Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday December 1, 2013

St. Pete Politics
St. Pete Mayor elect Rick Kriseman's Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner came with a plate full of problems.

 First,  South St. Pete activists claim brutality on part of St. Pete & Pinellas County officers (Mitch Perry Creative Loafing), then Assistant Chief Dave DeKay becomes "acting" St. Pete Police Chief almost 3 weeks before he will be appointed "interim" Police Chief offering the opportunity for some Politics at The St. Pete PD.

Now it looks like the architects and designers are gaming the St. Pete Waterfront Plan development, Cost of St. Pete waterfront plan Set to Rise (Chris O'Donnell ST. Pete Tribune) trying to push it into a "negotiated" deal and up the cost rather than use an open bid process.

Then there was the moving of money from the Penny for Pinellas account dedicated to neighborhoods to the New Police Building, St. Pete debate: Money for new police departments or neighborhoods? (Chris O'Donnell ST. Pete Tribune), Council Member Charlie Gerdes  summed it up well, “If you don’t have a safe community, you’re not going to have good neighborhoods, you’re not going to have parks and recreation places that anyone wants to go to because they’re all going to be dangerous.”

Add to all of that Mayor-elect Kriseman's transition team which is a bit lopsided and sure to come under more scrutiny, and it was a lot to digest with your turkey.

My suggestion: reign in Acting Chief Dave DeKays' appointment of Major Mike Kvasceb as Acting Investigative Services Chief, or the Mayor elect will have a big helping of Cop problems for desert.

The Transition
With the Transition Teams' report due back on December 15th the mayor elect has just a few days to pull together his team,  and get ready for January 2, 2014 when he becomes Mayor and CEO of  $450 million somewhat dysfunctional business.

Look for some announcements next week. Hopefully we will get the name of the new Chief of Staff, a critical appointment, and the new  Communications director because currently communications from the Kriseman transition team leaves a bit to be desired.   

Kriseman needs to hit the ground running. The complaining, positioning and caterwauling have already begun. The new Mayor needs to have the initial team in place so these issues can be assigned to those who are empowered to deal with them. A stumble in January could set the stage for long four years.

GreenLight Pinellas
My walk (maybe that should be ride), through the proposed November 2014 Sales Tax Referendum continued on Friday,
GreenLight Pinellas - PSTA's Take on the Sales Tax Comments worth reading also on PATCH.

It looks like the NO TAX FOR TRACKS group is starting to ratchet up their efforts.

Look for a lot of money to flow into this campaign supporting the Referendum right after the new year, mostly from the rail people and their PACS. If that in fact happens that should probably tell you all you need to know about this Referendum.

The County Commission could really tamp down this concern by beefing up the language in the enabling Ordinance/Resolution to prevent the rail folks from hijacking the tax revenue.

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