Friday, January 19, 2018

Bay Area Transit - Sanity among the chaos

It looks like there may be a glimmer of hope for Bay Area public transit. 


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


In the Regional Transit Feasibility plan, developed by Jacobs Engineering, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has become the leading option.

You can get more details in these Tampa Bay Times articles by Caitlin Johnston:

Tampa Bay’s transit future: Light rail’s out. Rapid buses are in.

Tampa Bay Transit: How rapid buses left light rail in the dust.

It would seem that the Jacob’s Team is not only technical adept they are also pragmatic.

Following two disastrous attempts at referendums to fund light-rail and transit-oriented redevelopment, the Jacobs team is recommending a 40-mile BRT route that will connect Wesley Chapel to downtown Tampa and on to St. Petersburg.

The local light rail supporters are waxing pragmatic also.

From the Johnston article, "Candidly, I’m tired of talking about it," (Bob) Buckhorn said. "We need a victory. .?.?. I can say with a great deal of certainty if we move toward a BRT model using the existing interstate, we can get this done much more quickly than another prolonged debate in a political referendum about whether or not rail is appropriate for our area or not."

And St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman, "Unless we are willing to ask the public to tax themselves significantly in order to make it happen," he said, "then realistically, light rail is really not going to happen."

There are still a lot of problems to over come and the Jacob’s study will be part of a larger plan developed by the State, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties along with St. Petersburg and Tampa.

Don’t get too excited yet we have a long way to go and those who fortunes are tied to light rail may yet still try to thwart a rubber tire based solution. More than one consultant’s report has been quietly placed upon the shelf to slowly sink from relevance.

There are other issues like the proposal in Senate Bill 1200 and House Bill 525 to take funds from rail transit and support alternative transportation systems, which could include BRT. See my Post: State wide alternative Transportation Authority More money down and old rat hole.

Once TBARTA gets their hands on these funds watch out for a “new” study to be funded that will contradict the Jacobs study as TBARTA tries to slow down any non-light rail approach.

It is almost unfair to ask TBARTA that has spent years and millions of dollars trying to get a light-rail proposal funded to switch hats and actively and professionally support the very thing they have fought for so long.

Too many years, too many friendships, too many intertwined relationships with politicians, developers, consultants and light rail promoters for the alternative transportation money and BRT to get a fair shake.

TBARTA should have never been “re-invented” by the State revising its charter; TBARTA should have been eliminated, and a new organization with a completely new staff should have been created.

Even the quotes from Buckhorn and Kriseman leave the light-rail door open and any hint of questions about the viability of BRT will send the boys running back to the tracks.

If Buckhorn and Kriseman are serious about the “need for a win” they need to get with their Pinellas and Hillsborough County counterparts and either get the $25 million from the State diverted to a different source or make sure they have enough control at TBARTA to ensure these funds aren’t spent to crash the BRT project before it gets rolling.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Kriseman off to a good start with staffing Changes

There is something unique about working for a large City


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


Rick Kriseman has a golden opportunity to enhance his somewhat tawdry legacy by making some good additions to the staff as he starts his second term. Public service and government staffing comes along in waves, and Kriseman is at the crest of an opportunity to have a long-range impact on the City.

If you just look at the top tier of staff people that tend to change with the political winds you will see that this is a relatively small number compared to the total number of management and supervisory people on the City payroll.

The current administration faces a wave of retirements in all most all departments, including public safety.

There are a lot of people, me included; that go to work in a government planning to stay for just a short time and end up staying for their entire career. It sounds odd but it’s true.

There are a lot of reasons let me give you some of mine.

About 40 years ago an engineer I knew who worked for Honeywell, went to work for the City of St. Pete to work on some long term technical challenges the City was experiencing. A couple of years later, he contacted me and said he could use some help. I asked what the job paid when he told me I laughed and said I couldn’t afford the pay cut.

He kept needling me and about a year or so later some things turned around in my life, and I said, “Ok I can give a year maybe two, but that’s it."

At that point, my career had been in business, the auto industry, defense and aerospace and I was used to a fast pace and a lot of challenges.

I figured I could do a couple of years in public service and then get on with life. Twenty-eight years later, I retired from the City of St. Pete.

Why the stay?

There is something unique about working for a large City. A lot of people come into local or county government and find out it is a place where you can have a significant impact. These are the governments that most directly impact the public.

