Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday November 3, 2013

This St. Petersburg City Council and Mayoral election cycle has been one of the most interesting since the strong Mayor form of Government was adopted in the early 1990s.

Never has a race been so partisan, never has there been so much money raised and never have the stakes been so high.

It is often said that "all government is local" but more accurately, "the government that affects you the most is your local government"

A lot of us on the City Staff thought that the strong Mayor form of government would sooner or later lead to a disaster. We have gotten closer with Mayor Bill Foster than with the previous two strong mayors.

Just the fact that on a single issue, the Pier, the citizens would conduct not one, but two petition drives to
have their voice heard constitutes a significant enough failure of leadership to relegate Bill Foster to a single term.

Foster failed to get rid of the guy with the short memory that let the Hilton off the hook for impact fees.

Foster bought into changing the hiring requirements for the Codes Director so the Codes Department could be marginalized.

Foster personally oversaw the almost total destruction of the neighborhoods program.

Foster cut the neighborhood assistance grants.

When the fire fighters did not support Foster in his election bid, he cut the Fire budget forcing fire apparatus to be off line. Yet trumpeted "public safety is job one"

Foster has never held the police chief accountable for the crime issues in South St. Pete.

In an immature, knee jerk reaction Foster ordered the destruction of the crime scene where two St. Pete police officers were killed as a result what really happened there will never be fully understood.

And most famously, Bill Foster closed the Pier putting over 400 people out of work and preventing  visitors and residents from enjoying the Pier. Using the subsidy as an excuse while the City poured millions in subsidy's into a port that sets mostly unused.

As a people, the citizens of St. Petersburg deserve a government that they can trust, serves in their interest and listens to their voice. The past 4 years they have had none of these from the mayor, woeful little from the City Council.

Most times it easy to blow off the local elections. But there is no election where your single vote is more important and more directly affects you than in these municipal elections.

Every registered voter in St. Pete that has not already voted needs to make an extra special effort to get to the Polls on Tuesday and vote. It is painless, quick and you feel good afterwards.

Henry Clay said:
Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees. And both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people. Read more at site Brainy Quote

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

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