your polling place and vote.

Every race in this campaign is critical but the next Mayor will set the pace for the next four years.

Recently your mail box has been stuffed full of negative ads, so if you're confused you're not alone.

Beginning during the primary I presented your questions to the candidates. These responses may help you clear up some issues.

Bill Foster
Even though the answers were presented with NO EDITING current Mayor Bill Foster refused to answer your questions. If Foster doesn't respect you enough to answer your questions why should he be your Mayor?

Rick Kriseman
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. 

Jobs, education and crime are all problems we agree that affect South St. Pete. What else specifically would you do to improve the quality of life for all south side residents?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's Time To Vote - Neighborhoods


The campaign is almost over.

You can still mail in your ballot or next Tuesday, November 5, you can go to your polling place and vote.

Every race in this campaign is critical but the next Mayor will set the pace for the next four years.

Recently your mail box has been stuffed full of negative ads, so if you're confused you're not alone.

Beginning during the primary I presented your questions to the candidates. These responses may help you clear up some issues.

Bill Foster
Even though the answers were presented with NO EDITING current Mayor Bill Foster refused to answer your questions. If Foster doesn't respect you enough to answer your questions why should he be your Mayor?

Rick Kriseman
How will you work to bring neighborhoods back into the decision process? What would be your goals for neighborhood participation?

This is important. St. Pete is strongest when CONA (Council of Neighborhood Associations) is strong. Neighborhood leaders will have a seat at the table when I’m mayor

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.

Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dudley Endorses Foster

In a somewhat surprising move City Council Member Bill Dudley has announced his support for Mayor Bill Foster including a $100 donation to Foster's campaign.
Given Dudley's lackluster performance and rambling comments as a City Council member I'm not sure how much positive impact Dudley's announcement will have with just 6 days or so before the election.
Dudley's passion for red light cameras, fondness for the LENS and general failure to stand up for the public's right to be heard certainly puts him in the Foster camp.
One would have thought that having waited this long and with the polls showing Kriseman with a substantial lead, Dudley would have just set this one out rather than risking being in direct opposition to the new Mayor.
But then Bill Dudley's sense of timing has never been real good.
Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson

It's Time To Vote - The Pier and Public Safety


The campaign is almost over.

You can still mail in your ballot or next Tuesday, November 5, you can go to your polling place and vote.

Every race in this campaign is critical but the next Mayor will set the pace for the next four years.

Recently your mail box has been stuffed full of negative ads, so if you're confused you're not alone.

Beginning during the primary I presented your questions to the candidates. These responses may help you clear up some issues.

Bill Foster

Even though the answers were presented with NO EDITING current Mayor Bill Foster refused to answer your questions. If Foster doesn't respect you enough to answer your questions why should he be your Mayor?

Rick Kriseman
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).

 Specifically with details, what you would do, throughout the entirety of St. Pete, to reduce crime and make the city safe for its citizens?

It starts by making sure our police force is led by a strong chief and that they are working out of a station that is modern and allows them to do their jobs better.  I have talked a lot about the need to return to more of a community policing model, but I am open-minded to whatever approach ensures responsiveness to our residents and also strengthens the officer-resident relationship. Moving back toward community policing does not mean abandoning the use of innovative technologies like predictive policing.

I support ending the current chase policy in order to keep our streets free of unnecessary high speed pursuits.

Finally, there are a host of other issues, such as code enforcement and the demolition of condemned homes, which will contribute to a safer St. Pete.  Education is also a key to reducing crime.

Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson

Monday, October 28, 2013

LAWFEST WORKSHOP AND COMMUNITY FAIR


Saturday at the Manhattan Casino "Success Unlimited" Women & Youth Business Center presented the 10th annual Lawfest Workshop and Community Fair.

Originally started in 2002 as an outreach effort by community grass roots activist Tee Lassiter working with Bill Foster, the event quickly grew and became LAWFEST in 2003.

The goal of the day is to provide an opportunity for members of the community find legal advice, business information and information about Governmental services all in one place.

By the time I arrived at the Manhattan Casino location of the event, the parking lot was full and people were already parking across the street.

Over a dozen governmental agencies were represented and eighteen local attorneys volunteered their time to provide legal advice and answer questions.

Mayor Bill Foster along with a large contingent of City staff were also on hand.

Gold Sponsors included: Bayfront Health - St. Petersburg, Duke Energy; Silver Sponsors: The Rays Baseball Foundation, Ms. Cheri Shannon, Urban Development Solutions; Bronze Sponsors: Laura Lee Westine and St. Petersburg College.

