Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Mike Connors Void

St. Petersburg, Fl.
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb, PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want to Blog

 With Connors gone, there is a real vacuum in experience, engineering talent, political insight and power within the Public Works area.

 If you follow this Blogger, you know I am not a particular fan of St. Petersburg Public Works Administrator Mike Connors. I worked around him for 20-plus years and I never really trusted the guy.

The abrupt decision By Connors to retire is very un-Connors like. Even though he has been under some serious pressure lately, Connors has weathered storms before. Mike is steady, resilient and not affected much by what most people think.

There are rumors of a growing tiff with the Mayor's Office, but no one will confirm them.

The fact is Connors is apparently gone. There are a lot of people in the City administration, on City Council and in the general public that are happy he is gone, but that joy may be short lived.

As I have stated before one of Connors' most interesting traits was his effort not to hire anyone any smarter than he is and that makes an internal hire or promotion very difficult.

There is a definite lack of talent.

Tom Gibson, Engineering and Capital Improvements Director, appointed as interim Public Works Administrator has neither the political savvy to handle the job nor the administrative ability, and the Water Resources Director Steve Leavitt would be a dismal choice.

Nobody could handle a batch of wayward contractors on a major project any better than Connors. That steely eyed look and very fast logical mind could outwit even the most clever of them, and they knew it. The Engineering Department is easy to bamboozle along with Inspections, but if Connors got involved things straightened up in a hurry.

With Connors gone, there is a real vacuum in experience, engineering talent, political insight and power in the Public Works area.

While Connors will not be missed for his political maneuvering, manipulation of City Council and general disregard for what the public thought of his antics, he will soon be missed for his ability to keep the Public Works Departments, Water Resources and Engineering Departments in line.

He will also be missed for his ability to work large-scale projects with the Construction Manager at Risk format as this relationship assumes someone with both technical ability and political connections from the City's side.

As you can see, while I may not have particularly liked Mike Connors, I do have a great deal of respect for his ability as a professional engineer.

If Kriseman turns this into a political hire, every one of those projects listed above will get into some form of budget or technical trouble.

Kriseman needs to set up a national search, establish an evaluation committee that includes some Public Works directors from the area like Pinellas County and Tampa.

What St. Pete does not need is a selection committee populated by the firms building the Pier, or the police station or anyone remotely connected to them, the Chamber of Commerce or the Pier selection committee.

It would also be nice if the new Public Works administrator actually used a computer and e-mail.

E-mail Doc at: mailto:dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, and be sure to share on Facebook and Twitter. See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos

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Friday, August 28, 2015

The Four Forty Four - Much more than just a bus route

 St. Petersburg, Fl.
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb, PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want to Blog

Wednesday was one of those rare days when I actually felt bad for the PSTA Board. Four bus routes were on the chopping block.


The PSTA Board room was nearly full.

Public hearings are often emotional when they deal with subjects that directly affect people's lives. This one really tugged at your heartstrings.

Speaker after speaker labored to get to the podium on crutches, walkers and in wheel chairs. Some spoke for others in attendance since it was just too difficult for them to speak in person.

Each told of how much the 444 bus route means to them. They used words like freedom, dignity and independence.

Others spoke of the 444 as their lifeline to get to and from work. Some had been riding the 444 for years.

Eliminating the 444 would disrupt their lives perhaps end their independence.

These were real people, with real fears and real tears.

The 444 bus route is the least used of all the PSTA routes. The route has just over 20 borders a day.

It runs through Pinellas Park and stops at the Wal-Mart on US 19. It is not a particularly efficient route as it meanders around. Getting back to one's original starting point can often take in access of an hour. However, that inconvenience pales into comparison with the benefits to a small group of riders.

The 444 has been on the chopping block before, but this time with PSTA facing a real budget crisis, and it looked like the 444 was doomed.

The PSTA administration is looking at a number of options, including conversations with UBER but the 444 riders didn't seem to be buying it.

In the end, PSTA Board was moved and saved the 444 for the moment.

They ask for more information about the options 444 riders will have and for an improved plan to make the riders more aware of their options. However, they also indicated that the days of the 444 are probably numbered as the PSTA evolves a new public transportation plan.

There are a lot of tough days ahead at the PSTA and lot more stories from people whose very existence depends on public transportation.

We all need to listen closely. When you don't depend on public transportation, it is easy to not appreciate how important it is to those who do need it.

The PSTA administration and the Board must come up real, sensible plans and when they do we, the voters, must make sure the funding is there to support those plans.

