Monday, January 6, 2014

GreenLight Pinellas Ready to Roll - Maybe

Here is a Press release issued in Mid December from No Tax for Tracks

Greenlight Pinellas Plan does NOT include Rail link to Tampa!

ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – December 16, 2013

No Tax for Tracks is offering this clarification because The Tribune and Channel 8 News have broadcast reports stating the Greenlight Pinellas Plan includes a rail link to Tampa over the Howard Franklin Bridge.  Our research has discovered that as late as November 2013, there was confusion within PSTA over whether the Greenlight Pinellas Plan funded a rail line to Tampa.  But the Greenlight Plan does not include any rail, or rail links to Tampa.

At PSTA’s Planning Committee Meeting on November 13, 2013, PSTA’s CEO, Mr. Brad Miller, said there is no funding in the Greenlight plan for any rail link to Tampa.  Listen to him explain what kind of funding projects the Greenlight Pinellas Plan contains by clicking on video.

Based upon Mr. Miller’s statement we are issuing a clarified map of the Greenlight Plan, for the good residents of Gotham

MEDIA CONTACT:             Barbara Haselden, 727-709-7039

What I find interesting is the amount of time the County Commission spent talking about trains, bonds and financing for light rail during the final approval vote meeting.  After all the talking they just took the PSTA bait hook line and sinker.

This is a light rail deal. No doubt about it. All of the talk about expanded bus service is just icing on the PSTA cake, something to make the whole deal easier for the public to swallow. And there are no mandates in the Ordinance requiring PSTA to actually follow through on the bus commitments.

In their zeal to get this to pass on November 4, PSTA and their supporters are going to pull out all the stops. Take all of that stuff that will be showing up in your mail box and on your TV screen with a grain of salt as pointed out in the press release.

Let's all hope the political fact checkers do their job.

e-mail Doc at:, or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb)Friend request. See More of Doc at Bay Post Internet and St.PetePatch.

Get ready to vote "NO" on the Transportation Sales Tax Referendum.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday January 5, 2014

St. Pete
The swearing of council members and the new mayor was a resounding success. By all accounts it will set a new tone for the City administration and future administrations. Having a clear direction will make a big difference for both the City staff and for the community in general.

I heard a little carping about the use of City workers to set up the outdoor ceremony, but I really think it was worth whatever the small cost may be to make bold and definitive statement that things are going to change.

Police Chief Harmon Retires
Formal retirement ceremonies for Police Chief Chuck Harmon will be Monday 1:30PM at Police Headquarters 1300 First Avenue North.

The Pier
It was exciting to hear the new Mayor indicate that the fence was coming down and the Pier will once more be accessible.  Why don’t you grab a fishing pole or just go down for a walk around the Pier head. It is a great experience and wonderful view.

Congressional District 13 Race

The primary race for Bill Young’s congressional seat rolls along.  David Jolly is the front runner in fund raising. Kate Bradshaw, Tribune Staff,  Jolly far ahead in fundraising among GOP candidates for Young’s former seat provides some additional insight.

Mail in ballot receipts are running ahead of expectations.  Be sure to find your ballot and mail it in, or make plans to vote on January 14.

Looking Forward

In St. Petersburg there is a lot to do and the new administration has said they are up to the task. Some of the new Mayor’s staffing decisions have been very good some have been questionable. In government the old saw “perception is reality” is usually true.

The Office of the Mayor is a new bold move and its staffing could have been a bit more considerate. The Mayor’s choices for his new office have already drawn considerable scrutiny.

The whole concept of the office of the Mayor was Mayor Kriseman wanted people around him he could trust. The fact is the rest of the staff and the public in general need to trust and respect the office of the Mayor for it to be successful. For the most part the real proof will lie in the results.

e-mail Doc at:, or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb)Friend request. See More of Doc at Bay Post Internet and St.PetePatch.

Get ready to vote "NO" on the Transportation Sales Tax Referendum.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Kriseman - Keeping the Team Together

Mayor elect Kriseman recently announced that 3 of his long time aids will hold key positions in his new administration: Mayor Elect Kriseman Names Four to Serve in Office of The Mayor.

Political cronyism is nothing new in politics, but it is a different approach in the St. Petersburg strong mayor form of government. None of Kriseman's predecessors have been quite this blatant in selecting political allies to serve in key positions.

At least two of the mayor's "long time advisors" as they are often referred too, come with some significant baggage.

 Mike Deeson, 10 News, filed a report on Kevin King St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman under fire for the second time this week, Christopher O'Donnell's' article in the St. Pete Tribune, Kriseman's mayoral team grows to 7 and my Post A Not So Casual Conversation with Kevin King  give some background and some potential insight.

David Flintom was singled out in a St. Petersburg Tribune Editorial, Mayor-elect Kriseman should rethink action center hire, seems Mr. Flintom was violating some of the very rules his office is expected to enforce.  According to his Linked in Account his total customer service experience includes about 9 months at his current employer and less than a year at the position prior to that. Hardly in line with the Mayor elect's glowing recommendation.

Ben Kirby, the Mayor elect's Communications Director, first time ever position in St. Pete, has been strangely silent as the issues with the Mayor elect's senior staff continue to swirl.

With the possible exception of Ms. Jessica Eilerman, the Mayor's choices for his inner circle don't seem to be particularly qualified for their presumed roles.

So here are some questions:

1. Did anyone in the City organization do a background check on any of these people?

2. Have they completed an employment application and undergone the routine investigation and background check all the rest of the City's new employees experience?

3. Do they meet the City's hiring criteria?

It looks more like the Mayor-elect has decided to keep the political team in place and let the taxpayers of St. Petersburg feed and water them until the next election comes up.

I have no issue with the office of the Mayor, it just should be staffed with people whose experience goes beyond campaign organizing and asking for political contributions.

e-mail Doc at:, or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb)Friend request. See More of Doc at Bay Post Internet and St.PetePatch.

Get ready to vote "NO" on the Transportation Sales Tax Referendum.