Friday, November 29, 2013

An Ode - The Day After Thanksgiving

Twas the day after Thanksgiving;
The blackest of days;
When the worse in humanity;
Is unleashed from its cage.

They showed up in droves;
They came by the scores;
And stood in long lines;
Outside of the stores.

Then the moment arrived;
Get ready, set, go;
They rushed in the store;
To conquer the foe.

Like warriors they charged;
Reaching, grabbing and pushing their way;
Up the aisle they did march;
This was, after all, the only day.

To get the big deals;
You have to be quick;
Be on top of your game;
An be pretty slick;

Then I heard through the store;
Someone shout with dismay;
I was here first;

Get out of my way.

A scuffle ensued;
There were shouts and few threats;
The police had to be called;
And a few placed their bets.

When it was all said and done;
They both went to jail;
And that’s how it went;
On Black Friday from hell.


- Theresa Webb
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Pete City Hall

The event all set in Room 100 were sure,
 All festive with banners and holiday allure.
The table all set and the chairs neatly arranged,
Somehow it all seemed surrealistically strange.

T'was to be a happy day his honor Bill had decreed,
A wonderful day and a glorious feed.
The table was laden with food galore,
Some turkey, some ham, and some crow I am sure.

The staff and the Council  arrived early for horderves and libation,
There was laughter and joy and some consternation.
They pondered the approach of the new administration,
Each considering his or her own personal situation.

It quickly turned ugly as Leslie and Jeff ,
Accused Marketing of causing the LENS ugly mess;
Of not promoting the LENS,  not properly enough,
Agreeing, Ballestra jumped in stirring the huff.

Around the room the arguments erupted,
The Pier, the LENS and those neighborhoods interrupted.
The Rays, the chase policy, the bars and downtown
The south side added to the quickly growing sound.

Blame flowed like Champaign on cool new years eve,
Everyone blaming everyone else - no leadership you see.
There were shouts, accusations  and wild speculation,
As someone heaved a pie in Mike Connors direction.

The situation escalated with a tossed twice baked potato,
Followed by the cranberry salad and some lovely sliced tomatoes.
The veggies, some rolls, followed by the turkey itself.
His honor the Mayor they were now trying to pelt.

Removing the turkey from astride his lap,
His honor arose from the head of the table where he sat.
"Let's pray and then eat on this most festive of days,"
While his head tilted sideways with a boyish gaze.

The party soon over the maintenance crew entered the room,
All littered with food and strong sense of doom.
One looked at the other and quietly said;
"I hope this guy Kriseman can do what he says."

Happy Thanksgiving from
Doc
e-mail Doc at: dr.webbsmail@gmail.com, or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend
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Monday, November 25, 2013

Politics At The St. Pete PD?


I may have to take back my accolades for Assistant Chief DeKay being tapped by Mayor elect Rick Kriseman as interim Police Chief.
With the early departure of current chief Chuck Harmon, December 18, 2013, DeKay becomes acting Chief.

In a very uncharacteristic way, acting Chief DeKay appears to have moved into the gamesmanship arena, reportedly selecting Major Mike Kovacsev as the acting Assistant Chief for the Investigative Services Bureau.
This decision makes absolutely no sense. Assistant Chief Melanie Bevan, a well seasoned police officer and administrator, currently in charge of the Administrative Services Bureau would make a far better and fairer choice.
Two of the Departments' best could be actually working to reduce and solve crimes in St. Pete.
The largely civilian Administrative Services Bureau, which includes the IT Division, Communications Center, Finance and Legal Divisions to name a few could easily be administered for the interim period by civilian Assistant Director Mike McDonald, whom I worked for five years. He generally ran day to day operations.
Kovacsev is a smart, competent, outstanding Police officer and detective. A real pleasure to work with from my perspective and definitely a candidate for senior level staff at some point. He would be simply a pawn in this game.
It looks like the Mayor elect's interim Chief may be playing a bit of politics by keeping Assistant Chief Melanie Bevan in an administrative role while Assistant Chief Luke Williams has a  much more visible street role.
The Mayor elect may want to have a sit down with his proposed interim Chief.
And before the new Mayor and/or his staff start the old saw "I'm not going to micro manage my employees",  it's not micro managing when you call someone out for taking advantage of your confidence and trust.
I spent 5 years at the Police Department and internal politics is one of the major problems.
The Mayor elect is about to find out what a mess he has inherited from Bill Foster, made much worse by Foster's lack of leadership, and it's not limited to the Police department.
 No interim player in a Baker administration would have even thought about playing these kind of games, at least not without a nod from the Mayor elect.
Kriseman better get on all of this quick or he will spend four years holding on to the wrong end of the tiger.
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday November 24, 2013