Attendees were greeted at the door, and directed to the spot where their questions could be answered.

This was my fourth Lawfest. It is a great event, provides a unique opportunity for the Community to get real answers to their questions.

Tee Lassiter, whom I have known almost since the very first day she came to City Council to advocate for her community, along with her volunteers, sponsors and participating professionals are to be commended for an excellent grass roots effort. 

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reporters and Bloggers

I have been writing most of my professional life. Articles, papers, contracts, Ordinances, technical books, e-books, commentary and Blogs. In the realm of social media, which I truly love, I consider myself a Blogger, not a reporter.

One of the traps that a lot of bloggers fall into when they develop a following is the void between reporting and blogging.  I don't report on anything, I write my opinion about events and things others report on.

I don't think the people who follow my blogging are looking for breaking news, they are interested in my opinion. I see my blogging as a way to get an opinion out there for you to read and agree or disagree with. My sole objective is to get you, the reader, thinking.

If you follow my Blogs on PATCH or my personal Blog Bay Post Internet, you will rarely see breaking news.

 I frequently get "tips" on news worthy stories, but I do not rush out to be first. In fact I usually forward the tip to one of my reporter contacts.

As a Blogger I found I need to be very careful when someone gives me some information. Rarely are things given freely without an ulterior motive. Even reliable sources often have an agenda.  

There was a lot made of the inaccurate reporting of Bill Young's passing by  prominent local Blogger Peter Schorsch. It seemed everybody right up the Poynter Institute folks had to chime in. 

So when a very prominent Blogger gets it wrong, it is big news in the news business.

SUNDAY October 27, 2013

St. Pete Elections
This is the last official week of the campaigns. We have seen the St. Pete mayors race turn into a fully partisan event with both statewide parties pumping almost incredible amounts of money into the election.

St. Pete Politics has forever changed.

Rick Kriseman goes into the week with a respectable lead in the polls. You can follow my views of the Mayor's Race next week as I repost some of your questions which Bill Foster refused to answer, but Rick Kriseman went on the record.

Most important City Council race to me now  is the Kennedy/Margeson race in District 2.

I was there when Kennedy was appointed and there while he served as a Council member. In my personal experience, I think you have to go ways back to find a worse representative of the people.

Kennedy was appointed to City Council, and he was handpicked as the then current administration was looking for someone who was not to aggressive (he sleeps a lot) and not an advocate.

Kennedy has fulfilled the objectives admirably.

Unfortunately he has failed to represent his District and the people of St. Petersburg for his entire time on Council.

Lorraine Margeson will represent YOU well.

Bill Young
We all lost something with the passing of Congressman Young.

Congressman Young did not necessarily go easy through life and he did not easily pass on from this world. From controversy about the announcement of his passing, the quickly evolving discussions about his replacement, and the dis-invitations of certain political operatives from his wake, it was an interesting week to say the least

One thing I am sure of, the heavenly House of Representatives is a better place today, and the neighborhood where that mansion specially prepared for Bill Young is located could not have a better angel representing them.

The Pier
Once again a poll has shown the significance of the Pier in St. Pete voters minds .In a recent Poll (Bay News 9, Tampa Bay Times, WUSF Public Media), The Pier topped the list as the thing most voters are concerned about.

The only way you have a say is to VOTE. Be sure to find that mail in ballot mark and send it in, or make a note on your calendar to vote on Tuesday November 5.

Enjoy a great Sunday - The Bucs can't lose today.

Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson

Friday, October 25, 2013

Foster- Failed Leadership

After almost 25 debates and forums with questions ranging from public bathrooms to the police chief, it is easy to over look the impact of Bill Foster's inability to lead.
The Poster for this administrations' lack of leadership is the Pier. From the beginning of the effort, Mayor Foster capitulated his leadership role.
He failed to follow through with support for the Pier Task Force.
He caved in to the arts community and the Beach Drive special interests as they pushed for a non competitive non functional Pier.
Foster's lack of specific leadership on the Pier created a power vacuum which City council sought to fill.
Foster stood by and let special interests drive the City Council to an elitist approach to the Pier design and selection.

Foster failed to respond when the public began to complain about the selection process.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Beware the BOGO


Buy one get one free is the hot advertising pitch for local grocery stores.

