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,
planning, customer service and direction of daily operations.

His failure of leadership on the Pier resulting in two unprecedented petition drives is the most significant indicator Bill Foster cannot lead.

The fact that South St. Pete is no better off and in some areas worse off than it was when Foster took office is a further indication of Foster's failure to grasp key St. Pete issues.

His comments at staff meetings are condescending, repetitive and lack genuineness. There is a significant lack of leadership and quietly Foster is being taken advantage of by his own staff.

He has failed to establish a staff that is loyal, mostly because he is unpredictable and not particularly loyal himself. The words are there but there, but they ring hollow with the staff and there is little follow through.

Most of the staff is in the hide and wait mode and very few are taking any aggressive action because there is little support for new ideas.

The people I talk to don't think Foster will step up. There seems to be general agreement it's just not in his DNA.

Foster frequently asks this question, "do you think St. Pete is a better place than it was 4 years ago? The problem is the answer to that question depends on where you live in St. Pete.

If you live in Old North East or downtown, probably the answer is yes.

If you live in West St. Pete the answer is kind of.

If you live in South St. Pete the honest answer is no.

As we look to this election, it is time for a change. It's time for a Mayor who will be for all St. Pete all of the time.

Rick Kriseman is the better choice.

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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