Monday, July 31, 2017

From May 2015 - The Kriseman Legacy The Pier


Kriseman can no longer be trusted on the Pier


May 2015
St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog

Mayor Kriseman, it appears, has fallen into the same trap as his predecessor. The Mayor seems so determined to pull down the inverted pyramid, that he will say and do almost anything to accomplish his goal.

The most recent debacle, Kriseman's supposed "personal" Facebook page supporting Pier Park censored critical comments according to a saintpetersblog Post by Janelle Irwin: Rick Kriseman is censoring Pier comments on his official Facebook page.

Kind of makes one wonder who is really writing and editing the Mayor's Facebook page.

Why is the Mayor resorting to his personal Facebook page to push a political agenda?

Neither former Mayor Bill Foster nor current Mayor Rick Kriseman can seem to provide the type of mature leadership a project of this magnitude needs.

It is now up to Council Chair Charlie Gerdes and the rest of the City Council to put some sanity into this process.

City council members need to carefully observe the actions of the Mayor and his staff. If they vote to move Pier Park forward to the negotiation phase, there is little doubt there will be a deal. The question will be what is really in the deal?

Given the passion of Kriseman, Connors and Ballestra, to name a few, to tear down the inverted pyramid, the possibility of getting a clean deal on Pier Park negotiated behind closed doors seems highly unlikely.

 The contract and the detailed plans will be lengthy and complex. The opportunities to show one thing and say another are almost endless.

Council should force the contract negotiations into the Sunshine and allow the public to review the terms, conditions and loopholes the administration builds in.

Connors likes to throw Skanska round as the cop on the beat watching everything, but the fact is Skanska knows where their bread is buttered and the possibility of them crossing Connors on any decision is highly unlikely. Every report they give will be filtered through the administration and Council will hear only what they are supposed to hear and see what the administration wants them to see.

Council needs its own owner's rep that they hire and reports directly and only to them. Even that may not be enough to keep up with the closed door deals, nods and winks that will be necessary to get this project completed.

Given the near panic level of the Mayor to get Pier Park done, he and his staff will agree to almost anything to get the deal. That leaves the taxpayer on the hook for the Mayor's "damn Pier" that a seeming majority of them don't want. 

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

Please comment below.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Get Real FDOT! Acknowledge Reality or Tampa Bay Next will Fail

Get Real FDOT! Acknowledge Reality or TampaBayNext will Fail

Considering extremism while ignoring the will of voters and the consent of the governed reflects tone-deafness and not acceptable.

But that is what FDOT's TampaBayNext is doing.

Tearing down our interstates that 200K vehicles and almost a half million people use everyday is extremism and is not an option for reducing congestion or addressing our transportation issue in Tampa Bay.

FDOT made a unique outreach to transit advocates that the rest of us were not afforded. They are not representing the rest of us.

How did that special outreach to extremists turnout? Not well. 

What did FDOT gain from spending your tax dollars on one monolithic group of people? Nothing.

Because after the StopTBXers returned from their taxpayer funded St. Louis trip, they still want to demolish our interstates

Now the StopTBX extremists posted recently on Facebook they are targeting the newly named FDOT District 7 Secretary David Gwynn and plan to "unleash" on him. 
StopTBX extremists to "unleash" on FDOT
The extremists do not represent a majority of the citizenry in Tampa Bay. No matter how vocal they are or how many meetings they show up at or what the Tampa Bay Times falsely reports or ignores, we are not San Francisco Bay.  

TampaBayNext is creating another big mess - confirmed by the urbanists Facebook post above. 

TampaBayNext, which is costing taxpayers millions, is setting unrealistic expectations that can never be met. They are using misleading and inaccurate information and ignoring relevant information. Sound familiar? Moving Hillsborough Forward in 2010, Greenlight Pinellas in 2014 and the recent Go Hillsborough debacle used the same tactics. And they all have basic 3rd grade math problems.

These tactics are used time and time again to ram tax hikes thru for costly transit boondoggles. Has FDOT joined in?

Click the Transit link and what pops up?
FDOT knows Tampa Bay wants transit options, and we’re committed to transit investment. 
FDOT provides no annotation or footnote for any details behind that statement. Did FDOT conduct a survey or a poll or what? When we asked FDOT how they "knew" this. The only answer provided was it is what people (we don't know who they are) have told them.