The fact that people hire on and stay is a blessing and a curse because about every 25 or 30 years, there is a mass exodus of institutional knowledge due to retirements. That is what is occurring in a number of Bay Area cities and counties.

Mayor Kriseman is facing one of those watershed moments in his second term and the announcements he made last week are a good start. You can get the details  from the Tampa Bay Times in an article by Charlie Frago; Tomalin’s new role tops long list of changes for St. Pete.

Looking over the changes detailed in Charlie’s article, I think The Mayor is on the right track. I hope he stays engaged in this process and makes sure the quality of the city team in terms of technology, science, management and public safety continues to improve.

There won’t be a plaque, or shiny trophy but over the next decade or so as these Kriseman hires grown and excel he will be able to see a real legacy play out.

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

My NFL protest continues – and it’s working

The NFL like all major sports leagues is more of a money machine than it is about sports.



If you have not been following my reaction to the NFL players' protest of the national anthem, here are my Posts:


The football season has been a delight for me so far.

I could not tell you who is in the playoffs, who is considered the leading favorite for the Super Bowl, what players are doing what and even the Bucs dismal season has had little effect on me.

I have managed to avoid the playoffs so far, so I have no idea who is sponsoring them or what networks they are on. My streaming service does not offer ESPN or the NFL Network, and that’s why I picked it. And, we are still avoiding products from manufacturers and companies that openly support the NFL.

As I have stated before, I don’t care if the players kneel, jump up and down or lay on the ground kicking and screaming during the national anthem, it does nothing for me regarding their purported “causes” in fact, I think it does much more harm than good.

And I certainly do not have to support the advertisers who pay the NFL loads of cash for commercials. Apparently, I am not alone.

Just in case you don’t think your decision to turn off the NFL is having an effect check out this article in Sporting News by Michael McCarthy After lousy regular season, NFL's TV ratings worsen in wild-card playoffs
I have been keeping a running total of the dollars we diverted from known NFL sponsors, and it currently is approaching $4000. Not much in the great scheme of life, but we have been out of the big-ticket purchases up to now.

The NFL like all major sports leagues is more of a money machine than it is about sports and when the money starts to dry up, the people that really make the sports money begin to panic.

Take the Super Bowl. The commercials for that along with the rates the advertisers will pay are all set over a year in advance, but the smart advertisers have a performance requirement in their contracts. Simply put a specific number of viewers, or they get some money back.

Let’s hope enough people take the Super Bowl off and send the NFL a real message.

If your reading this early Sunday why not go to a movie with the family, get the Star Wars Trilogy, NEMO or a couple of Indiana Jones flicks and watch it Sunday afternoon, with the kids, or the ultimate crank up the fireplace and curl up with the newspaper or a good book.

We are starting to make some plans for no football Super Bowl party. Not only no football but no TV period. We are thinking road trip, but nothing is firmed up yet. I'll keep you posted.

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Dr. Gary Cornwell to retire as St. Pete City Administrator

Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin Named as Successor


St. Petersburg, Fl
Posted By E. Eugene Webb PhD



City Administrator Dr. Gary Cornwell will retire on February 9th after nearly 38 years with the City of St. Petersburg. Dr. Cornwell served as Human Resources Director prior to being confirmed as city administrator in 2014.

Said Mayor Rick Kriseman: “Gary has served our residents and employees exceptionally well for nearly 38 years, and I am especially grateful for his steady leadership and wise counsel throughout my first term. The state of our city and our government has improved thanks to Gary’s expertise and hard work.”

Mayor Kriseman has named Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin as the City of St. Petersburg’s next city administrator, an appointment subject to city council’s confirmation. Said Mayor Kriseman: “Her extensive administrative experience in the private sector prior to 2014, and her broad responsibilities as deputy mayor since 2014, make her the ideal person to ensure continuity and move us forward.”

Said St. Petersburg City Council Chairwoman Lisa Wheeler-Bowman: “Kanika Tomalin is not just a popular public figure in our community, but an experienced and skilled executive. She has already proven to be a respected leader and a thoughtful presence in meetings.”

Similar to past administrators, Dr. Tomalin will also remain deputy mayor.


Tom Greene, the city’s budget director since 2013, has been promoted to assistant city administrator, a newly created position.