Wikipedia defines BOGO as: "Buy one, get one free", or "Buy one, get one" is a common form of sales promotion. While rarely presented to customers in acronym form, this marketing technique is universally known in the marketing industry by the acronyms BOGO and BOGOF,[1] and it is regarded as one of the most effective forms of special offers for goods.

"Economist Alex Tabarrok has argued that the success of this promotion lies in the fact that the price actually takes into account the fact that two items are being sold. The price of "one" is somewhat nominal and is typically raised when used as part of a buy one get one free deal. Whilst the cost per item is proportionately cheaper than if bought on its own, it is not actually half price."

There are really two questions you should ask when making a BOGO decision.

First, is the price for each of the two items, the unit price, more or less than you can buy a single package of the item at a discount store? Frequently the answer is the BOGO price per package is higher than for a single package at a discount store.

The second and often more important question is: if you buy the BOGO and get two packages of the item, can you and your family use up both packages before they go out of date or stale?

If you buy the BOGO and end up throwing even a small portion of the product away you have really lost money. 

If you have a large family, BOGOs may work, but as a wise man once said "there is no free lunch." The true objective of the BOGO is to get you to spend more money not provide significant value.

This Halloween season beware the BOGO it most often more trick than treat.

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Foster plays politics with Midtown 14 days before election


Kriseman Press release:

St. Petersburg – Fourteen days before the St. Petersburg mayoral election, incumbent mayor Bill Foster announces that he will hire a liaison to oversee economic development in midtown.  

Mayoral frontrunner Rick Kriseman, who has pledged to hire an administrator to oversee economic development in Midtown since entering the race, criticized Foster's announcement as a campaign stunt fourteen days before an election. 

"Mr. Foster waited nearly 1,000 days to appoint a new liaison to Midtown," said Kriseman. "Announcing this position two weeks before an election is offensive and nothing more than an act of desperation from a mayor trying anything to hold on to power." 

Stunt or not, the fact is Bill Foster completely turned his back on the South side of St. Pete after he was elected.

St. Pete needs a mayor for the whole community, not just down town.

Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson

 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Maturity and The Mayor's Office

Being Mayor of St. Petersburg is a really big job.

First you have the interests of almost 250, 000 people to serve, almost 2700 employees to lead and a budget that approaches 450 million dollars each year.

Top that off with the fact 550 or so of your employees carry guns and can and do kill people, you have the largest percentage of failing schools in the County, the southern half of your city faces high unemployment and  an increasing crime rate and you have an aggressive business and arts community.

It takes a special person to lead the City of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday October 20, 2013

St. Pete Elections
The debates continue to be rehashes of the same questions. However in Tuesdays' Bay News Nine/Tampa Bay Times debate, Mayor Bill foster seemed to acknowledge that the Rays will someday leave St. Pete and the Trop filed area will be up for redevelopment.

Also surprising to me is the way the current crop of candidates is wildly endorsing Green Light Pinellas transportation tax. This is a tax referendum that imposes the most regressive of taxes, a sales tax, on all of us, probably forever. See my POST LIGHT RAIL Maybe an Opportunity

I do like the fact the Mayoral candidate Rick Kriseman has said he will serve on the County transportation board, instead of delegating it to a Council Member.

Jim Kennedy continues to poll well, despite the fact he has stood for almost everything the public is against. He is for RED LIGHT CAMERAS, late night bar openings, the LENS and against any and every opportunity the public has wanted to express their desires.

You can Vote in very St. Pete Race.
Remember, this is a general election and YOU can vote in every race. Be sure to vote for your choice in each Council District and the Mayor's race.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Statesman Gone

Congressman Bill Young passed away over night.  

In Bill Young's passing, we lost not only a representative of the people but a true Statesman. We can ill afford the loss, since statesmanship has become a rare commodity in Washington.  

The Congressman will be deeply missed.  

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Arts Business or Not?


There seems to be a lot of focus on the arts and the local arts community in the current St. Pete election.

On one hand the arts community talks about what an economic driver the arts are for St. Petersburg. You hear terms from the current Mayor Bill Foster about heads in beds and the amount of arts tourism in town. St. Pete is heralded as the top arts destination for Cities with a population of under 500,000.

You only need to wait a second or two and the next comment is all about how we, the public, have to fund these art business to keep this whole circle or arts tourism and this enormous art driven economic engine running.

I must be missing something.

