Friday, November 3, 2017

Can you believe Rick Kriseman's promises? Not if you look at the ones from the Past - Part 2



One only needs to look at the Pier to see how far Kriseman’s words are from his deeds.



We continue to look at my Post from January 2013 A Serious Conversation with Rick Kriseman Part 2


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

Here are some comments by the current mayor from an interview I did with him January of 2013 before he had entered the Mayoral race: A Casual Conversation with Rick Kriseman. Bill Foster was the current Mayor.

My current comments are in BOLD.

Rick Kriseman began his political career when he was appointed to the St. Petersburg City Council in 2000. He won reelection in 2001 and 2003 before stepping down in 2006 to run for the State House of Representatives.

Rick and I sat down this past week (January 2013) at the Kahwa Coffee Shop south for some great coffee and a casual conversation.

Picking up from Part 1

"I would work every angle I could with my friends in the Obama Administration to bring federal dollars home."

Not much effort or success here.

"My frustration with Tallahassee was: that good policy doesn't advance because of partisan politics. Local government is the place where we can actually accomplish things and where every resident can be invested in and take pride in our accomplishments." Rick replied.

Kriseman's real problem with Tallahassee was he never took the time to figure out the system, learn how things get done and develop the relationships that are necessary to be a State Representative.

As far as accomplishing things as Mayor “every resident can be invested in” one only needs to look at the Pier to see how far Kriseman’s words are from his deeds.

“What would you do differently than the current administration," I asked.
 “I would have better communication with both staff and Council. It seems the staff has no firm direction; they don’t know where the City is headed," Rick replied.

When it comes to better communication with City Council and staff, Kriseman and his political cronies have been a complete failure.

The proof is in Council member Jim Kennedy’s constant complaining about how things are brought to City Council and the filing for Whistle Blower protection from an employee trying to get the truth out about the sewage debacle.

If your employees don’t trust you enough to feel comfortable telling you the truth then you have a serious communications problem.

“What do you think the major tenants of good municipal administration are," I asked?

Infrastructure, quality of life and education," Rick replied. “I don’t think we have taken the fullest advantage of our opportunities the last few years." 

There it is in Kriseman’s own words, INFRASTRUTURE was his first concern when asked about the major tenants of a municipal administration. Turns out infrastructure is really in last place behind everything from a water park to a water ferry.

When it comes to education in St. Pete, the City ended up with five of the worst schools in Florida on Kriseman’s watch. His attention could have caught the problem earlier.

Rick also expressed deep concerns about the crime level in St. Pete and especially the South side of town.

The published numbers would indicate the Kriseman administration has made some progress in this area.

However, off the record, there is growing concern in the police department about the level of enforcement, number of arrests and number of firearms being taken off the street.

I asked Rick about how his wife and family felt about a Mayoral run, and he said, "We haven't really had the serious discussion yet," but they will be fully on board before I make a decision to run."

We covered a wide range of subjects from the Pier to the Rays and Rick’s concern about the City’s aging infrastructure. He has a good grasp of the issues and ideas about how to address them all, but he can reveal those for you, if and when he decides to run for Mayor.

As has been the case throughout his political career, Rick Kriseman usually knows the problems and right thing to do, but when given the chance to implement change he cannot get by the politics. 

Kriseman is caught by the power of politics, his ability to create a political power structure, his love of shiny things and political gamesmanship.

I did ask the big question, “Are you going to run?" His answer: “I’ll know in a few weeks.”

As you know, he did run and he won.

Now what St. Pete needs is someone to get cronyism and politics out of the Mayor’s office, Water resources and the rest of the City Administration.

Someone who will speak to you directly not through a “spokesperson” and will work with the Pinellas County Commission, The Pinellas County School Board and the Pinellas County Sheriff to improve, infrastructure, education and public safety for everyone in St. Petersburg.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, be sure to Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos
Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Can you believe Rick Kriseman's Promises? - Not if you look at the ones from the past

As you will see in my Post from January 2013 A Serious Conversation with Rick Kriseman 


Part 1

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

Here are some comments by the current mayor from an interview I did with him January of 2013 before he had entered the Mayoral race: A Casual Conversation with Rick Kriseman. Bill Foster was the current Mayor.

My current comments are in BOLD.

Rick Kriseman began his political career when he was appointed to the St. Petersburg City Council in 2000. He won reelection in 2001 and 2003 before stepping down in 2006 to run for the State House of Representatives.

Rick and I sat down this past week(January 2013) at the Kahwa Coffee Shop south for some great coffee and a casual conversation.