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Friday, January 12, 2018

State wide alternative Transportation Authority

More money down an old rat hole



Sen. Dana Young and Rep. James Grant, both Tampa Republicans, have filed Bills in the Florida Legislature (SB 1200/HB 535) to take money from state passenger rail projects to build alternative transportation systems.

These alternative transportation systems are such things as autonomous vehicles, ride share operations and other emerging transportation technologies.

The Sunday Tampa Bay Times Editorial: Editorial: Legislature should send Tampa Bay transit money without limiting options is all in on sending the “money” without  limitations.

Problem is the money coming to the Bay Area is currently designated in the Bill to go to TBARTA one of the most failed Transit Authorities in the State.

Link to current draft Bill HB 535

From the Bill:

Twenty-five million dollars on a matching basis to the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority for the design and construction of an alternative transportation system, as defined CS/HB.  One dollar in local or private matching funds must   be provided for each dollar distributed under this subparagraph. Federal funds may not be substituted for the local or private matching funds.  

Even after a carefully crafted re-due by the Legislature TBARTA remains hopelessly flawed in is methods, management and implementation.

TBARTA never met a train in did not love, or a consultant that it could not somehow justify hiring. Why you would make TBARTA responsible for a project they basically benefit from if it fails is beyond me.

I cannot even begin to count the number of neighborhood association meetings and City Council sessions over my 28 years with the City of St. Petersburg where some TBARTA consultant, and never the same one, gave a glowing report replete with maps and charts about the progress of some TBARTA project that never came to fruition.

Even with a dollar for dollar match requirement that is currently in the Bill, which in all likelihoods could quietly disappear, the TBRATA folks who are much more creative at dealing for dollars than they are at building transportation systems will find some way to get their paws on the $25 million.

Given TBARTA’s past track record the chances of any of the State money or the matching funds actually ending up in a Bay Area rolling transportation solution are remote.

The Times has this one all wrong. The first place to start is cutting TBARTA completely out of this picture and wrapping these funds up in requirements for rolling deliverables not consultant reports.

TBARTA will hire a staff to “manage” this program, open up the consultant’s feeding trough and spend most of the money trying to figure out how to throttle alternative transportation systems, so we can get back to their view of the real transportation solution light rail and transportation redevelopment. 

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Buckhorn-Carlson Feud Casts Cloud over Tampa’s Future

Tampa, Fl
Posted From: Tampa Bay Beat
Author: Jim Bleyer

 The 2019 mayoral election is make or break for Tampa.


