Sunday, May 14, 2017

Baker is all in – it's Game On in the St. Petersburg Mayoral Race

From the size and makeup of the crowd at the City Hall rally, a lot of people agree with him.

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin 

Former Mayor Rick Baker announced his candidacy for the office of ST. Petersburg Mayor at a rally on the steps of City St. Pete City Hall.

The announcement while not a big surprise was a difficult one for the former Mayor.

Difficult on a number of fronts.

Baker  mayor for nine years from 2001 to 2010 knows the job. He knows the level of effort it takes. He knows the impact on family and friends, and he knows there is only one way to be successful: 100% effort 100% of the time. 

I have spoken with the former Mayor on a number of occasions over the last 3 plus years of the Kriseman administration, and he grew more agitated and upset as time went by.

Over my 28 years, working for the City of St. Petersburg, I cannot remember a St. Pete Mayor that did not deeply care for their City, but none had the deep passion, love and respect for the City that could compare with Bakers.

If Rick Kriseman had of followed his campaign promises, respected the office of the Mayor and not loaded it with his political cronies, allowed the people to pick their own Pier and been honest when a crisis occurred Rick Baker would not be in this race.

In Baker's mind that is not how this works, that is not how you treat the office or the people.

From the size and makeup of the crowd at the City Hall rally, a lot of people agree with him.

Reaction to both Baker's decision to run and his speech were quick to come and here is a sample.

If you want to hear former Mayor Baker's speech click here, part 2 is the most interesting. From 88.5 WMNF, Seán Kinane, Rick Baker slams Kriseman while entering St. Pete race.

Kriseman is going to try to create the "Future versus the Past" argument on the stump and in the Campaign ads. Before you even buy one word of that take a look at what Baker has been doing at USF and with Edwards group, including Sundial and the recent Rowdies referendum.


If that's Kriseman's idea of living in the past, then it is no wonder the current Mayor cannot get anything accomplished.

There will be a lot of political fireworks in this election. Those of us, who write about this stuff will have a field day.

This election is about a lot more than two big egos, or Republicans and Democrats.

St. Petersburg is at a tipping point.

Failing schools, an administration more focused on special interests than the will of the people, a downtown turning into a concrete canyon with no infrastructure to support the growth, protectionism versus economic stability, programs with no conclusion or results and hollow words with little meaning.

If you live or work in St . Petersburg who do you want to be your Mayor?

Rick Kriseman and his band of high-paid political cronies pandering to the special interests of the moment?

Or Rick Baker who will work for you regardless of who you are where you live or who you love.

Because Rick Baker gets it.

St. Petersburg is everyone from the West side to the South side, from those who are retired to the millennials that we love, from the nursing home to the Flamingo – Rick Baker gets it.  

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