Voters in Tampa Bay (Hillsborough, Pinellas and twice in Polk) overwhelmingly defeated all transit tax hike referendums - FOUR TIMES since 2010. And transit ridership is declining in Tampa Bay. FDOT needs to reword that statement. 

FDOT ignores declining transit ridership while vehicle miles travelled is set to be a record this year. Is that intentional?

Rhetorical statements can be made but they insinuate false narratives. Even in South Florida, the densest part of the state where the Central Planners were forcing stack and pack densities (that creates more congestion), people are rejecting transit and choosing to drive or use ride-share and the sharing economy: Traffic's bad but South Florida commuters find bus, trains worse.
"Planners may be pushing for more buses and trains, but South Florida’s commuters are no longer on board. 
The numbers reflect a national trend, but the results mean current efforts to narrow roads and focus more attention on pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders may have to be rethought. Planners had expected that the worsening traffic situation would encourage commuters to leave their cars at home. 
Greg Stuart, executive director of the organization that coordinates transportation projects in Broward, said planners need to find other creative ways to solve gridlock instead of focusing only on alternatives to cars. 
"We’re going to have to work on roadway capacity improvements," he said.
This is abject failure again by the central planners - taxpayers wasting billions on transit failures. No matter what the central planners say in Tampa Bay, South Florida is no model to follow.

SunRail in Central Florida is such a fiscal disaster and its dismal ridership so low that

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

St. Pete Primary Election Ballots in the mail this week

Voted mail ballots cannot be accepted at polling places. They must be received at one of the supervisor of elections offices

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

The St. Petersburg Primary election race gets underway this week with the mailing of the Vote by mail ballots.

Here is some basic information, you can go to the Pinellas County Supervisor of election's web site page St. Petersburg Primary Election August 29, 2017.

Below is some of the critical information from the Supervisor of Election’s web site.

St. Petersburg Primary Election August 29, 2017

Voter Registration Deadline: July 31, 2017

Early Voting: The municipality has chosen not to conduct early voting for this election as provided in Florida Statute 101.657(1)(e).

Ballot Mailing Schedule: Military & Overseas Voters (July 14)
Domestic voters (Tentatively July 25)

Request a mail ballot: MailBallot@VotePinellas.com / (727) 464-VOTE (8683)
Deadline to request a ballot to be mailed: 5:00 p.m. August 23, 2017

Information links:
             



Polls Open 7:00am - 7:00pm on Election Day August 29, 2017  

You can check out sample Ballots:

Mayors Race  All Districts but District 6


This is a very important election. If you have requested a mail in Ballot be on the lookout for it near the end of the week.

VOTING YOUR MAIL BALLOT

Completely fill in the oval next to each of your selections on your ballot.

Put your ballot in the secrecy envelope.

Put the secrecy envelope in the return envelope. Enclose only your ballot in your envelope.

Seal the envelope and sign your name on the back where indicated.

Print the date under your signature.

Affix required postage if mailing or drop off ballot at any Supervisor of Elections office or designated ballot drop-off location.

If you make a mistake, call (727) 464-VOTE (8683) to request another ballot.

You may receive up to three ballots; however, only the first ballot received in our office will be counted.

If you decide to vote early or at your precinct on Election Day instead of voting your mail ballot, bring your ballot with you and ask the poll worker to cancel it so you may vote in person.

If you decide to vote early or at your precinct and cannot find your mail ballot, the poll worker will need to confirm that your ballot has not been received and cancel your mail ballot so you may vote in person.

RETURNING VOTED BALLOT

Ballots may be returned by mail or in person.