If the arts are producing all of this money in terms of tourism why are the arts folks so anxious to get their hands into the public pie?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Foster VIBE

In Tuesday's USF Mayoral debate, Bill Foster talked a lot about the St. Pete Vibe and all those cranes downtown.
It got me to thinking about the St. Pete VIBE. Are you part of the VIBE?
 If you happen to live in South St. Pete how's your VIBE? Look out the window do you see any cranes? Any new high rises?
How about those of you who live out in West St. Pete. How's your VIBE? Any new sidewalk cafes? Any new developments? Any cranes popping up in your part of town?
The problem with Bill Foster is he has a hard time seeing past 16th street, and rarely ventures past 34th Street. Looking South his vision stops about 5th avenue South.
There is the 34th street redevelopment project, but cleaning up 34th street, building some medians and planting some trees will hardly make the area safer or really more attractive to new business.
Bill Foster has a myopic view of St. Petersburg formulated along the lines of the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce that says if you stand at 16th and Central, look east and everything is going great, all is well with St. Petersburg.
What ST. Pete needs is a mayor who gets up every morning and thinks about the entire City of ST. Petersburg and applies the City's resources so every tax payer has a chance to participate in all St. Petersburg can and should be.
That's not Bill Foster.
Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson

Monday, October 14, 2013

LIGHT RAIL Maybe an Opportunity


In its boldest form, I am not a light rail fan. These projects often turn into financial albatrosses hung around the neck of tax payers.

Almost none are profitable, very few break even so like all mass transit they require significant never ending subsidies from tax payers.

Light rail is big business, and it's not just the money required for the trains and the track, it is all of those often "interesting" real estate deals the proceed and follow the light rail route and all of the money that finds its way in to political campaigns and often in to elected officials pockets.

The term frequently applied to light rail projects is "boondoggle" and it is more often than not apropos.

Governor Scott scuttled the Tampa Orlando route which is now being resurrected with the promise of private investors. Rest assured the private investors will soon be investing in politicians so when they do come to the public trough for help they will be more than welcome.

You can also bet that when the private group goes bust there will be all kinds of pressure for the state and local governments, that's you the tax payer,  to step in and pick up the ball.

There are however some bright spots in the whole rail transportation issue here in Hillsborough and Pinellas County.

The Hillsborough Aviation Authority has included a light rail pad and access in its latest redevelopment plan and there is talk of adding a light rail component to the replacement of the Howard Franklin bridge. These are basic infrastructure decisions that will support future rail transit in the Bay area should it become viable transportation option.

Since Hillsborough County residents turned down a transportation tax referendum, the focus has shifted to Pinellas County and the 2014 ballot issue regarding  sales tax for transportation.

Those supporting the tax referendum and PSTA should put together a formal plan that prevents the light rail contingency from quickly moving for a bond issue dedicated to building a light rail route across the county before a total and complete transportation and impact study is completed.

It is possible and highly likely that an attempt to quickly hi jack the revenues from this referendum into a dedicated source of revenue to pay for a bond issue to build the cross county light rail route from St. Pete to Clearwater could occur.

We have a major transportation issue in Pinellas county, and any taxes dedicated to the resolution of that problem should be invested wisely in something that will actually work.

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday October 13, 2013

St. Pete Elections
The St. Pete election campaign is winding down, the Mayor's race is still almost too close to call. The important thing is find that Ballot laying around the house, open it up and VOTE. Be sure to follow the instructions in the packet and be extra sure to sign the OUTSIDE of the envelope.

If you would like to check out where the candidates stand on key issues here are some links to questions YOU asked:

As for me, I like Kriseman for Mayor and Margeson, Rice, Nurse and Amy Foster for City Council.
Politics
After the St. Pete elections, look for the transportation tax ballot Item to take front and center, I'll be following it closely.
Now that Representative Bill Young has decided to retire, the politicos will be salivating about who will run. Of the names floating so far I like Ken Welch.
So far (R) Jack Latvala State Senator District 20, and (R) Jeff Brandes Sate Senator District 22 have said they're not interested, for now.
Should you happen to have a nice house for sale in the Congressman's District, bump up the price a few thousand, there will likely be some pretty well heeled politicians looking for a nice residence in the 13th District.
Good Police Work
31-year-old Raymond Samuels who was serving time in an Ohio prison for murder and kidnapping was linked to the murder of Sara Lynn Winesk in 2005 by DNA evidence. Most people would be surprised to know how much effort the St. Pete PD puts into following unsolved homicide cases. Samuels is on his way back to Pinellas county where he will likely be charged.
Cold case work is often frustrating and tedious but they stay at it. Improved linking of criminal information data bases is often the key in cases like this. In others it's just plain old fashion hard police work. Thanks Guys and Gals.
Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson

Friday, October 11, 2013

IT'S Time To Vote

Today would be a good day to dig around on the kitchen table, coffee table or where ever you toss your mail find your mail in Ballot and VOTE

Don't think your vote isn't important, the latest polling shows the Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Bill Foster are about 1% apart with Kriseman having a small lead.

