Sunday, June 18, 2017

Baker VS Kriseman hiring practices. Quality vs Cronyism.

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?

The article takes a reasonable approach, but it totally leaves out the issue of qualifications.

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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  1. Totally slanted point of view. Baker hired an outsider for police chief who then made the orangutan statement. When appropriately fired by Baker, he promotes Chief Harmon to protect the cronyism of the Police force. St Pete continues with the one of the highest crime rates in the country during Baker and Fosters tenures as Mayor.

    Faced with making another mistake in hiring an outsider or promoting from within, Kriseman males a bold decision and hired the best available in Chief Holloway. That raised many questions about the process but in the end, it show Kriseman was not afraid to work out of the box and St Pete Police moral has never been better with our crime rate is steadily decreasing.

    That is being a strong Mayor.

  2. When did this discussion become about the police chief? So, Mayor Baker goes outside to pick a new chief. Then when it doesn't work, he goes for an insider to heal the wounds and it's called cronyism. If cronyism was the goal, why the outsider first? I'll give credit to Mayor Kriseman. He hired a great chief. However, it was the process that bothered me. He went through a whole parade about being open to the public and even had candidates at the Coliseum and other places for people to meet them. Then when most thought he was going to pick Melianie Bevan for the job, he did something outside the scope of his plan. Bold? Perhaps, but certainly not transparent(and yes, while it's his choice to pick the Chief and the process), and it wasn't as he said it would be.

  3. Quality? Goliath Davis? A divisive police chief who was bumped up as deputy mayor. Chuck Harmon held status quo while serious race issues divided the department for a decade. Tony Holloway has calmed the waters. Both King, a veteran of State Legislative issues, and Kirby, an advisor in the Clinton White House are valuable assets to Mayor Kriseman.