There is no limit to the number of ballots a person may return on behalf of other voters.
NOTE: Any person who provides or offers to provide, and any person who accepts, a pecuniary or other benefit in exchange for distributing, ordering, requesting, collecting, delivering or otherwise physically possessing more than two mail ballots per election in addition to his or her own ballot or a ballot belonging to an immediate family member, except as provided in F.S. 101.6105-101.695, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in F.S. 775.082, 775.083 or 775.084.(Effective January 1, 2014)

VOTED MAIL BALLOTS CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AT POLLING PLACES.
THEY MUST BE RECEIVED AT ONE OF THE SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS OFFICES
BY 7 P.M. ON ELECTION DAY.
[F.S. 101.67(2) and 101.6103(2)]

This is your chance to have a say in the Government that affects you the most, your City Government. Gather your facts, make your decisions and complete the ballot as soon as possible.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign

Please comment below. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The true measure of man

Congemi’s comments are outrageous in any format and horrendous in this one, yet Baker alone had the courage to speak up.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.


I was at the League of Women Voters Mayoral debate Tuesday evening. Hats off to the group who put this one together.

Details in Mitch Perry’s saintpetersblog Post, Candidates spar again at St. Pete mayoral forum.

The debate went along predictable lines with carefully orchestrated outbursts from the UHURUS supporting their candidate Jessie Nevel. The moderator respectfully let them have their moments.

Nothing much new in the questions or subject matter area and the answers from the candidates are now well-rehearsed and dutifully given.

New to the candidate mix was perennial candidate Paul Congemi

Things went along well until the last minute or so when as part of his closing comments Paul Congemi said, “Mr. Nevel, you and your people, talk about reparations. The reparations that you talk about, Mr. Nevel, your people already got your reparations. Your reparations came in the form of a man named Barack Obama.”

“My advice to you is,” he added, “if you don’t like it here in America, planes leave every hour from Tampa airport. Go back to Africa!”

There was a vocal response from the crowd, but the dais remained silent.

After a moment Rick Baker replied, “I know we’re not supposed to respond to other things, but I first have to specifically reject the comments Mr. Congemi just made. I just think that in 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida, I never would have dreamed we would hear comments like that in a mayoral debate.”

The dais remained silent as Kriseman looked at a loss for words.

Congemi’s comments are outrageous in any format and horrendous in this one, yet Baker alone had the courage to speak up.

The true measure of a man is when he will defend the rights of those he philosophically disagrees with.

This event should be a pivotal moment in this Mayoral election.

Baker did not need to prepare a written response, run it by his spin masters and have someone else deliver it. He instinctively knew these comments were wrong and those offended needed to be defended and he acted.

Rick Baker may not agree with your positions but he will without hesitation defend your right to those positions and work tirelessly to resolve the differences.

There in an instant was real the answer to the question, “What’s the difference between the two Ricks?”

One just wants your vote and the other wants to stand with you regardless of who you are.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY .

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign  

Please comment below.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Management style – Kriseman’s strength or his Achilles heel

Kriseman’s management style can be summed up simply, view from afar, point to success with pride and view failure with alarm and blame someone else.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

 Current St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman may have picked the wrong attribute when he started comparing his management style with his chief opponent in the St. Pete Mayoral race Rick Baker.

You can get some details in Charlie Fargos’, Tampa Bay Times article, Rick Kriseman says management style is his strength, rival Rick Baker's weakness.
Since I worked for the City on the management team during Baker’s two terms as Mayor I have a unique perspective from which to comment.

Kriseman began his term as Mayor by completely politicizing the top of the management team. With the exception of Dr. Gary Cornwall, who Kriseman named as City Administrator, his office of the Mayor was completely populated with political cronies or operatives.

In Bakers 8 plus years, I never had to deal with anyone who was a pure political appointee. Baker looked for people who could make a contribution not those needed a place to camp until the next election cycle.

Kriseman has surrounded himself with spokes people and wannabes.

From the Frago article: “Kriseman said his management style has been to hire bright people while taking the "30,000-foot" big-picture view, preferring to delegate to his chosen team.”

You have probably seen some of Kriseman’s bright people on TV and read their quotes on line and in the newspaper. I’ll leave the definition of “bright” to you.

As to the 30,000-foot view, Kriseman rarely gets any closer to a problem than 30,000 feet. That’s why the City is in the mess it is in. Baker is a hands-on guy who is willing to roll up his sleeves and help solve the problems.

Micromanager?

Maybe.

But it sure is nice to have the guy who runs the show there in the trenches with you when things are going bad.

Kriseman’s best hire was Kanika Tomalin.

I remember the first interview I did with her.