If you're unsure about where the candidates stand, here are links to five questions for the candidates that may help you decide.
 
Your Candidates How Will They Make St. Pete Safe
Your Candidates Speak Out About Neighborhoods
Your Candidates Address The Pier Issue
Your Candidates Address South St. Pete Concerns
Your Candidates Talk About Schools and Education
Your Candidates Address South St. Pete Concerns

Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson

Your Candidates Address South St. Pete Concerns


A word of caution: This is a long Post. The responding candidates have taken the time to provide in-depth answers to your questions.

Each candidate was asked five questions taken from submissions from PATCH readers.

Here I bring each candidates answer to a specific question.

Question 5
Jobs, education and crime are all problems we agree that affect South St. Pete. What else specifically would you do to improve the quality of life for all south side residents? 

Mayoral Candidates
Bill Foster:
Repeated e-mails to the Foster campaign and a telephone call resulted in NO RESPONSE from the Mayor.

Rick Kriseman:
Jobs, education and crime are all problems we agree that affect South St. Pete. What else specifically would you do to improve the quality of life for all south side residents?
I like this question because it gives me the opportunity to talk about the bigger picture. I want to knock down these ‘walls’ that too often divide us by making South St. Pete and Midtown cultural destinations. These neighborhoods are home to many historic buildings, great parks like Dell Holmes, and museums like the Carter Woodson. There’s been progress, but we’ve also seen false starts and setbacks. We need to sustain the progress by working to bring in more amenities and conveniences. 

Reducing poverty by 30% by 2020 will better allow the residents of South St. Pete and Midtown to find opportunities and then keep their hard-earned money local. 

District 2
James R. "Jim" Kennedy, Jr.:
Following repeated e-mails there was NO RESPONSE

Lorraine Margeson
Jobs, education and crime are all problems we agree that affect South St. Pete. What else specifically would you do to improve the quality of life for all south side residents?

 Fully fund and implement the Mid-Town and Child's Park Initiatives.  The road map WAS laid out, we just need to FOLLOW it.......

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Foster Lied about Opposing Offshore Oil Drilling

St. Petersburg – At a live debate on Tuesday, mayoral frontrunner Rick Kriseman criticized St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster for failing to lead on offshore oil drilling in 2010 after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

"Democrats and Republicans alike came together in 2010 to oppose offshore oil drilling," said Kriseman. "Mr. Foster was missing in action on an issue that would have killed jobs and diminished our quality of life."
Foster scoffed at Kriseman's claims. 

"I've always been opposed to drilling off of our coast," said Foster.  

But city records show that Foster voted against a resolution in 2001 to urge the federal government to ban offshore oil drilling. 

"This is another case of Bill Foster doing one thing and saying another," said Kriseman. "It's shameful."
 
Information from A press release from the Rick Kriseman Campaign.

Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson

See More of Doc at Bay Post Internet

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kriseman Verses Foster To Close To Call?

If you follow the polls it looks like the mayor's race in St. Pete is too close to call. But when I get out on the street and actually start talking to people I get a different feel.

When I ask someone who they support and are likely to vote for, those that indicate Foster is their choice tend to not look at me they just say "Bill Foster" or "Foster I guess" and glance off into the distance. When I press and ask why, the usual answer is "I think he has done a pretty good job."
When the response is Rick Kriseman, voters tend to look me in the eye and go on without any prompting to statements like: "I think he will be a great Mayor," "or the City really needs some new leadership and I think Kriseman is the right guy,"  they often go on to list a number of things they think Kriseman will the take lead on like crime, neighborhoods and better relations with our neighboring Cities like Tampa.
Not a very scientific approach I'll grant you, but the Kriseman folks regardless of age or ethnicity are excited about and dedicated to their candidate, while Foster supporters seem less sure and less confident in their choice.
Party affiliation may be playing a role here as the race has become more partisan, party loyalty may be creeping in.
If you haven't voted your mail in ballot take a look at my Posts on the candidates' positions, Mayoral Candidates Answer Your Questions,  it may add some insight as you make up your mind.
Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson

Your Candidates Talk About Schools and Education

A word of caution: This is a long Post. The responding candidates
have taken the time to provide in-depth answers to your questions.

