Friday, August 7, 2015

Rick Kriseman – The Mayor who would be King Part II

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog

 In yet another attempt by the Kriseman administration to shore up power for the Mayor's office the Kriseman administration offered another Cheater amendment to weaken City Council's position under the City Charter.

As the Charter now stands City Council approves the Mayor's selection of a City Administrator.

The Kriseman team offered a Charter change ballot amendment that would eliminate City Council's approval role in selecting the City administrator.

The administration pointed out that City Council had never rejected a Mayor's appointment to the position as the principal argument for this change.

True City Council has never rejected a City administrator appointment, but we have only had two since the strong Mayor form of government, Tish Elson and Kriseman appointee Gary Cornwell both outstanding individuals.

It is certainly speculation, but I seriously doubt Gary Cornwell would have been Kriseman's choice if he had not needed City Council approval. More than likely the Administrator's job would have gone to one of the Mayor's political cronies.

So in fact the Charter worked as designed and the City got a top notch administrator not a political hack.

After some politically correct conversation City Council appropriately handed the Mayor a defeat with one dissenting vote by Charlie Gerdes, a vote I do not understand. 

After my Post last Week Rick Kriseman – The Mayor who would be King, I got an e-mail from Kriseman communications director Ben Kirby informing me the subject Charter amendment had been pulled two weeks prior. In my response I asked him if any similar Charter Amendments were in the works he replied NO.

Really?

For now the Mayor has been handed a couple of defeats as he tried to erode the Charter. Look for more of the same.

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