St. Pete
Mayor elect Kriseman has been busy moving his transition team into place and getting the large group transition team organized and moving.
Thursdays first planning meeting was well organized and exceptionally well lead by the Mayor elect's co transition team chairpersons. The task for the committee is well defined.
The Group is well credentialed and also well experienced in team visioning events. At first glance a seemingly well balanced team.

Well represented are lawyers, downtown, District 1, activists, unions and south St. Pete. All with their own agendas.
 
 However, missing seems to be representation from the retired community, Gen-X, the millennials to some degree, the Mayor's neighborhood West St. Petersburg, the average person and the Tyrone area which the St. Pete Chamber DOES NOT represent.
 
An unofficial member of the Kriseman team said "they just didn't have time to go get those people".

Just a reminder: those people are the ones that elected the new Mayor.

This group no doubt is going to produce some interesting findings for the new mayor. The real question is will they address anything new or will the final outcome look like a rehash of the waterfront committee, the Pier Task Force, 20/20, the PD as it is and so on.

Outstanding moment of the evening was a short but powerful speech from soon to be Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin. I am quickly becoming a fan of new Deputy Mayor.
 
Also present at the meeting a name many of you will remember: Mike Dove. Mike will be a strong and valuable voice as the Transition Team puts its plan for neighborhoods together.  

St. Pete PD
Looks like Mayor elect Kriseman's candidate for interim Police Chief will get an early start as Chief Harmon's last Day will be December 18, 2013  with Assistant Chief DeKay becoming acting Chief on December 19, 2013. This creates an interesting window for Harmon and DeKay. Could there be some PD hanky-panky afoot? Check out my Post Monday.
PSTAPSTA will be in the news for the next year as they work on the Sales Tax Referendum on the November 2014 Ballot. I will be following the Referendum initiative looking at a number of issues including the tax itself. You can see my latest Post GreenLight Pinellas - PSTA's Take on Sales Tax.
I attended Wednesdays meeting of the PSTA. It was Jeff Danner, long time St. Pete City Council member's last day as PSTA Chair. Jeff received an award and the well deserved accolades of his fellow board members for his service to the PSTA. Jeff has done an outstanding job at PSTA.
I am starting to get an idea about how much opposition may be building to the sales tax referendum. Saturday I walked into the Largo Gun Show only to discover a two booth display featuring "NO TAX FOR TRACKs, a bunch of enthusiastic volunteers and several clipboards full of people who had signed up for the cause.
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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Interim Police Chief Taking Over Before New Mayor is Sworn In


Assistant Chief Dave DeKay will be taking the reins of the St. Petersburg Police Department a couple of weeks before Rick Kriseman is sworn in as St. Petersburg's new Mayor.

In what is a fairly typical transition process, current Chief Chuck Harmon's last official day is scheduled for December 18, 2013 and Assistant Chief DeKay will be acting Chief beginning December 19, 2013  until the new Mayor is sworn in January 2, 2014 at which point it is assumed he will be named interim Police Chief.  

Chief Harmon will be using annual leave until his official retirement day January 6, 2014.

Retirement at the City of St. Petersburg is a fairly straight forward process, but it does require some time and some serious personal decision making. Given the holidays and City schedule, the timing seems appropriate.
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Friday, November 22, 2013

GreenLight Pinellas - PSTA's Take on the Sales Tax

 Here is an e-mail I received from Bob Lasher External Affairs Director  for the Sun Coast Transit Authority regarding my Post
GreenLight Pinellas - First Look .

