Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Kriseman Kerfuffels

Let’s hope some strong candidates with proven problem-solving ability and leadership capabilities step forward to run for St. Pete Mayor.

St. Petersburg Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
In Search of Robin
 kerfuffle - definition of kerfuffle in English | Oxford Dictionaries noun. British. informal. [in singular] A commotion or fuss, especially one caused by views: 'there was a kerfuffle over the chairmanship'
We begin 2017 with a view to the November St. Petersburg Mayoral election.
St. Pete’s current Mayor Rick Kriseman has not yet announced his intention to run. His first term can certainly be described as a series of “Kerfuffels”.
Let’s look at a few.
The Office of the Mayor
Kriseman had barely taken his hand off the Bible from the swearing-in ceremony when he announced the first full-scale politicization of the St. Pete government administration.

Bringing in his political cronies Kevin King and Ben Kirby, Kriseman proceeded to establish a large totally political office with a payroll of over a million dollars which to date has produced very little.

The St. Pete Pier
Kriseman campaigned on letting the people decide on their New Pier. After his election, he began a series of deliberate steps to tear down the old Pier and then in what must be the greatest denial of the will of the people in St. Pete's history manipulated the New Pier selection process to thwart the people’s clear preference.
In 2016, the Kriseman administration spent almost 5 million dollars on meetings, hype, consultants and promotion only to finally admit they cannot build the Pier they promised the people for the amount that was promised.
The Uplands Project (Biting off more than you can chew)
As if the Pier was not a big enough mess, The Kriseman administration sensing an opportunity hoodwinked the County into kicking in another $20 million for the Pier Approach. Adding this effort to the already stressed Pier Project the Kriseman administration has now proven they are incapable recognizing scale or managing these large-scale projects.
Police Headquarters Building
When I went to work at the police department in 2006, one of the first things I did was have the mold removed from the filing room in our office area, the second thing was remove the dead rats above the drop ceiling. People are still working every day in that same area today.
It has been almost eight years since the original design effort began on a new Police Headquarters. Kriseman has given the project a lot of lip service but no serious effort to push the project forward. Leaving this project in the hands of the City Engineering Department with no strong project leadership and little push from the Mayor’s office has gotten us pretty much nowhere.

The people that protect St. Pete everyday deserve better.
Storm water, wastewater and a complete Kriseman Administration Breakdown When the rains came and storm water twice caused all the well documented dumping of sewage into Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay, Mayor Kriseman and his team showed their complete inability to protect the public, tell the truth, take responsibility, and marshal resources.
Fostered by a premature shutdown of the Albert Whitted water treatment plant Kriseman caught a break when it was discovered that a report indicating the risks with shuttering the Albert Whitted facility could place the City at risk had not been distributed.
Although as far as I can tell Mayor Kriseman has ever come right out and said he would have not shut down the Albert Whitted facility had the report been available.
So far, Kriseman and his team’s reaction to the waste-water debacle have been to suspend employees, hire consultants and do everything they can to keep the Albert Whitted plant closed.
Kriseman has been a feckless and ineffective Mayor. Using the strong mayor position as harbor for his political cronies and spending more time spinning problems than solving them, he has led St. Petersburg into a quagmire of problems.
Kriseman was ineffective as a state legislator and his legacy continues.
Let’s hope some strong candidates with proven problem-solving ability and leadership capabilities step forward to run for St. Pete Mayor. 
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