Bob Buckhorn

Bill Carlson
  



by Jim Bleyer    
Greed, power, and retribution are propelling a behind-the-scenes struggle between two high-profile heavyweights that could prevent Tampa from fulfilling its potential as a top tier American city.
That goal has proven elusive considering the present business and political climate here.   With mayoral and city council elections 14 months away, the forward thinking can replace the regressive, the civic minded can replace the self-indulgent.
If either Mayor Bob Buckhorn or public relations executive Bill Carlson is successful, the citizens of Tampa will lose.  Since there’s no chance these sworn enemies will back off from their counter-productive political machinations, voters can only win by rejecting both of them and their surrogates.
There are three mayoral candidates who, unlike the Buckhorn and Carlson lackeys, are independent with an agenda of putting Tampa first:  former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik, and City Councilmen Harry Cohen and Mike Suarez.
The Buckhorn-Carlson feud dates back years when Buckhorn pulled public relations contracts from Tucker/Hall, Carlson’s public relations firm, in favor of his close friends Beth Leytham and Ana Cruz.  Carlson didn’t take that financial hit lightly and has been burning ever since.
The 2019 mayoral election is make or break for Tampa.  Under two-term chief executive Buckhorn, the city regressed in race relations, infrastructure, bolstering connections with Cuba, renewable energyattracting Millennials, and becoming a high-tech incubator.  His reign was notable for self-aggrandizement, the incessant targeting of political enemies, and the awarding of lucrative contracts to close friends and financial supporters.
Due to Buckhorn, Tampa’s image suffered badly.  The mayor denied manmade climate change though he heads a city deemed one of the most vulnerable locales in the world to flooding.  He supported the police targeting of people of color, then wouldn’t apologize when the U.S. Justice Department hammered the city and Police Chief Jane Castor for their discriminatory policy.  He aired a long-suppressed desire to gun down journalists.  His coziness with the national Republican party transformed downtown Tampa into an armed camp that was off limits to residents during the GOP convention here.
That’s how Tampa made national headlines.  Some legacy.
Such regression would continue under Buckhorn’s stooge, Castor, who is gearing up for a mayoral run.  Of the five names prominently discussed for mayor, Castor would rank a distant fourth as being an effective, progressive leader.  In addition to being a divisive figure, Castor is a one-trick law enforcement pony with no hands-on experience with other governmental initiatives and programs.
Her election would assuredly cement public relations and lobbying contracts to her longtime partner, Cruz, and continue to shut out Tucker/Hall.  Buckhorn is expected to join the firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick as a “lobbyist” and would benefit from Castor’s ascension to mayor.
Incredibly, if the second combatant Carlson prevails, Tampa’s fate would be far worse.  Carlson’s stooge is billionaire David Straz, a Trump supporter who shows absolutely no understanding of the issues facing the city.
Straz abhors Millennials, and has no sensitivity or knowledge about critical environmental issues.  His  David A. Sraz Jr. Foundation is the second largest stockholder in an offshore bank that is a haven for tax evaders, drug traffickers, and terrorist sympathizers.
But word is that Straz is willing to spend $2 million for an image overhaul and the flooding of airwaves and mailboxes prosletyzing the fiction that he actually knows the issues.  That amount of money is catnip to political operatives including Carlson and Tucker/Hall.
Tucker/Hall promotes itself as skiled in crisis counseling.  It would be more accurate to say it’s expertise rests in creating crises.  Incredibly, Carlson told Tampa Bay Beat he has nothing to do with the Straz campaign.  His deceit is off the charts.
—-Tucker/Hall offices have hosted focus groups on behalf of the Straz campaign.
—-Tucker/Hall employees flooded Straz’ meet and greet at the Italian Club five weeks sgo.  They didn’t attend as individuls or families; they introduced themseleves as so-and-so “Tucker/Hall.” I stood there.
—-It’s rumored that Straz contracted with Tucker/Hall for $100,000 with more to come if his “exploratory” committee makes his candidacy a go.  Carlson told Tampa Bay Beat he “hasn’t received a penny.”  The required financial report from Straz’ PAC should be enlightening as to whether Tucker/Hall’s services are fee based or in-kind.
—-Carlson made the clumsy move of placing a Tucker/Hall shill in his CafĂ© con Tampa audience when exploratory committee chairman Yolie Capin was on the program.  Although the topic was St. Petersburg-Tampa cooperation, the plant asked Capin about David Straz. Dumb.
—-Carlson told Tampa Bay Beat that  Albert A. Fox Jr.,  founder of the Tampa-based Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation, instigated the Straz candidacy.  Carlson gave us an email address for Fox, not a telephone number.  That may be because Fox has an office at Tucker/Hall.  We called Tucker/Hall’s main number and Fox was listed on the voicemail directory.
—-Carlson told us that Straz should not have admitted to supporting Trump.  When does the deception stop?  A proficient crisis counselor would end it immediately.
The irony about Buckhorn and Carlson is that when they see each other, they are looking in the mirror.  
Cross Posted with permission from: Tampa Bay Beat

This post is contributed by Tampa Bay Beat. The views and opinions expressed in this post are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Bay Post Internet or the publisher.

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Rick Kriseman - Swearing in or Coronation

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


It was a big crowd of well-wishing Democrats that came to kick off Rick Kriseman's next four years as St. Pete Mayor. It was cold and windy, there were free coffee and pastries usually enough to bring out at least a few Republicans, but partisanship was in the air along with the cold wind. 


There were horns announcing the moment....










A crowd was gahtering.....










Dignitaries were present.....









An appropriate master of ceremonies stepped to the microphone.....  




The crowd grew larger.....










There was a Preacher - a bit long winded.....










The Color Guard arrived on cue..... 
                                                                                                                                                         







The colors were preasented..











The National Anthem was sung.....










The Judge was ready.....








The entourage stood dutifully by.....






The processional began.....





The swearing in commenced




The entourage looked on approvingly.....



The Mayor spoke with exuberance and great generality.....









It was over, and the entourage applauded approvingly giving thanks they are employed for four more years.....




Kriseman's narrow win over Rick Baker is hardly a mandate, but I suspect the second term Mayor will treat it as such.