Dear Dr. Webb, 

Thank you for your diligence on Greenlight Pinellas. Unfortunately your assumption regarding the 1% tax is not exactly true. The surtax will be levied just as the Penny for Pinellas. Therefore, it will be capped to the fist $5,000 of any purchase for a maximum of $50. It also will NOT be applied to groceries and medical items including things such as aspirin, cold medicine, first aid cream, etc. It is, by no means, an across-the-board application. 

Thanks.  
Bob Lasher
External Affairs Officer
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
(727) 540-1874, Cell: (727) 580-7135

Mr. Lasher is no doubt correct, but leaves out the fact that if you make multiple purchases that exceed
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

MAYOR-ELECT KRISEMAN AND TRANSITION CO-CHAIRS ANNOUNCE TRANSITION TEAM MEMBERS


(St. Petersburg, FL) -- Today, Transition Co-Chairs Andrew M. Hayes, AIA, and Dr. Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich announced members of the full transition team [see attachment]. Also announced is the first meeting of the full team:
 
When: Wednesday, November 20, 7:00 PM

Where: St. Petersburg College Downtown Campus, 244 2nd Avenue North, Room 210

The efforts of the Co-Chairs are part of an internal planning process which will produce data and observations about existing conditions of St. Petersburg's governing structure. They have confirmed the availability of a number of talented citizens, from which the Mayor-Elect will then expeditiously receive and assess recommendations presented to him in the appropriate public forum and with full transparency, as required by Sunshine mandates.

The efforts also include working to refine the Information Base being created to inform Mayor-Elect Rick Kriseman's consideration of the human and policy resources which are available to him as he builds a proposed agenda for the Transition Team's initial examination and comment.

Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman Transition Team Members:   
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Under the Covers - The Secret to Mayor Elect Kriseman's Success

This past week should lift up the spirits of everyone in St. Petersburg. Unlike his predecessor, Mayor elect Kriseman is putting together a first class team to lead St. Pete into the future.
Interim Police Chief Dave DeKay will provide stability and continuity as the new administration looks for the next permanent Police Chief.
Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin looks like a great choice to provide leadership as the new Mayor focuses on issues concerning poverty and South St. Petersburg.
So the team is taking shape and it looks like there will be more outstanding people joining the team.  According to the Mayor elect, "I'm getting a surprising number of calls from people wanting to come on board"
Good leaders attract good people.
It looks like putting a top notch leadership team together  is going to go well.
Once you have the top level leadership team, then what?
The real secret to the Mayor elect's success will be to quickly take the necessary steps to make sure
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

SCHORSH and The Tampa Bay Times

The dust up between Peter Schorsch, SaintPetersblog, and the Tampa Bay Times (no link here because you have to pay to read it on line) is interesting to say the least.

I have not been a fan of the Times since they made a run at me shortly after I started work for the City of ST. Petersburg. A run which, by the way, was quickly quashed by then City Manager Alan Harvey.
Peter Schorsch and I have a love hate relationship. I kind of love the guy and he hates me in a nice way.
 I Posted on StaintPetersblog for a while several years ago, but Peter and I are often far apart politically. Check my Posts about Rick Scott and Peter's, and that will tell you all you need to know.
I'll never forget the day Peter called and said. "I can't use your stuff anymore it keeps me up at night." He went on to say. "here is a phone number for the editor of a new site just starting in ST. Pete called PATCH." "I talked to the editor and I think you would be a good fit for them."
I have been Posting for PATCH for almost 3 years.
Most of the stuff in the Times article is pretty well known, and I am not going to condemn or defend Peter because, like Mr. Cox, I am pretty sure I don't have all the facts. The Times does not have stellar record for research and quotes especially when they have an ax to grind.
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St. Pete Politics
I got a lot of feedback from my Post Can Kriseman Really Trust Bill Foster?. What I found most interesting is the commenters took a lot of shots at me for being old, which I am, but nobody really defended Foster.  Probably a message there.

Mayor elect Rick Kriseman made his first major staffing announcement.

Assistant Chief Dave DeKay will be St. Pete's interim Police Chief. Very good decision. DeKay is a dedicated professional. See the detail at my Post Kriseman's First staffing Decision - A Really Good One.