They were so worried about what she might say, I had to agree to have Ben Kirby, Kriseman’s campaign mouth piece and newly minted “Communications Director” in the room before they would agree to the interview.

Tomalin, who is bright, talented and articulate has been largely relegated to a show and tell role, when she should have been a primary policy contributor and decision maker.

Kriseman’s management style doesn’t recognize talent when it is standing right in front of him.

Finally, there was the whole Police Chief debacle. After a nationwide search, there was no one Kriseman wanted to hire. Instead of following the protocol, he just reaches out and grabs someone close by. Good decision?

Maybe, maybe not.

Is crime up or down? Hard to tell as the Kriseman spin machine manipulates the numbers.

One thing we know for sure when it comes to things like the Noise Ordinance, Why Does St. Petersburg, Florida Have The Worst Noise Ordinance In The Nation?  the Police Department is right there with Kriseman, 30,000 feet above the problem.

Kriseman’s management style can be summed up simply, view from afar, point to success with pride and view failure with alarm and blame someone else.

Do you really want this guy as your mayor for four more years?

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY .

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

Please comment below.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Good Money down a rat hole

If the Times is relying on its social media platform as its source of future profitability, it is unlikely that will happen.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

This past week a group of investors some choosing to remain anonymous made a $12 Million “loan” to the Tampa Bay Times.

All It took was the word anonymous, and the conspiracy theorists came flying out of the windows. Much of the concern was over who these anonymous investors were and how much influence they would have over the Times reporting and editorial positions.

Later in the week, it was revealed that Tampa Developer Jeff Vinik was one of the Times angels. See Peter Schorsch saintpetersblog, 5 things I think I think about Jeff Vinik going into business with the Tampa Bay Times.

Maybe Mr. Vinik just made an early down payment on a piece of prime downtown St. Pete property.

In typical responses Paul Tash, Chairman and CEO of Times Publishing Company told us all not to worry, there would be no connection between all this money and how the newspaper operates.

As widely reported the Times had been teetering on the financial brink for some time, Tash went on to say the loan was to help with operating expenses until the newspaper could establish its social media operation.

That makes this a long-term loan. I doubt seriously, and I think there are many who share my opinion, that the Times with its current leadership will ever get social media figured out.

Tash and the other principals at the Times have long blamed social media for the decline of print journalism in general and the Times, specifically.

The Times has made a number of unproductive decisions in the last few years. First the decision to Leave its home town, St. Petersburg, and essentially broaden its print media reach to include all the bay area was a suspect decision.

Next came the decision to dump a ton of money into the naming rights for Amalie arena to bolster the decision to go regional and become the Tampa Bay Times.

Obviously, our group of mysterious and announced investors have a great deal of money to toss around, because the probability of a turnaround at the Times is highly unlikely. And, if the Times is relying on its social media platform as its source of future profitability, it is unlikely that will happen.

The primary reason is it is difficult to be successful in a medium you don’t respect.

No one yet has simply loaded an existing newspaper on to the Internet and been successful. The Times flashing banners, auto start commercials, blinking ads are more annoying than informative.

Finally, there is content. Social media is mostly local. I know I don’t really care what the Times editorial board or their staff writers thinks about Trump, the Russian meddling in the election or what some Senator from Texas said about health care.
Until the Times changes its basic philosophy, it will remain just another old newspaper trying to move to social media.

As for all that money, the “philanthropists” ponied up – it seems to me if these folks would have looked around the bay area, they would have seen innumerable places this kind of money could be invested that would produce tangible results and measurable returns for this community.

The Pinellas County School district comes to mind.

Saving the newspaper may be a laudable objective, but giving the people who currently run the Times more money to keep doing what they are doing seems to me to fit Einstein’s definition of insanity.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

Please comment below.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Politifact rates Kriseman Claim about poverty reduction in South St. Pete as MOSTLY FALSE

Rick Kriseman has built the biggest spin machine in St. Petersburg political history.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

Once again, the Kriseman spin machine takes the facts a bit out of context to overstate a point. You can get the details in an article By Allison Graves, Times Staff Writer,  PolitiFact Florida: Kriseman overstates poverty reduction in south St. Petersburg.