E-mail Doc at: mailto:dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, and be sure to share on Facebook and Twitter. See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Brad Miller PSTA CEO Annual Evaluations



St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of:
So You Want Blog
  
Below in a series of Posts are the PSTA Board Member evaluations for PSTA CEO Brad Miller.

It is a bit of a read, but you will find the variance, attention to detail, seriousness and stunning lack of a grasp of reality by some of the PSTA Board members almost unbelievable.

PSTA is an authority to oversee public transportation in Pinellas County and the 15 member board was constituted so almost all the 24 municipalities in Pinellas County would be represented.

The result is a board that it is cumbersome, inattentive, and incapable of managing even their own CEO let along a public transportation system.

Miller has violated Federal law, lied repeatedly to the public and the PSTA Board, violated the rights of PSTA employees and has shown a general disregard for the public.

However, none of that appears in these evaluations, and that is not really surprising since this is the same board that repeatedly gave him votes of confidence.

Public transportation is a mess in Pinellas County, and the reputation of the Authority has never been worse. The face of these problems is Brad Miller but the PSTA Board just keeps its head in the sand hoping things will change.

They won't.

Brad Miller should be terminated from his position at the next PSTA Board meeting regardless of the cost.

 Here are some more Posts; Brad Miller - You Just Can't Trust Him, Should Miller Go as PSTA CEO?

The PSTA is the classic example if not the poster child for why these transit authorities don't work and why the public is reluctant to fund public transportation.


E-mail Doc at mail to:dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, and be sure to share on Facebook. See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.
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PSTA CEO Brad Miller's Evaluation by PSTA Board Member Wengay Newton



St. Petersburg, Fl.
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog

Each year PSTA Board Members are asked to complete a formal evaluation of the PSTA CEO Brad Miller. 

This Series gives the detailed evaluation by each PSTA Board Member.

Comment Text is taken from Documents obtained from formal Public Records Request with NO edits.

Instructions (To Board Members)
Please take a few minutes to provide a numerical score in the following 10 general performance areas. You may also provide narrative comments as needed. A narrative providing some further explanation of each performance area is provided to help guide you in developing your overall score.

Reviewer:  Wengay Newton Council member City of St. Petersburg
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PSTA CEO Brad Miller's Evaluation by PSTA Board Member Joe Barkley



St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog

Each year PSTA Board Members are asked to complete a formal evaluation of the PSTA CEO Brad Miller. 

This Series gives the detailed evaluation by each PSTA Board Member.

Comment Text is taken from Documents obtained from formal Public Records Request with NO edits.

Instructions (To Board Members)
Please take a few minutes to provide a numerical score in the following 10 general performance areas. You may also provide narrative comments as needed. A narrative providing some further explanation of each performance area is provided to help guide you in developing your overall score.

Reviewer:  Joe Barkley Vice-Mayor Belleair Bluffs        
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PSTA CEO Brad Miller's Evaluation by PSTA Board Member Ken Welch

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog

Each year PSTA Board Members are asked to complete a formal evaluation of the PSTA CEO Brad Miller. 

 This Series gives the detailed evaluation by each PSTA Board Member.

Comment Text is taken from Documents obtained from formal Public Records Request with NO edits.

Instructions (To Board Members)
Please take a few minutes to provide a numerical score in the following 10 general performance areas. You may also provide narrative comments as needed. A narrative providing some further explanation of each performance area is provided to help guide you in developing your overall score.

Reviewer:  Ken Welch  Commissioner  Pinellas County
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Friday, August 21, 2015

PSTA CEO Brad Miller's Evaluation by PSTA Board Member Brian Scott



St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog

Each year PSTA Board Members are asked to complete a formal evaluation of the PSTA CEO Brad Miller. 

 This Series gives the detailed evaluation by each PSTA Board Member.

Comment Text is taken from Documents obtained from a formal Public Records Request with NO edits.

Instructions (To Board Members)
Please take a few minutes to provide a numerical score in the following 10 general performance areas. You may also provide narrative comments as needed. A narrative providing some further explanation of each performance area is provided to help guide you in developing your overall score.

Reviewer:  Brian Scott Citizen Board Member
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PSTA CEO Brad Miller's Evaluation by PSTA Board Member Curtis Holmes



St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog

 Each year PSTA Board Members are asked to complete a formal evaluation of the PSTA CEO Brad Miller. 

This Series gives the detailed evaluation by each PSTA Board Member.

Comment Text is taken from Documents obtained from a formal Public Records Request with NO edits.

Instructions (To Board Members)
Please take a few minutes to provide a numerical score in the following 10 general performance areas. You may also provide narrative comments as needed. A narrative providing some further explanation of each performance area is provided to help guide you in developing your overall score.