His second announcement Dr. Kanika Tomalin as Deputy Mayor is an equally impressive pick.

The Pier
The MESH Architecture and Fabrication firm released a concept  for the new Pier design. You can check out my Post at: A New Pier - Recapturing The Old.

GreenLight Pinellas
Last week I began what will be a series of Friday Posts on the Pinellas County public transportation sales tax referendum, GreenLight Pinellas - A First Look. One of the so called positives of the Sales Tax initiative is the elimination of the property tax that currently supports the Suncoast Transit Authority.

You can find out what your actual tax amount is for the Suncoast Transit authority by looking on your property tax bill which just showed up recently.

For most Pinellas County residents it looks like the sales tax will amount to a serious tax increase.

You need to be informed on this one. Check out my Post GreenLight Pinellas a First Look.

Bloggers and Newspapers
The Tampa Bay Times decided to take Peter Schorsch and his company Extensive Media(SaintPetersBlog) to the wood shed on Saturday. Somehow the Times felt this was big enough news for it to make the front page. If you are paying for the e-edition you can look it on line.

I'll have more to say in My SUNDAY ESSAY which will Post later today.

Gulfport
The City is looking for some artists to help design the new City Logo. Proposals should be sealed and delivered to the city clerk at 2401 53rd Street S on or before Dec. 6 at 10 AM.

Feel free to be uniquely creative, because Gulfport is very unique place.

Please comment below or e-mail Doc at dr.webb@verizon.net.
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Kriseman Continues to Build an Outstanding Team

Mayor elect Rick Kriseman continued to build a top notch team to lead St. Petersburg with the selection of Dr. Kanika Tomalin. Dr. Tomalin, a high ranking member of the senior staff at Health Management Systems (Bayfront Medical Center) is Mayor elect Kriseman's pick as Deputy Mayor.

Powerbroker Magazine quoted the Mayor elect  “Dr. Tomalin has clearly demonstrated her grasp of the dynamics and nuances of large public systems. She is deeply connected to the community and shares my commitment to advancing an agenda of equality, opportunity and innovative solutions to our city’s most pressing issues. We have been fortunate to work together on policy decisions that define quality of life and healthcare in our community. Through these interactions I have come to trust her expertise, dedication and integrity. She will bring those same important qualities to my administration for the benefit of our entire city.”

Be sure to click the link and read the entire article.
 
Mayor elect Kriseman's transition team and early staff picks with Dave DeKay as interim Police Chief and Dr. Kanika Tomalin as Deputy Mayor look like the Mayor elect will hit the ground with a strong team.
 
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GreenLight Pinellas - First Look

Beginning today and continuing on future Fridays I take a look at GreenLight Pinellas and the sales tax referendum to support Pinellas County Public transportation.

GreenLight Pinellas is the public relations arm put together to promote the transportation sales tax referendum that will be on the November 2014 Ballot.
Just the very fact they felt the necessity to have a professional public relations campaign to push this effort should raise some serious questions in your mind.

A similar effort in Hillsborough County failed a year or so ago.

The Pinellas County Referendum proposes an additional 1% sales tax on all items except groceries and medical supplies. 

From the web site GreenLight Pinellas:
The Greenlight Pinellas Plan includes transformational bus improvements and future passenger rail that will significantly enhance public transportation in Pinellas County. If the proposed 1% sales tax referendum passes in November 2014, PSTA would implement the Greenlight Pinellas Plan. The plan would be implemented over span of 30 years and includes:
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kriseman's First Staffing Decision - A Really Good One

Kriseman Press Release 11:59, November 13, 2013

Mayor-Elect Rick Kriseman enjoyed a productive meeting with Mayor Foster this morning at City Hall. They discussed several issues, including the state of negotiations with the Tampa Bay Rays.

In addition, Mayor-Elect Kriseman informed the mayor of his decision to name Assistant Chief of Police David H. DeKay the Interim Chief of Police upon the retirement of Chief Chuck Harmon.

"I have tremendous confidence in Dave DeKay. He has protected and served our community for more than thirty years and has long been a respected leader within the department. He is well-qualified and uniquely suited to serve as our Interim Chief of Police," said Mayor-Elect Kriseman.