From the Times Article:

The statement

"We are seeing poverty being reduced in south St. Pete at a number larger than the national average, the state average, county or Tampa and Jacksonville."

Mayor Rick Kriseman, June 15 at a campaign event

The ruling

PolitiFact ruling: Mostly FalseTo support his claim about south St. Petersburg — which is not entirely comprised of black residents — Kriseman referred to data about the city's overall black population, not even narrowed down to the south side. And that data ignores critical facts, including the wide margin of error for Census city data that indicates there is no discernible difference between the years Kriseman highlighted. For a statement that contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give the reader a different impression, we rate this claim Mostly False.

There is much more detail in the Allison Graves Article, and I would encourage you to click on the link above.

This is just another example of how current Mayor Rick Kriseman and his spin machine shade the facts just enough to suit their perception of reality.

The misleading statements about the Pier, the sewage dump and now poverty, only make you wonder about Kriseman’s other claims related to crime, the south side, the Rays and the capacity of downtown wastewater infrastructure.

Rick Kriseman has built the biggest spin machine in St. Petersburg political history.

His Deputy mayor, Chief of Staff, Communications Director, Action Center, Water Resources spokesperson, Marketing Department and the list goes on. All dedicated to putting the best “spin” on anything that happens.

When City employees feel the necessity to request Whistle Blower protection, the spin machine is out of control.
.
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign  

Please comment below.

Friday, July 14, 2017

League of Women Voters First St. Pete Debate a disaster

The League of Women Voters was totally unprepared for the realities of this event.

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

If, by now, you haven’t read or heard about the Monday night League of Women Voters election debate featuring the candidates for District six and the St. Petersburg Mayoral Candidates, here are a couple of links that will bring you up to date.



I was there sitting next to Mitch Perry (article above) and Mitch captures the scene very accurately.

A lot of things went wrong in this debate.

Quoting from Charlie Frago’s article: Moderated by the St. Petersburg Area chapter of the League of Women Voters and hosted by the Downtown Neighborhood Association, both the city council forum and mayoral gathering were largely a stage for the political theater of the Uhurus Monday just as a similar forum hosted by the Mt. Zion AME church was last week.

My first take away is the League of Women Voters was totally unprepared for the realities of this event. Apparently, no one from the League or the Downtown Neighborhood Association attended or was aware of what happened the previous Monday at the Mount Zion AME debate.

It seems these folks have been living under a rock for the last two years or so as political discourse has become more aggressive, less polite and inclined not to follow any rules.

There was no security present within the room all, though I was told by one of the event organizers that “the Police were back stage but were not visible to prevent a problem."

That decision did not seem to work out to well.

When you pander to the whims of those who would antagonize and disrupt you merely insure their success.

My second take away is this: The Uhurus who have for years been written off by the St. Pete Political establishment are starting to come into their own. The question has always been who do they really represent, and I am not sure we know the answer to that one yet, but they are making significant strides. 

They have a bright and competent, just a bit loud, candidate in the District 6 council race in Eritha “Akile” Cainion.

Following the event, a couple of notable
political observers commented that if Cainion could calm down a bit she could be a force in the election one even calling her a “really smart girl.”

I would strongly agree.

The attempt by the League moderator to take away speaking time from the council candidates who enjoyed the largest audience response only infuriated the entire room.

The failure to get things under control and/or clear the room following the City Council Debate set the stage for the complete melt down that followed in the Mayoral debate.

The results were easily predictable as the Mayoral candidate from the Uhurus, Jessie Nevel whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

In the end, the debate organizers gave in to the outlandish behavior of the Uhuru supporters, and the entire event collapsed with little serious debate among the Mayoral candidates.

Big winner Monday night – by getting the event shut down the Uhurus who managed to dominate the event. Did they win any political ground?

No.

There are more debates coming up and there needs to be some careful thought to what happens next. 

Banning or excluding any of these people from the process is simply not acceptable.

Dissent bottled up always explodes somewhere. Let’s get it out there. Kriseman and Baker both need to see what far end of the divisions in St. Pete look like so they cannot claim they don’t exist.

Let them yell from the dais, let them holler from the audience and through the venom hear the words. There is a message in there.

See My Photo Gallery of over 200 pictures from the event at League of Women Voters July 17, 2017 Debate. 

