Friday, December 9, 2016

St.Pete's sewage problem is becoming a political football.

Kriseman seems to be hiding on the 2nd floor of City hall and somewhat indiscriminately lobbing grenades at the wastewater problem.

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin

It just seems the Kriseman administration only stops shooting itself in the foot long enough to reload.

The latest debacle or at least potential debacle comes from the application by a Florida Department of Environmental Protection employee for a job in the City Water Resources department she was investigating.

You can get the details in Charlie Frago's Tampa Bay Times article Sewage crisis' latest twist: State official investigating St. Petersburg applies for city sewage job.

There are a couple of ways to look at this. First, there is certainly a need in the Water Resources Department for some talented people.

On the other hand, this points out the Kriseman administrations' complete and total lack of sensitivity for the City's water treatment problems. Why create another controversy to add to the already complex mess?

Kriseman's track record on hiring is less than stellar. One only has to look at his office of the mayor to see that common sense does not pervade the administration's hiring practices.

This may be a good technical hire, but it is a terrible move from a confidence perspective.

Kriseman seems to be hiding on the 2nd floor of City hall and somewhat indiscriminately lobbing grenades at the wastewater problem.

One must wonder do they ever set down and seriously look at the decisions they are making and the possible ramifications.

Are there any potential unintended consequences?

How will the Florida Department of Environmental Protection view this hire and more importantly? How will the other FDEP employees investigating St. Petersburg react?

If this is an effort to get "inside' the FDEP process and find ways to beat the system, then a serious disservice to the citizens of St. Petersburg is being done.

If this hire is to get the best possible technical talent for the job, then a thorough vetting of Ms. Duggan's technical credentials is very much in order.

 From the Frago/Tampa Bay Times article:
City Council member Darden Rice, however, said she was shocked that St. Petersburg allowed Duggan to apply and interview for a job while the DEP official was taking part in a state investigation of the city.

"To say this is clearly inappropriate is an understatement," Rice said. "It's very troubling that the investigator involved in putting together the consent order is interviewing with the city at the same time. That boggles the mind."

She said it doesn't look good for city sewer officials to interview someone investigating their own performance issues.

"The appearances are terrible," Rice said.

I Could not have said it better myself.

First, the Hogan hire and now this, the Mayor needs to refocus on the problem and the issues.

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