"I look forward to this opportunity and will work hard to make this a smooth transition," said Assistant Chief DeKay.

Upon taking office and in cooperation with city council, Mayor-Elect Kriseman will task an outside firm to continue the search for a new police chief with the hopes of increasing the pool of applicants.

BIOGRAPHY
ASSISTANT CHIEF OF POLICE DAVID H. DeKAY
ST. PETERSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT
INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES BUREAU
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Commentary: By Robert Neff.. Why Mayor Foster's $70-80 Million Cost for St. Petersburg Pier is misleading

Reposted with Permission
27 October 2013 by Robert Neff......Mayor Foster and the City of St. Petersburg have publicized the cost to refurbish the St. Petersburg Pier to be $70-80 million. A public records request was filed in October 2013. That document supports the Mayor Foster's figure if the Pier is renovated with the same footprint.

However, this document also shows a significantly lower cost if the bridge and pier head (Apron) are reduced. This cost is more in-line with the recent costs of the previously proposed St. Petersburg Pier called the Lens designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture.

The Lens was soundly defeated by a city-wide referendum. This referendum was the result of two petition drives. The first was by Vote on The Pier and was not certified by the city. The second
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Monday, November 11, 2013

A New Pier - Recapturing the Old

There is a new proposal for the Pier by MESH Architecture and Fabrication a local firm.

I like it. It is a really interesting idea.

Note that the approach is narrower and appears to constructed alongside the existing approach which could significantly lower demolition costs for the approach.  Very clever.

Obviously it is a bit early to begin promoting a single idea, but here is an example of how a firm with local roots, that understands its community, can make a significant contribution to the thought process.

One of the problems of current and previous City Council members along with the Chamber and the arts community is they get ahead of themselves.

They also get ahead of the people that make St. Pete a great City. They get caught up in thinking we are more than we actually are.

 They see St. Pete as something the people who live here are no longer worthy of being a part of. And in the end those very people through two petition drives and defeated incumbent Mayor put those who hold the people in such artistic disdain back in their place.

The message should be clear, we don't need people from Europe, California or New York to spoon feed us our new identity, we know who we are.

Those from the elite of the arts and design community who would wish to participate in the new Pier would be wise to spend some time here and not with the Chamber, the Arts Commission and not on Beach Drive.

Drive out West through a few neighborhoods, stop in a few coffee shops or small restaurants and talk to some people. Better yet go into a couple of barber shops or beauty salons.

Talk to those  who live downtown, the retired who live all over town and go to the south side and talk to those who need a Pier they can enjoy.

The MESH people apparently understand most if not all of that. Let's hope the survey results and the approach the new Mayor has laid out do not get hijacked like the Pier Task Force.

In the mean time the MESH design is really intriguing.

Please comment below or e-mail Doc at dr.webb@verizon.net.
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday November 10, 2013

St. Pete Elections
Well, it's all over Rick Kriseman is St. Pete's new Mayor, Darden Rice, Amy Foster, Karl Nurse and somewhat unfortunately Jim Kennedy are on City Council.

Lorraine Margeson ran as good a race as she could against Jim Kennedy despite that she started late, had limited campaign experience and remained consistently underfunded. She did manage to wake Sleepy up at least for a while.

Most impressive was Carolyn Fries, who put up a real challenge to Darden Rice, given she was at a political and significant funding disadvantage. Most people thought this would be a total blow out and while Darden's margin of victory was impressive, Fries' showing was very respectable.

Here is hoping both of these candidates will continue to pursue public service.

Several sitting City Council members were excited about the results and all indicated to me they were looking forward to a more cooperative and congenial relationship among themselves and with the new Mayor.

Here's hoping that comes to fruition.

As for me, I think ST. Pete came out the big winner on Tuesday.

Take a Break
You can take a brief break for political attack ads, stuffed full mail boxes and smiling candidates on your TV, but it will only be brief so enjoy it. Already the Governor Scott political machine is ramping up to attack Charlie Crist. Most Morgan and Morgan ads will feature Charlie and the race for Bill Young's seat will leave you bedazzled as people move into the district to get a home field advantages.