It still amazes me how a politician who ignored the will of the people spending millions of dollars on Pier nobody wanted, pushed through a multimillion dollar park at sea level, dumped millions of gallons of waste into the bay and the repeatedly lied about it managed to squeak out a victory.

I guess it really doesn’t matter now he is the Mayor. He has a city council stoked with party faithful, so the onus is on the Democrats to lead St. Pete through the next four years of complex and challenging issues.

The whole mayoral portion of the event did have a bit of small town regal feel about it but all in all it was a cold day which was probably what Rick Baker was thinking.


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Friday, January 5, 2018

Flotsam Jetsam and Floating Art

With all that mesh, electrical wire and supporting ropes, large local sea birds in the area could be at risk.



Tuesday Janet Echelman Massachusetts based floating art creator presented images of her $3 million art work, which would “float” over spa beach. Spanning about 390 feet the piece made of mesh and LED lights will be tethered about 15 feet from the ground.

You can get more detail from the Tampa Bay Times, Waveney Ann Moore, What artist Janet Echelman’s Pier District sculpture would look like.

I have thought this is a stupid idea from the beginning. For starters, here are some people and organizations I think should weigh in on Echelman’s 390-foot pelican and seagull catcher.

FAA
Ok, the thing is not high enough to be in the flight pattern, but it could be a serious pilot distraction to those landing on the north/south runway as it “undulates slowly” especially if they are new to the Albert Whitted airport. Furthermore, if the thing comes loose, all that flapping around could be a serious problem.

Audubon Society
With all that mesh, electrical wire and supporting ropes, large local sea birds in the area could be at risk.

While it is true, most of our water fowl roost at night that area is a late arrival path for the rookeries up in clam bayou, and the Pier has long been a feeding station for local pelicans.

From the Janet Echelman website:

BIRDS AND WILDLIFE INFORMATION
We get asked questions frequently about the safety of birds and wildlife with respect to our sculptures. No bird or creature has ever been harmed from one of our artworks. Our work goes through a careful review in order to receive legal permits before construction begins. We consulted a bio-engineering firm that explained how the physical qualities of the artwork do not meet the criteria that would endanger birds. Our nets are made of thicker rope with wider net openings than those used to entrap flying birds or other creatures. Our structures are not unlike naturally occurring vines and thickets often found in local forests, and birds are well adapted to avoid these.

Fish and Wild Life Commission
When it inevitably comes down in the Bay, how many fish will be caught up in the rescue effort to “save the art” and who will pay for that? And, what effect will all the light and color have on the marine life.

St. Pete Budget and taxation committee
There is about $3 million in the Pier budget for art that could be used to pay the seemingly ridiculous price for this mesh bag with lights in it, but the bigger question is: how much will the ongoing maintenance cost?

Most assuredly there will be a wind speed and possibly wind direction limit on when this thing can be “displayed” and it will take a group of people to put it up and take it down.

Who will pay for that? Or will it simply lay in its small, expensive but arty building on Spa Beach with a sign “Light Bag Inside” because no one wants to spend the time or the money to put it up and take it down?

The ultimate scenario
It all started as a relatively calm day the 6-man team of Art Wranglers show up at Spa Beach about 7:00AM to erect the now-infamous Pier light sculpture. We are not sure why they put it up the daytime, but that’s the schedule.

Meanwhile the Mayor’s other pet project, the cross-bay ferry is loading up a hundred passengers for a trip across the bay to Tampa.

It is now about 2:00PM. The wind has been gradually rising approaching the “Art Limit” and the call has gone out for the Art Wranglers to return to the beach and secure the light bag err… sculpture.

As the Wranglers are showing up, the ferry departs from the Vinoy basin passing under the art bag just as an unexpected gust of wind snatches the art bag from the Wrangler’s grip, and it floats down to the north east and envelopes the Ferry.

The spacesuit strength fabric wraps around the ferry props, and it begins to slow. The ferry pilot guns the engines the ferry does a hard right, crashes into the Pier causing the slanted park to slowly slide into the bay completely blocking the entrance to the marina.

Even the Farmers Insurance guy says, “You have got to be kidding.”

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

HASELDEN FIRST TO MEET REQUIREMENTS TO QUALIFY BY PETITION

Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

Congratulations to Barb Haselden, Candidate for Pinellas County Commission, District 6, and her campaign team! Haselden is officially on the 2018 ballot.

