Rick Kriseman’s political cronies slink about City Hall picking up a paycheck.
St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog
The Tampa Bay times Charlie Frago recently published an article about St. Petersburg mayoral candidates Kriseman/Baker and who paid the highest salaries. You can check it out here: Charlie Fargo, Tampa Bay Times, Rick vs. Rick: Which St. Petersburg mayor paid the highest salaries at City Hall?
A careful review of Rick Baker’s nine years as St. Pete Mayor will reveal that the Baker senior staff was people with experience in government or the specific expertise on the issue they were addressing.
At no point during the Baker terms did he hire people specifically from his campaign or those were more political operatives than subject matter experts.
Kriseman on the other time wasted no time in bringing his two most trusted political cronies Kevin King and Ben Kirby on board and establishing his “Office of the Mayor.”
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Kriseman makes about $150,00 annually, King about $120,640 annually, and Kirby who makes $102,300) makes for an expensive and top heavy senior staff.
Especially when you consider that neither King nor Kirby produces any real value for the public. So “Mayor” Kriseman really costs the St. Pete taxpayers $372,940 not including the burden rate for benefits, retirement, etc.
Kriseman said, “It works well for me and for my administration.” Apparently, it did not work very well as Kriseman decided to add a second “spokesman,” Bill Logan, for Water Resources Department to distance himself and his political sidekicks from the constant pressure from the media about the sewage spills.
The point is this. Kriseman puts a high value on political friendship and loyalty and has been willing to keep his political operatives close at hand by feeding them from the public trough. As to the rest of Kriseman’s appointments there is little record of success.
Rick Baker put people on his staff that could go out and do the job assigned while Rick Kriseman’s political cronies slink about City Hall picking up a paycheck.
It is time to clean out the north wing of City Hall and replace the politically motivated Kriseman “Office of the Mayor” with Rick Baker someone who can build a working staff and get St. Petersburg really moving forward.
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Disclosures: Rick Baker for Mayor CampaignPlease comment below.