Each candidate was asked five questions taken from submissions from PATCH readers.
Here I bring each candidates answer to a specific question.
Question 4
We have a number of problem schools in St. Petersburg. Specifically what will you do to help improve those schools?

Mayoral Candidates
Bill Foster:
Repeated e-mails to the Foster campaign and a telephone call resulted in NO RESPONSE from the Mayor.

Rick Kriseman:
We have a number of problem schools in St. Petersburg. Specifically what will you do to help improve those schools?
We’ve lost our way under the current mayor. Mayor Baker recognized the power that the mayor’s office and the city could have on our schools. I want to take it a step further by working closely with our school system to implement service-learning in our classrooms. Integrating community service projects into the curriculum improves both the student and the community and has proven to be a success elsewhere. 

I will continue and strengthen the Mayor’s Mentors & More program (now under the St. Pete’s Promise umbrella) and seek out additional community partners to assist with volunteering, resources, and strategic planning. 

Your Candidates Address South St. Pete Concerns

A word of caution: This is a long Post. The responding candidates have taken the time to provide in-
depth answers to your questions.

Each candidate was asked five questions taken from submissions from PATCH readers.

Here I bring each candidates answer to a specific question.

Question 5
Jobs, education and crime are all problems we agree that affect South St. Pete. What else specifically would you do to improve the quality of life for all south side residents?

Mayoral Candidates
Bill Foster:
Repeated e-mails to the Foster campaign and a telephone call resulted in NO RESPONSE from the Mayor.

Rick Kriseman:
Jobs, education and crime are all problems we agree that affect South St. Pete. What else specifically would you do to improve the quality of life for all south side residents?
I like this question because it gives me the opportunity to talk about the bigger picture. I want to knock down these ‘walls’ that too often divide us by making South St. Pete and Midtown cultural destinations. These neighborhoods are home to many historic buildings, great parks like Dell Holmes, and museums like the Carter Woodson. There’s been progress, but we’ve also seen false starts and setbacks. We need to sustain the progress by working to bring in more amenities and conveniences. 

Reducing poverty by 30% by 2020 will better allow the residents of South St. Pete and Midtown to find opportunities and then keep their hard-earned money local. 

Your Candidates Address the Pier Issue

A word of caution: This is a long Post. The responding candidates have taken the time to provide in-depth answers to your questions.

Each candidate was asked five questions taken from submissions from PATCH readers.

Here I bring each candidates answer to a specific question.

Question 3
Should it turn out that the public's desire is to rehab the existing Inverted Pyramid, how will support that effort and how will you proceed?

Mayoral Candidates
Bill Foster: Repeated e-mails to the Foster campaign and a telephone call resulted in NO RESPONSE from the Mayor.

Rick Kriseman:
Should it turn out that the public’s desire is to rehab the existing Inverted Pyramid, how will support that effort and how will you proceed?
I am committed to spending our taxpayer dollars wisely by moving forward with a new structure that will last much longer than a rehabbed one. I believe we can get this right and that the next design will be well-received if it emphasizes function. However, I’ve always strived to have both an open door policy and an open mind and that won’t change on this issue.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Your Candidates Speak About Neighborhoods

A word of caution: This is a long Post. The responding candidates have taken the time to provide in-depth answers to your questions.

Each candidate was asked five questions taken from submissions from PATCH readers.

Here I bring each candidates answer to a specific question.

Question 2
How will you work to bring neighborhoods back into the decision process? What would be your goals for neighborhood participation?

Mayoral Candidates
Bill Foster:
Repeated e-mails to the Foster campaign and a telephone call resulted in NO RESPONSE from the Mayor.

Rick Kriseman:
How will you work to bring neighborhoods back into the decision process? What would be your goals for neighborhood participation?

This is important. St. Pete is strongest when CONA (Council of Neighborhood Associations) is strong. Neighborhood leaders will have a seat at the table when I’m mayor.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Your Candidates - How will they Make St. Pete Safer

A word of caution: This is a long Post. The responding candidates have taken the time to provide in-depth answers to your questions.

Each candidate was asked five questions taken from submissions from PATCH readers.

Here I bring each candidates answer to a specific question.

Question 1 
Specifically with details, what you would do, throughout the entirety of St. Pete, to reduce crime and make the city safe for its citizens?
 
