Those who follow this Blog surely know that I am not reluctant to criticize St. Pete City Hall when something goes wrong.
So when things go right, especially when they go really right, I would like to give credit where credit is due.
Mayor Kriseman and his team did an outstanding job with the Budget process.
Working with the staff, the City Council, Peoples Budget Review and the public in general this was the most positive and successful budget development processes in the last eight years.
The first budget process of a new Mayor's term is critical. Because of a quirk in the way things work a new Mayor spends almost his entire first year working with a budget his/her predecessor developed.
While there is some flexibility, the budget is the budget and a new mayor is pretty well hemmed in by the old budget during that first 9 months of his term. Mayor Kriseman and his team did a good job navigating those first 9 months.
The City has a new budget that seems to appeal to just about everyone.
To me that is a major accomplishment the Mayor and his team should be proud of.
I fully understand Council member Newton's desire to have more focus on youth and I agree. That should be an early priority in the next budget cycle.
A second kudos goes to the Mayor and his team on the progress of the Pier project.
By Fridays 4:00PM deadline 16 firms had submitted qualifications for Pier project.
Christopher O'Donnell has the details in his Tampa Tribune article Most pier proposals would keep inverted pyramid.
Working on the Pier project is somewhat like walking through a densely populated mine field, and I for one think the Mayor and his team have done an outstanding job.
From the public input sessions, Pier committees, transparency and the Request for Qualifications approach, I can't think of anything the Mayor and his team could have done better.
Only a cautionary comment: the mine field does not end here.
This is the point where the original Pier project ran off the rails. It is critical that the group that evaluates these submissions and makes recommendations be representative of the process that has occurred up to this point.
I am sure the Mayor recognizes that problem and I am confident that he and his team will make sure the process stays on task.
I have made it a point in this Post to refer to the "Mayor and his Team".
To me one of the most impressive things about Mayor Kriseman so far, has been his willingness to put together his management team, teams and groups of citizens and staff teams; provide them resources, guidance and oversight let them work and then listen to them.
It has been a good nine months.
While I am sure the Mayor and his team will give me a lot to Blog about in the future, I do believe St. Petersburg is in good hands.
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