Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog .
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog .
Kriseman and his dream team can't seem to come to agreement with City Council let alone the Rays on a deal to let them look for a new stadium. Baseball, which is usually reluctant to talk business deals during the season, has been typically quiet.
At this point I am not sure who is stringing whom along. If you listen carefully to the drumbeats from across the Bay, the desire to pony up a lot of public or private money to build the Rays a cushy new home seems a bit muted these days.
The Mayor said he did not want to do an economic impact study because it might put the City in bad position for recovering damages.
Read that as the Rays are not as big an economic deal as they would like you to think they are.
So if the Rays get a chance to look in Tampa and there are no sites or suitors they also have a now damaged position.
Maybe they are not as anxious to look as they used to be.
The Kriseman administration has saddled themselves with a selection for the Pier, Pier Park, that a lot of people don't seem to want. Bubbling under the surface is a potential referendum that could tank the whole deal.
Quietness and some secrecy surround the "negotiations" for Pier Park. Look for the designs, contracts and procurement documents to come out late in an effort to stampede Council into a quick decision.
When City Council gets Pier Park back for a final decision, they need to take all the time they need to review the entire deal.
Downtown Waterfront Master Plan
This effort, a near debacle, was only partially rescued by a series of last minute trees thrown on the drawings and some careful wording that hid but did not eliminate the real goal of commercial development of a large part of the waterfront.
Most of the really smart people in town know the DWMP is a concept that will likely never materialize, but it does crack the door open for development that might not be in keeping with the City's historical goals for the waterfront.
If the Pier Park design goes wildly bad, like it very well may, and City Council does not refuse to fund it, then the waterfront referendum effort will certainly gain some momentum and the DWMP will become part of the fuel.
The Big Blue Cans
The Mayor's latest nightmare is the recycling program, those 95 gallon blue cans and trucks too big to go down an alley.
One has to wonder if anyone did a study on the actual amount of recyclables households in St. Pete generate and just how big those cans should really be.
Somebody should have also been thinking about how the great big automated trucks get down the narrow streets of Old Northeast and how they will get to the cans around all of those cars parked on the street. Maybe a street parking ban is in the works.
Giving some thought to the alleys would have also been good idea.
One lesson to be learned from all of this by the Kriseman administration is if you leave the selection of trucks, cars, fire trucks or anything else that rolls completely up to the department that will use it, you will almost always get the biggest thing out there. A St. Pete Fleet Director once said to me, "Go ahead and get the big one, better too big than too small."
Anyhow old Northeast is up in arms and that is never good for a Mayor who would like to have a second term especially when he is a Democrat. The dream team better think of something fast or this one could become a threat to the whole recycling effort to say nothing of some political careers.
The list goes on but so far the Mayor and his team of newbie's have started a lot of things but they seem to have difficulty closing the deal. In every one of these issues the devil is in the details and the details are where the Kriseman administration seems to have the most trouble.
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