Mayoral Candidates
Bill Foster: Repeated e-mails to the Foster campaign and a telephone call resulted in NO RESPONSE from the Mayor.

Rick Kriseman:
 Specifically with details, what you would do, throughout the entirety of St. Pete, to reduce crime and make the city safe for its citizens?

It starts by making sure our police force is led by a strong chief and that they are working out of a station that is modern and allows them to do their jobs better.  I have talked a lot about the need to return to more of a community policing model, but I am open-minded to whatever approach ensures responsiveness to our residents and also strengthens the officer-resident relationship. Moving back toward community policing does not mean abandoning the use of innovative technologies like predictive policing.

I support ending the current chase policy in order to keep our streets free of unnecessary high speed pursuits.

Finally, there are a host of other issues, such as code enforcement and the demolition of condemned homes, which will contribute to a safer St. Pete.  Education is also a key to reducing crime.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Essay - Kennedy and Foster Fail To Respond

This past week I Posted the Candidates to responses the questions you submitted to PATCH. Despite repeated e-mails to the Kennedy and Foster campaign and a call to Mayor Foster's campaign, the two incumbents, Jim Kennedy and Bill Foster, would not reply.

Here are the links to the Posts District 2, Mayoral Candidates . 
If you go back and check the Primary election you will note neither of them responded to those seven questions either.
If these were my questions, or they were loaded questions, or I was going to edit the answers or respond to their comments in the Post, I could kind of understand. The fact is all of the candidates answers were posted with NO EDITING and all comments were posted with no editing. The question becomes: why will Foster and Kennedy not respond to your questions? It seems to me this is a continuation of Foster and Kennedys' steadfast opinion that they do not have to respond to your questions and they do not need to consider your opinions. Basically they think it is simply OK to ignore you.
So they have.

Kennedy often speaks about what he calls "representative democracy". His definition is you elected him do whatever he thinks is best regardless of your opinion. Kennedy has been on the wrong side of every issue from the Pier to Red light cameras.

He ignored to police chiefs' warnings about downtown and pushed ahead with 3:00AM bar closing putting downtown awash is a sea of drunks and late night violence. His total disrespect for the City and its people is not being able to stay awake on the dais.

Jim Kennedy does not represent you, he does not respect your views or opinions and he does not deserve your vote. It's time to send Jim Kennedy back to his quiet law office where he can nap without screwing up the city any more than he already has.

Apparently Bill Foster has flip flopped so many times he can't figure out an answer to any of these 5 questions that won't conflict with a previous position on the issue.

Once again the mayor isn't really interested in what you think or your view of the issues. Like Kennedy he loves red light cameras, (mostly the money) vacillated on the Pier and is largely responsible for the debacle that caused the referendum, closed the Pier in spite to show you he was boss and put 400 or so people unnecessarily out of work.

He can't get a deal with the Rays because they don't trust him and he is sure not going to answer YOUR questions because he really could care less about what you think.

He does not deserve your vote and he does not deserve another term.

St. Pete cannot afford four more years of lackluster, undirected flip-flopping and vindictive leadership.

So there you have it.

You, THE VOTER, have been completely shunned by your two incumbents Jim Kennedy and Bill Foster.

Why don't you treat them exactly like they are treating you.

Ignore them and vote for Rick Kriseman for Mayor, and Lorraine Margeson for City Council District 2.

Let's put some people in City hall that can stay awake and stay focused on what the people want.

Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson

See More of Doc at Bay Post Internet

SUNDAY October 5, 2013

 
St. Pete Elections

If you missed the responses to your 5 questions for the City Council and the Mayor's Race here are the links.

District 4
District 2
Mayoral Candidates

Your mail in ballot should have arrived. Be sure to open it, vote and SIGN the back of the envelope.

Next week I take each of your questions and Post all of the candidates' responses. This lets you see how all of the candidates feel about each of the issues.

More Changes around town as the renaissance ebbs and flows

Ringside closing as Trader Joes comes to town

Garden closes as things get tougher downtown.

The Columbia restaurant folks are going to wait on the new Pier, it will be interesting to see what kind of a deal they get from the NEW mayor.

Big Al murdered?

Big Al the south side gator of some fame was trapped and killed by Jovan Johannessen. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating and said Johannessen should not have hunted within the City limits.

The neighborhood is up in arms.

Sounds like a paid hit to me.

Market is Back

Saturday Morning Market returned this week. Be sure to put it on your calendar for next Saturday. Be sure to check out the fresh bread.

