Monday, March 30, 2015

Kriseman administration silent on the Pier issue



Mayor Kriseman

Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog .

It seems the Kriseman administration is having a little trouble multitasking. While the Rays stadium search deal is on the front burner it looks like the Pier issue may not even be in the kitchen.

Looking at this week's meeting schedule there are no meetings scheduled for the Pier Selection Committee, nor any public discussion of the current Pier ranking process.

All of this procrastination on the Kriseman administration's part and relative silence on the Mayor's part is fueling a series of responses from all sides.

New petitions are starting to develop for a referendum, Ryan Mitchell has launched an on line petition, Build Blue Pier, to get Blue Pier, already rejected by the Selection Committee, back into consideration and look for other rejected contenders to start doing the same thing.

All of this mostly because the Mayor's handpicked Selection Committee Chairman, Mike Connors, kind of blew the whole process up in literally the 11th hour creating a no decision from the Selection Committee and throwing the whole process into chaos.

Up to now the Mayor has been speaking about the Pier though his two spokespeople, Ben Kirby and Kevin King both who have total of about 14 months in St. Pete Government experience. Not too comforting.

It's time for the Mayor to make a personal statement on the record and get the Pier process back on track. Replace the Chairperson though I am not sure who would want the job, disband the Selection Committee and dump the whole mess in City Council's lap or least popular, declare a screw up and start the process all over.

The apparent choice of the administration, ALMA (AKA The Big Banjo), is in big trouble and this delay seems to me to be a typical effort to find a way to put some lipstick on a very unpopular pig.

I know the Mayor thinks baseball is the end all be all, but I suspect the Pier will be here long after the Rays have moved on. It's time for some sound comments from the Mayor on the Pier so everyone including those who have invested time and resources into making these proposals know what the next steps are going to be.

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