Reviewer:  Curtis Holmes Commissioner City of Largo 
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PSTA CEO Brad Miller's Evaluation by PSTA Board Member Darden Rice



St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog

 Each year PSTA Board Members are asked to complete a formal evaluation of the PSTA CEO Brad Miller. 

This Series gives the detailed evaluation by each PSTA Board Member.

Comment Text is taken from Documents obtained from formal Public Records Request with NO edits.

Instructions (To Board Members)
Please take a few minutes to provide a numerical score in the following 10 general performance areas. You may also provide narrative comments as needed. A narrative providing some further explanation of each performance area is provided to help guide you in developing your overall score.

Reviewer:  Darden Rice Councilmember City of St. Petersburg             
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PSTA CEO Brad Miller's Evaluation by PSTA Board Member Dave Eggers

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog

Each year PSTA Board Members are asked to complete a formal evaluation of the PSTA CEO Brad Miller. 

This Series gives the detailed evaluation by each PSTA Board Member.

Text is taken from Documents obtained from formal Public Records Request with NO edits.

Instructions (To Board Members)
Please take a few minutes to provide a numerical score in the following 10 general performance areas. You may also provide narrative comments as needed. A narrative providing some further explanation of each performance area is provided to help guide you in developing your overall score.

Reviewer:  Dave Eggers Commissioner Pinellas County
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PSTA CEO Brad Miller's Evaluation by PSTA Board Member Janet Long


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog

Each year PSTA Board Members are asked to complete a formal evaluation of the PSTA CEO Brad Miller. 

This Series gives the detailed evaluation by each PSTA Board Member.

Text is taken from Documents obtained from formal Public Records Request with NO edits.

Instructions (To Board Members)
Please take a few minutes to provide a numerical score in the following 10 general performance areas. You may also provide narrative comments as needed. A narrative providing some further explanation of each performance area is provided to help guide you in developing your overall score.

Reviewer:  Janet Long  Commissioner Pinellas County PSTA Secretary/Treasurer
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PSTA CEO Brad Miller's Evaluation by PSTA Board Member Mark Deighton



St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog

 Each year PSTA Board Members are asked to complete a formal evaluation of the PSTA CEO Brad Miller. 

This Series gives the detailed evaluation by each PSTA Board Member.

Comment Text is taken from Documents obtained from formal Public Records Request with NO edits.

Instructions (To Board Members)
Please take a few minutes to provide a numerical score in the following 10 general performance areas. You may also provide narrative comments as needed. A narrative providing some further explanation of each performance area is provided to help guide you in developing your overall score.

Reviewer:  Mark Deighton Commissioner Redington Beach
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PSTA CEO Brad Miller's Evaluation by PSTA Board Member Pat Gerard



St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog

Each year PSTA Board Members are asked to complete a formal evaluation of the PSTA CEO Brad Miller. 

This Series gives the detailed evaluation by each PSTA Board Member.

Comment Text is taken from Documents obtained from formal Public Records Request with NO edits.

Instructions (To Board Members)
Please take a few minutes to provide a numerical score in the following 10 general performance areas. You may also provide narrative comments as needed. A narrative providing some further explanation of each performance area is provided to help guide you in developing your overall score.

Reviewer:  Pat Gerard Commissioner Pinellas County
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PSTA CEO Brad Miller's Evaluation by PSTA Board Member Patricia Johnson



St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog

Each year PSTA Board Members are asked to complete a formal evaluation of the PSTA CEO Brad Miller. 

This Series gives the detailed evaluation by each PSTA Board Member.

Comment Text is taken from Documents obtained from formal Public Records Request with NO edits.

Instructions (To Board Members)
Please take a few minutes to provide a numerical score in the following 10 general performance areas. You may also provide narrative comments as needed. A narrative providing some further explanation of each performance area is provided to help guide you in developing your overall score.

Reviewer:  Patricia Johnson Vice-Mayor City of Pinellas Park
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PSTA CEO Brad Miller's Evaluation by PSTA Board Member Bill Johnson



St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog

Each year PSTA Board Members are asked to complete a formal evaluation of the PSTA CEO Brad Miller. 

This Series gives the detailed evaluation by each PSTA Board Member.

Comment Text is taken from Documents obtained from formal Public Records Request with NO edits.

Instructions (To Board Members)
Please take a few minutes to provide a numerical score in the following 10 general performance areas. You may also provide narrative comments as needed. A narrative providing some further explanation of each performance area is provided to help guide you in developing your overall score.

