Wednesday, October 10, 2012
What's Really Going On At City Hall
It's all over the newspaper, the blogs and is a general topic of conversation in St. Pete, what is going on at City Hall?
A lot of the writers, me included, have hung the blame on Bill Fosters' lack of leadership. And, as Mayor that's where the buck stops. It is the Mayors' job to lead, and pretty much everyone agrees that he has come up woefully short in the leadership column.
Bill gets up every morning truly believing there is a lot of good in everyone and if he just waits long enough they will do the right thing. Things just don't work that way. especially at City Hall.
A while back I posted "Does Bill Foster Really Want To Be Mayor of St. Petersburg" on SaintPetersblog. It is still a relevant question.
Mayor Foster has lost the respect of the staff, and more importantly they don't have any sense of fear that they may be held responsible for what they do. City Council sees the Mayor as a wishy washy adolescent who inadvertently got elected Mayor. Virtually nobody on the staff takes Bill Foster seriously. I know I was there.
City staff members have always had their own agenda, from Codes Enforcement to Parking to the Police Department the people running every City Department have their agenda and they work at it quietly all the time. Left without leadership they move in their direction.
The two really strong administrative leaders, Tish Elston and Mike Connors cannot seem to get any traction with the staff, most likely because Mayor Foster won't back them up.
All of this leads to the debacle at last Thursday's Council meeting item regarding red light cameras where staff goes off on its own agenda without any direction or reporting responsibility. Follow that with the LENS team trying to slip a cool $60K past Council so they have some wiggle money and you have a total lack of respect for leadership, or a leader totally in the dark
Unprepared and politically motivated, City Council members pounce and the whole organization looks like a very bad joke.
The child like sniping and condescending approach of the Mayor only infuriates Council and gives the public that sinking feeling in their stomachs.
What's Going On At City Hall? You're just seeing the proof that electing an adolescent adult to run a big City just doesn't work. And it's not going to get any better until there is a new Mayor and a couple of new Council members.
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Have your say. Be sure to get a petition for the Pier Referendum and complete it properly. Information at Stop The Lens.
Posted by E. Eugene Webb PhD at 5:37 PM