Green Light Pinellas
Look for this effort to really ramp up, more junk in your mail box, as the light rail people promise you they only want to raise your sales tax and use your money to improve bus service. So far I am not impressed. I'll be following this one.

 Obama Care
This one is bad enough to give even the President the twitches. Problematic from politics to prescriptions, the mess this program is creating and will continue to create will linger for a long time.

If you're in the so-called desirable group ( 25 to 45 and healthy) they need you to help fund this debacle so it does not become a drag on the treasury. Don't be in a big rush

If I were in that group, I think I would pay the fine and set it out for the first year until this thing calms down.
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Friday, November 8, 2013

Can Kriseman Really Trust Bill Foster

The election is over, Mayor elect Rick Kriseman has announced his new Transition Team and there is a lot of talk about working together on the transition of power from the Foster Administration to the Kriseman administration. At least from the Kriseman side of the table.

If past history is any indication of what Bill Foster is likely to do, the Mayor elect and his transition team had better be on high alert.

Kriseman's comment "I want to make sure we're professional" he said. "We're going to look at the whole organization chart," is probably reverberating around City Hall, MSB all the other departments like golf ball in a tile bathroom.

An early indication of the level of Foster "cooperation" will be his response to the Mayor elect's request for some office space to operate in during the transition.

Two things we know about Bill Foster for sure are: 1) he is a sore loser, and 2) he has a serious vindictive streak. You only need to go down to the Pier and look at the sign that greats you to see the results of the Foster ire.

Now the staff, especially senior administrators, is on edge so the whole transition ball is already up in the air.

All of this sweet talk about everyone loving ST. Petersburg makes good TV sound bites, but I can't help but believe that Bill is looking throw a high, inside fast one at the new Mayor.

My advice to the Mayor elect and the transition team: don't be taken in by smiling Bill and the wagging head. Be careful, be very careful and if you open a door and something is laying there on floor on fire, think before you stomp it out.

Please comment below or e-mail Doc at dr.webb@verizon.net.
e-Books by Dr. Webb are available at Amazon.com (Kindel) and Barnes and Nobel(Nook)
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

ANOTHER GREAT DAY IN ST. PETERSBURG


Kriseman 56%   Foster 44%

Congratulations to Mayor elect Rick Kriseman and the entire Kriseman campaign team.

It's Time to Move on.....

Please comment or e-mail Doc at dr.webb@verizon.net.
e-Books by Dr. Webb are available at Amazon.com (Kindel) and Barnes and Nobel(Nook)
So you Want To Blog, by Dr. E. Eugene Webb and Michaela Perron, MBA
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

ELECTION QUESTIONS?

Check out my Blog Doc’s Blog for PRE election Posts

Be sure to vote…

                                                              

 Please comment or e-mail Doc at dr.webb@verizon.net.
e-Books by Dr. Webb are available at Amazon.com (Kindel) and Barnes and Nobel(Nook)
So you Want To Blog, by Dr. Webb and Michaela Perron
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Monday, November 4, 2013

It's Time To Vote


 
 
Doc's Crib Sheet for the St. Pete Election. 
 
Remember every voter votes for every District and the Mayor in the general election. 
This is your chance to have a say in how your local government will function for the next 4 years.
 
Be Sure to select a candidate in EVERY District Race.
 
CITY OF ST. PETERSBURG  Municipal Election November 5, 2013

MAYOR
(Vote for One) 

     Bill Foster 
 X  Rick Kriseman 

COUNCIL MEMBER DISTRICT 2
(Vote for One) 

     James R. "Jim" Kennedy, Jr.
 X  Lorraine Margeson 

COUNCIL MEMBER DISTRICT 4
(Vote for One)

      Carolyn Fries
   Darden Rice

COUNCIL MEMBER DISTRICT 6
(Vote for One) 

X    Karl Nurse 
      Sharon Russ 

COUNCIL MEMBER DISTRICT 8
(Vote for One)
 
 X   Amy Foster 
      Steve Galvin 

To see the Supervisor of elections Sample Ballot Click the link

Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday November 3, 2013

This St. Petersburg City Council and Mayoral election cycle has been one of the most interesting since the strong Mayor form of Government was adopted in the early 1990s.