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign  

Please comment below.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Noise Pollution Ordinance is the not so “green” elephant in Mayoral and City Council election


Noise pollution is a green issue and is now recognized as a health issue.

St. Petersburg Fl
Public Opinion by author: Robert Neff


The City ordinance refers to the noise issue as Noise Pollution, however, the police nature of incident list has noise as a noise nuisance. Either way, noise pollution is not the "GREEN" elephant in the room. Mayor Kriseman is wasting residents tax dollars by not enforcing the City Ordinance. So, what are the St. Petersburg Mayoral and City Council candidates’ positions on the City Noise Pollution Ordinance? 

Mayor Kriseman has abandoned his fiduciary responsibility to the City and its residents. By not enforcing the Ordinance for Noise Pollution, the police have spent over an estimated $250,000 for police to respond to resident’s noise calls and never issue a citation for a business or residence. Those taxpayer dollars could have been used to fight sewage or crime.

While this is a conservative and estimated cost analysis, the city could use the data model to approximate the cost for residents to call police dispatch and send officers to investigate. This does not include the crime calls to these businesses with repeat noise calls.

Noise pollution is a green issue and is now recognized as a health issue. Noise studies by OSHA, World Health Organization and academic research discuss the negative impact noise has on the health. Noise studies discuss the difference between audible, which is easy to dampen, and low frequency noise that is more powerful, can travel long distances, is omnidirectional, where can penetrate buildings as a thumping similar to a boom box on a car and reflect off buildings.
  • The health concerns for low frequency noise are well documented, and of particular note in the study are:
  • The main complaints came from the 55-70 years age group
  • The noise was often close to inaudibility and heard by a minority of people
  • Low frequency noise radiates at approximately the same level in all directions
  • The noise was typically audible indoors and not outdoors
  • Can also pose serious health risks such as hearing loss, stress, and threats to mental and social well-being.
Yet, Mayor Kriseman and Police Chief Holloway have refused to enforce the City Ordinance for Noise Pollution. While the City has struggled with enforcement and revising the city ordinance, the City had noise pollution all wrong. Downtown bars are not the Citys main noise polluter, the Southside and city-wide residences are responsible for the most noise pollution.

A resident conducted a data and trend analysis of the police call logs for all noise and crime incidents from 2009-2016. The noise issue was not isolated to downtown. In St. Petersburg, the #1 and #2 noise and crime call generators for businesses with repeat noise calls from residents are on the Southside. In fact, from 2009-2016, residents of the City of St. Petersburg have called 27,638 times yet the police issued ZERO citations for noise against businesses and residents.

The noise issue was a very volatile and hot topic at the March 29 Public Meeting.  A resident asked the City, "How many noise citations have there been?" The City replied, we do not know. Fortunately, a resident with the research shared the results. There were ZERO citations issued for noise to businesses and residences. Attendees were shocked.

Mayor Kriseman and Police Chief Holloway's inaction has created a hostile environment for residents when they report a noise issue. Businesses have filed civil complaints against three residents for exercising their right to call police when they hear the noise. 

Currently residents who lived within 500' of the noise source would call the police when the noise was plainly audible to them. Plainly audible to any person is per the Noise Pollution Ordinance. The police would respond and state the noise was not within the limits of City Ordinance for its distance and time of day. Hence the resident being able to hear the music was not enough for police to issue a citation. Unfortunately, residents who live across the street from the noise source have no rights, since noise is based on distance and time of day, not decibels.

The residents who lived farther were subject to distances where audible and low frequency noise would enter the building but may or may not meet the distance and time requirement. While the noise ordinance says plainly audible to any person, the police officer must witness the noise and ascertain if it meets the level to issue a citation. Officers have stood with residents and heard the noise. Or thumping inside the condo, yet refuse to cite the business when the distance and time of day requirement are met. As officers have repeatedly stated, It's not loud enough for me to testify in court. One officer stated the City would not cite a business. Another officer stated, we do not want to put them out of business. 

The most incorrect police excuse was, you are wasting police resources. The response is, there is more crime at these bars and clubs than there are noise calls. The range is from two to four times as many calls for crime than noise. 