Reviewer: Bill Johnson Councilmember City of Clearwater PSTA Chairperson
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PSTA CEO Brad Miller's Evaluation by PSTA Board Member Ben Diamond

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog .

Each year PSTA Board Members are asked to complete a formal evaluation of the PSTA CEO Brad Miller. 

This Series gives the detailed evaluation by each PSTA Board Member.

Comment Text is taken from Documents obtained from formal Public Records Request.

Instructions (To Board Members)
Please take a few minutes to provide a numerical score in the following 10 general performance areas. You may also provide narrative comments as needed. A narrative providing some further explanation of each performance area is provided to help guide you in developing your overall score.

Reviewer:  Ben Diamond Citizen Board Member
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Failure Factories - Tampa Bay Times

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog .

All of these under performing schools are in St. Petersburg and the City has to take some of the responsibility.  

I can't remember anything that has outraged me as much as the exceptional Tampa Bay Times expose Failure Factories by  
Cara Fitzpatrick Lisa Gartner and investigative reporter Michael  LaForgia.

Superintendent
Dr. Michael Grego 
The quality of the investigating and reporting gets lost in your rage as you read what has happened to most defenseless children in our community.

One of the first questions that all but screams from your mouth is WHO is responsible for this?

Pictured here are the eight most likely culprits: the Pinellas County School Board and their handpicked superintendent.

Read their comments in the Times article and you will laugh and then cry. How can these people be so out of touch, uninformed so "not knowing what they don't know?"

The answer is simple because they want to be uninformed.

But are they really the responsible ones?

Janet R. Clark
Carol J. Cook
Take walk down the hall and look in the mirror and run through these questions

1. Did YOU vote in the last School Board election?
2. Did you not do any research and just vote for the incumbent?
3. Are you retired and either
    a. Didn't bother to vote because you don't have
        any kids in school here
    b. Just voted for the first name on the list
4. Have a kid in one of those high white population schools and voted for the current
board members that gamed the system that way?

Well, I think you are to blame.
Linda S. Lerner
Dr. Ken Peluso

 A lot of these School Board Members, many who have served far too long, fully realize that if they make sure the white schools stay white and make sure those parents feel that a vote for them will keep it that way they can be pretty sure of getting reelected.

Every time a parent gets a kid in one of the "good schools" properly worked that parent can easily become a vote for the incumbent.

All of these underperforming schools are in St. Petersburg and the City has to take some of the responsibility.

Rene Flowers
Peggy-Oshea-new
Peggy Oshea
When we had a Mayor, who was willing to work at education and not just talk about it these schools were working steadily toward improvement. The last thing anybody on the School Board wanted to do was tangle with Rick Baker.

They barely give Rick Kriseman the time of day.

Kriseman's answer: hire a couple of wannabes to handle the problem so he doesn't have to deal with it and move on.

That will not work.

The Pinellas County School Board only understands one thing – power. Send a couple of low level or high level employees out on this one and absolutely nothing will happen.
Terry Krassner

It's time for some tough plays.

The Governor should step in and call for independent investigation. The Department of Justice should investigate to see if these kids civil rights to an equal education has been violated and if so any School board members who were part of any wrong doing should be charged, tried and jailed if they are
found guilty.

Here we are spending $50 Million plus on a Pier that will likely be a flop, another $20 Million to build a nice walkway to that Park and a place for a couple of restaurants probably built by big campaign contributors and a pretty view for the folks from their million dollar condominiums and 40 or so blocks away we have five of the worst schools in Florida and arguably
the worst school board.

And don't give me the money is allocated bullshit when kid's futures and their safety is at stake there is no such thing as untouchable public funds.

Kriseman gets a couple million more in tax revenues and what does he want to do?

Hire eleven cops and put them downtown.

How about this instead of paying another million or so in public dollars so the drunks can sit around their bars until 3 AM swilling craft beer, why don't we shut the damn bars down at midnight or 1:00AM and put some law enforcement on the south side and in the schools so the kids that want an education can get one.

Kriseman has had his priorities screwed up since he was sworn in.

Superintendent Mike Grego has pledged he will fix these problems.

See Superintendent Grego's Comments in Channel 10's Superintendent defends Pinellas Schools.

Let me tell you what Superintendent Grego will do.

He will do exactly what he is told by the people setting on the School Board dais and not one thing more.

Next time you get your Trim (Truth in millage) statement look at how much all of this costing you, now reread the article Failure Factories to see what you're getting

E-mail Doc at mail to:dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, and be sure to share on Facebook. See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

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