Her campaign sent out the following Press Release:

ASELDEN FIRST TO MEET REQUIREMENTS TO QUALIFY BY PETITION

Haselden receives her Certifiate of Signature
Verification from the SOE
St. Petersburg, Fla., Dec 21, 2017 - In the midst of this busy Holiday Season, Barb Haselden announces she has met the requirements to qualify through petitions thus becoming eligible to place her name on the ballot in 2018 for District 6 County Commissioner. This achievement underscores the determination and commitment that Barb and her army of volunteers possess to work for the taxpayers of Pinellas County. 

Filing to run May 8th, she and her team have reached out personally over the past few months, mostly door to door, to obtain the now certified signatures of 1,719 Registered voters in the District. The District 6 seat is being vacated by John Morroni, who announced his retirement earlier this year. 

Upon receiving her Certificate of Signature Verification from the Supervisor of Elections on December 19th, Barb had these comments: "This is the first critical step now completed six full months ahead of schedule. By going door to door, we saved nearly $6,000 of donor funds that would otherwise be required to get on the ballot. Additionally, we met nearly two thousand District 6 voters in the process. Our team is IN IT TO WIN IT and will do the hard work needed to finish first on Election Day." 

Barb Haselden, first time Citizen Candidate and former Leader of No Tax for Tracks, publishes some of her initial priorities: 

1) Secure Term Limits for County Commissioners. Pinellas voters passed a term limit referendum 20 years ago. It has never been enacted.
2) Press for undergrounding of the old power distribution and communication utilities in Pinellas to reduce disruptions during storms.
3) Lead efforts to upgrade, increase capacity to storm water/sewage systems and add more pump station generator power backup to eliminate spillages.
4) Base public policies on raw statistical data and economically sound conclusions.
Inquiries can be directed to John Burgess at 727-374-7883 orjohnburge@gmail.com

Haselden will be a champion for the taxpayer.  Help her out. Go to herwebsite and hit her Donate button.

 This post is contributed by EYE ON TAMPA BAY. The views expressed in this post are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of Bay Post Internet.

Cross Posted with permission from: Eye On Tampa Bay

Monday, January 1, 2018

Swearing-In Ceremony of Mayor Rick Kriseman and City Council.

What kind of Mayor will Rick Kriseman be in his second term?


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


Tuesday January 2, 2018 Mayor Rick Kriseman will be sworn for his second and final term as St. Petersburg Mayor.

What kind of Mayor will Kriseman be in his second term?

Given his approach in his first term regarding the Pier, lying about the sewage mess and his general disregard for what his citizens want and think the expectation is things will get a lot worse.

Kriseman term limits out after the next four years, so he has no motivation to cater to the public’s whims to secure votes for a follow-on term.

What that means is he doesn’t need your vote, and your opinion will count for less than ever.

Kriseman’s legacy is already sealed in the Pier and the ongoing sewer and water rate debacle. There is little he can do to change the facts.

The next major issue on the table is the Rays, and with things looking somewhat cloudy over in Tampa regarding a new stadium, all that money the Rays donated to the Kriseman campaign may turn out to be a good investment.

The Mayor’s passionate desire for a St. Petersburg to be a sanctuary city will continue and his ongoing support for his Chief of Staff Kevin King a known sex offender should make everyone in St. Pete a little squeamish.

Kriseman will be backed up by an overwhelming Democrat majority on City Council, many with political aspirations beyond their City Council seats. Don’t look for any of them to challenge the Mayor because that would-be political suicide.

All in all, 2018 shapes up to be a good year for the donors to Kriseman and the other new Council Democrat’s campaigns.

What to expect? Look for more cost overruns on the Pier, the Pier will probably not be ready on schedule; the south side will get the short end of the stick and don’t be too surprised if a sweetheart deal starts to take shape for the Rays.

Just in case you want to celebrate the beginning of the next four years of the Kriseman administration you're invited to join the City of St. Petersburg for the official Swearing-In Ceremony of Mayor Rick Kriseman and City Council!

Date: January 2, 2018
Location: St. Pete City Hall
Swearing-In of City Council, 11:00 A.M. Council Chamber
Swearing-In of Mayor Rick Kriseman begins at noon on City Hall steps. 

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