City and Police legal have stated in a letter to a resident the police may deem the noise to be inadvertent. Now the Mayoral and City Council candidate need to tell residents how many times does the police officer have to tell a business to turn down the music before the business or resident is cited. There are too many of the same businesses with repeat calls.

Police officers have chosen to ignore Police Legal's guidance to officers and residents. Police freely interpret the ordinance requirements on distance despite Police Legal's guidance on which paragraph in the noise ordinance to use. This paragraph states the distance. The question now is why are police refusing to protect residents in their home.

There is a lack of police training and education on audible and low frequency noise. The police can hear a saw cutting through pipe and say that is loud, but that is a high frequency pitch and not low frequency noise. The high frequency pitch does not travel far nor does it penetrate concrete buildings.

Low frequency noise travels farther and can penetrate buildings to mimic a low beat that bombards the body and mind. Thus, impacting your health. Residents have had their windows shake, walls vibrate, and heard the thumping all day. Yet the police may or may not hear it or experience it in the five minutes they are with the resident. That is, if the resident agreed to meet. Many of the city calls after after hours.


The bars and clubs are not the only noise generators. Residences account for a large percentage of noise calls. One resident was proud to have just bought a home. However, he soon found his neighbor would place speakers on the lawn, which blasted his home with bass all day. Repeated calls to police have not resulted in curtailing the noise. He has become frustrated and stopped calling the police.

Residents repeatedly state "Frustration" is why they stop calling. For some, this has lead to a negative opinion of the St. Petersburg Police Department and Mayor Kriseman.

If you make the argument, the bars pay more in taxes? Ask yourself, what is the offset in cost for police to respond to the noise and crime calls. The city has not conducted a cost-benefit analysis or built a date model to support this argument. So I question the frequent excuse that businesses pays more in taxes than residences. 

Residents pay taxes so why should they be treated less than a bar or restaurant owner?

Again, Mayor Kriseman's fiduciary oversight must be questioned. The estimated $250,000 wasted on noise calls that are never cited is a clear indication that Mayor Kriseman and Police Chief Holloway are out of touch.

Some neighborhood associations have thrown their residents under the bus for calling the police and chose to protect the bar. This has created friction in the neighborhoods as some residents and boards want to protect the business.

Noise pollution cuts to the heart of Mayor Kriseman's inability to understand what is going on in "his" city. Like the sewage issue, he had ignored it and not responded, until forced to respond. If Mayor Kriseman is so "GREEN," why is he protecting businesses over residences? His solution is to do nothing until the new ordinance is passed. This is unacceptable.


While the noise ordinance is being revised, one City Council Member seems to be more interested in protecting businesses than residents. Council Member Kornell has even called a constituent a liar at the Noise Ordinance Public Meeting for stating officers have stood with him and heard the the noise. Where does your City Council Candidate stand? You should express your concerns and thoughts by emailing your council member, council@stpete.org. 

So how “GREEN” is Mayor Kriseman’s city that is being blasted with noise pollution? You should express your concerns and thoughts by emailing the Mayor at mayor@stpete.org.

The Tampa Bay Times has declined to report on the local noise issue that impacts St. Petersburg residents. The Times is interested when the noise ordinance comes to a vote before council, not before. By not covering the noise pollution issue nor making noise pollution an election issue, the Tampa Bay Times has hung City residents out to dry. 

Author Bio


Mr. Neff has run hi-end eCommerce operations for major national and international brands. He was Chief Web Operations Division at United States Mint and an executive in luxury retail eCommerce. He has several startups under his belt and has worked in Silicon Valley, Washington D.C., and Dallas. In the past, he was Director Online Sales for a consumer product company, directed eCommerce marketing operations and online analytical operations. Now retired, he is enjoying life as an award winning photographer, writer, and contemporary artist who has shown his work at one of Art Miami's International Art Shows, Spectrum Miami. He occasionally tests online products for companies in Silicon Valley. The value he brings is institutional knowledge from years of experience.

When the City of St. Petersburg noise issue became an issue for others and him, Mr. Neff dusted off his skills to conduct an investigation, data collection and data analysis.

Should you have a noise-related story to share or have a question, contact me directly via email. 

The opinions here are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bay Post Internet or the Blog Publishers where it appears.