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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Monday, January 2, 2017

Dump Pinellas Commissioner Janet Long's Push for a Regional Council of Cronies

"They" are at it again. And it's all to get more of your tax dollars.

Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert
Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long
Because Hillsborough and Pinellas have overwhelmingly defeated sales tax hikes, Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long and some powers to be are pushing regionalism in another attempt to merge HART and PSTA as reported by the Times back in October.
The move comes on the heels of the federal government's insistence on one regional set of transportation priorities similar to those serving metro areas such as Denver, Seattle and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The government wants one regional plan that would cover 20 years of expected growth in overlapping metro areas. Local leaders would have two years to devise a plan once the federal rules are finalized.
We agree there are too many entities and agencies who have their fingers in the transportation pie but the answer is not to consolidate them into some regional super agency. Bigger in government is never better. Bigger agencies result in a more costly, less accountable entity. 

Bigger regional government agencies puts the decision makers an arms length from those impacted, especially the taxpayers. Regional entities enables greater influence by special interests and reduces local influence and local control.

The push for merging HART and PSTA is always coming from Pinellas County. 

Why? Follow the money. 

PSTA has been mismanaged for years and is a fiscally mismanaged agency and a mess.
Instead of fixing its problems, PSTA wants a bailout and some powers to be are willing to be their accomplices for the bailout.

Beware Hillsborough County taxpayers. We do not want to be part of PSTA's mess or paying to fix their mess. PSTA needs a big housecleaning and a new governing Board appointed with a majority of citizens not elected officials.

HART and PSTA already can and do collaborate. When it makes fiscal sense, they can play in the same sandbox to achieve a mutually beneficial result. 

With the Obama Administration push to regionalize MPO's, some powers to be are trying to ride those coattails with another HART-PSTA merger push. 

However, our own Florida Department of Transportation formally sent their comment August 17th to the Feds (Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017

May 2017 bring you good health, love, success,  great joy, and peace.

Thank you for spending some of your valuable time this past year reading my Blog Posts. If you have taken the time to comment on one of the sites or on Facebook an extra special thanks.

The new year looks to be a very exciting time in the Tampa Bay area so please keep checking back on bay area PATCH sites, Eye on Tampa Bay and my flagship Blog site Bay Post Internet.

Have a happy and safe new year.