Never has a race been so partisan, never has there been so much money raised and never have the stakes been so high.

It is often said that "all government is local" but more accurately, "the government that affects you the most is your local government"

A lot of us on the City Staff thought that the strong Mayor form of government would sooner or later lead to a disaster. We have gotten closer with Mayor Bill Foster than with the previous two strong mayors.

Just the fact that on a single issue, the Pier, the citizens would conduct not one, but two petition drives to
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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Does Bill Foster Really Want to Be Mayor?

I don't think there is any question that Bill Foster wanted to be Mayor when he ran for office the first time. There is no doubt he wants to be reelected this time.

The question I raised over two years ago is still valid: does Bill Foster really want to be Mayor?

It is pretty obvious Foster wants to pick and choose among the various responsibilities that come with being Mayor of St Petersburg.

Foster would have made a great mayor prior to 1992 and the Charter changes when the Mayor's job was largely ceremonial. Today the Mayor needs to be cheerleader and CEO.

One of things it appears that Foster does not want to be is CEO of a 2700 employee, 450 million dollar enterprise. In round numbers including capital projects that is the size of the St. Pete municipal government.

Foster likes the attention, the media, being Mr. baseball, but he is falling woefully short on leadership,
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Friday, November 1, 2013

Margeson/Kennedy Race - Key to a Better City Council


The outcome of this District 2 City Council race will set the tone for City Council for the next four years. The choice is very clear. Kennedy who feels he is elected to do as he pleases and Margeson who wants to serve the interests of her constituents.

Recently several of us sat down with Lorraine  Margeson at a Shadowvote online interview. You can view the 1 hour conversation by clicking this link Shadow Vote Margeson.

In both the primary and in the general election campaign Kennedy has refused to go on the record and answer your questions. You can see the responses to Primary and General election questions  at these links.


If Kennedy is reelected he will be a contrarian to the new progressive City Council that appears to be taking shape.  This new City council needs to be a team free of outliers that want to hawk their own agendas.

Kennedy believes you elect him to do what HE thinks is best, Margeson believes you elect HER to represent you. It's a pretty clear choice.

Every St. Pete voter votes on every City Council seat. Be sure to vote on Tuesday November 5, 2013 and mark your ballot for a candidate in every race.

Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson
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It's Time To Vote - Schools and the Rays

The campaign is almost over.

Tuesday, November 5, you can go to your polling place and vote.

Every race in this campaign is critical but the next Mayor will set the pace for the next four years.

Recently your mail box has been stuffed full of negative ads, so if you're confused you're not alone.

Beginning during the primary I presented your questions to the candidates. These responses may help you clear up some issues.

Bill Foster
Even though the answers were presented with NO EDITING current Mayor Bill Foster refused to answer your questions. If Foster doesn't respect you enough to answer your questions why should he be your Mayor?

Rick Kriseman
We have a number of problem schools in St. Petersburg. Specifically what will you do to help improve those schools?

We’ve lost our way under the current mayor. Mayor Baker recognized the power that the mayor’s office and the city could have on our schools. I want to take it a step further by working closely with our school system to implement service-learning in our classrooms. Integrating community service projects into the curriculum improves both the student and the community and has proven to be a success elsewhere. 

I will continue and strengthen the Mayor’s Mentors & More program (now under the St. Pete’s Promise umbrella) and seek out additional community partners to assist with volunteering, resources, and strategic planning.

Do you support the Rays talking to anyone in Pinellas County or Hillsborough County about a stadium site?

My preference is for the team to remain in St. Pete and to thrive here. If that proves to be unrealistic - if the Rays simply do not want to be here any longer - then they should be given the opportunity to pay an exploratory fee in order to look at other locations, provided those locations are in the Tampa Bay area. Throughout the negotiating process, I will ensure that our taxpayers are protected. While a sense of regionalism is important, especially in tough economic times, my primary duty will be to the residents of St. Petersburg.

Be sure to comment below or you can e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor, District 2 Lorraine Margeson
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