Komen Race for the Cure

Great event Saturday. As always very moving. The walk portion seemed bigger than ever. Included above are a few  "Faces" of the event.

Mayor Misses Again

Looks like the Expert panel the mayor conjured up with the help of his buddies over at the Chamber may have backfired. Some of the initial recommendations are so incendiary the
report should be handled by the Fire Department.

That makes Foster 2 for 2 in the group planning for the Waterfront. The 828 Alliance turned into a debacle and now it looks like the out of town folks handed his honor another hot potato. Keep looking Bill sooner or later you'll find someone who agrees with you.

Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson 
 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mayoral Candidates Answer Your Questions


A while back I asked you to submit some Questions for the Candidates in the general election  for Mayor and City Council. First let me thank those you who took the time to comment or send me an e-mail.
 A word of caution: This is a long Post. The responding candidates have taken the time to provide in-depth answers to your questions.

Below are the  five questions from citizens, critical to St. Petersburg's future.

1. Specifically with details, what you would do, throughout the entirety of St. Pete, to reduce crime and make the city safe for its citizens?

2. How will you work to bring neighborhoods back into the decision process? What would be your goals for neighborhood participation?

3. Should it turn out that the public's desire is to rehab the existing Inverted Pyramid, how will support that effort and how will you proceed?

4. We have a number of problem schools in St. Petersburg. Specifically what will you do to help improve those schools?

5. Jobs, education and crime are all problems we agree that affect South St. Pete. What else specifically would you do to improve the quality of life for all south side residents?
Not all candidates have chosen to respond. Here are the response from the Mayoral candidates Bill Foster and Rick Kriseman.

The answers were Posted as I received them with NO editing. 

Bill Foster. Repeated e-mails to the Foster campaign and a telephone call resulted in NO RESPONSE from the Mayor.

Rick Kriseman:

1. Specifically with details, what you would do, throughout the entirety of St. Pete, to reduce crime and make the city safe for its citizens?

It starts by making sure our police force is led by a strong chief and that they are working out of a station that is modern and allows them to do their jobs better.  I have talked a lot about the need to return to more of a community policing model, but I am open-minded to whatever approach ensures responsiveness to our residents and also strengthens the officer-resident relationship. Moving back toward community policing does not mean abandoning the use of innovative technologies like predictive policing.

I support ending the current chase policy in order to keep our streets free of unnecessary high speed pursuits.

Finally, there are a host of other issues, such as code enforcement and the demolition of condemned homes, which will contribute to a safer St. Pete.  Education is also a key to reducing crime.

2. How will you work to bring neighborhoods back into the decision process? What would be your goals for neighborhood participation?

This is important. St. Pete is strongest when CONA (Council of Neighborhood Associations) is strong. Neighborhood leaders will have a seat at the table when I’m mayor.

3. Should it turn out that the public’s desire is to rehab the existing Inverted Pyramid, how will support that effort and how will you proceed?

I am committed to spending our taxpayer dollars wisely by moving forward with a new structure that will last much longer than a rehabbed one. I believe we can get this right and that the next design will be well-received if it emphasizes function. However, I’ve always strived to have both an open door policy and an open mind and that won’t change on this issue.

4. We have a number of problem schools in St. Petersburg. Specifically what will you do to help improve those schools?

We’ve lost our way under the current mayor. Mayor Baker recognized the power that the mayor’s office and the city could have on our schools. I want to take it a step further by working closely with our school system to implement service-learning in our classrooms. Integrating community service projects into the curriculum improves both the student and the community and has proven to be a success elsewhere. 

I will continue and strengthen the Mayor’s Mentors & More program (now under the St. Pete’s Promise umbrella) and seek out additional community partners to assist with volunteering, resources, and strategic planning. 

5. Jobs, education and crime are all problems we agree that affect South St. Pete. What else specifically would you do to improve the quality of life for all south side residents?

I like this question because it gives me the opportunity to talk about the bigger picture. I want to knock down these ‘walls’ that too often divide us by making South St. Pete and Midtown cultural destinations. These neighborhoods are home to many historic buildings, great parks like Dell Holmes, and museums like the Carter Woodson. There’s been progress, but we’ve also seen false starts and setbacks. We need to sustain the progress by working to bring in more amenities and conveniences. 

Reducing poverty by 30% by 2020 will better allow the residents of South St. Pete and Midtown to find opportunities and then keep their hard-earned money local. 

Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson

See More of Doc at Bay Post Internet