Like most of the people seriously considering a run for the St. Mayors’ spot, Rick Kriseman is fully aware of the City’s problems and opportunities.

For someone who just finished a six-year stint in Tallahassee Rick looks great. Currently practicing law at Lucas, Green and Magazine in Clearwater, Rick gets into political mode quick.

His answer to my first question: "Where do you think the City is," was quick and decisive.
"I don’t know where we are going. It’s like a car stuck in neutral," Rick said.

“What do you see as major issues," I asked?
“Beyond the Pier and the Rays, I think the age of City staff is a critical issue." "I am concerned about the ongoing decline in institutional knowledge and the lack of a transition plan," Rick responded.

Kriseman has done little to address this problem in his first four years.

“Are you ready to be the CEO of a nearly 500 million dollar a year business" I asked?
"Absolutely,” Rick Replied!

So far Kriseman has managed to run up the cost of almost every major project his team is managing. Moral is slipping to a new low and the transparency and credibility of the office of the Mayor is seriously in the toilet.

I am not sure he is ready to run St. Petersburg after four years of on the job training paid for by the taxpayers in St. Petersburg.

"How would you govern differently than the current administration," I asked?

“The best leaders are those who recognize their shortcomings and surround themselves with people who compensate for those short comings," Rick replied.

Here, in my view, is one of Kriseman's biggest failures. Instead of surrounding himself with people who compensate for his shortcomings, Kriseman immediately surrounded himself with his political cronies. The high-priced Office of the Mayor has been a serious source of frustration for the City staff and a major impediment to progress as everything is seen through a political lens.  
"I would govern differently by offering a clear vision for the future, by being bold and proposing initiatives that move St. Pete forward, by solving problems instead of kicking the can down the road."  
Kriseman’s view of the future is anything but clear. Don’t think so? Ask the Rays, the Pinellas County Commissioners and the leadership of Midtown and South St. Pete.  
As for as clear vision goes, Kriseman now has two spin doctors one in his office and one at Water Resources to shape what you hear and see. Clarity it seems is far less important than political correctness.  
As we will see in the next few questions, Kriseman had a good overview of the City's problems but he completely ignored the infrastructure issue until the sewage dumps into Tampa Bay.

In Part Two of this Post Kriseman talks about his frustration with Tallahassee,  how he would do things differently than the Foster administration, and crime in South St. Pete.  
If you are following the St. Pete Mayor's race, you might find the following Posts interesting: A Casual Conversation with Rick BakerA Casual Conversation with Herb PolsonIs Rick Baker Really Out of The Mayor's Race .  
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, be sure to Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY 
See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos 
Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

What’s the real problem with Kriseman’s Chief of Staff Kevin King?

It is easy to get roiled up over King’s past behavior but to me, there is a much more serious concern.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog


As the Rick Baker Campaign and his Political Action Committee raised the spector of Kevin King’s past, the emphasis seemed to be more on what King did in contrast to how that impacts the present circumstances.

I have had only two dealings with Kriseman’s Chief of staff.

The first was a telephone interview that went terribly wrong following this Post:  Sunday  December 22, 2013 Kriseman and King - Will it work?  right after he was appointed  as Kriseman’s Chief of Staff and resulted in this Post A Not So Casual Conversation with Kevin King.

The second was a very unpleasant confrontation at the first Pride event after Kriseman’s election when I was taking some background pictures. King, who is notoriously camera shy, confronted me as to why I was taking pictures, asked me if my retirement was paid by the City (it is not) and wanted to know where my “money” came from. All of this in front of my wife who was accompanying me. I just laughed at him turned around and walk away and then turned back and shot a few more frames.

As the Kriseman administration wore on my former coworkers, and managers would simply roll their eyes when I asked about King, but the official response was “no comment, or simply you cannot trust him.

It is easy to get roiled up over King’s past behavior but to me, there is a much more serious concern.

Rick Kriseman is a seasoned political veteran, and he knows King is a liability.

When I questioned Kriseman before the 2013 election about Kevin King, he became openly angry and threatening when I brought up the King issue.

Why would you drag along an ill-tempered ticking time bomb if your goal was a successful political career?

So, what is the relationship between these two?

There have been a lot of calls for King/Kriseman to open the Records on King’s Juvenile sex solicitation charges, but I am not sure that would do any real good.

Some much more revealing questions would be:

Who was King’ s attorney of Record?

Kriseman and King spent a lot of time in Tallahassee together. What lobbyists did they work with? Where did they hang out?

In the interim between Kriseman’s stint in the Legislature and his election to the Mayor’s office what was Kevin King doing, and was he on Kriseman’s payroll?

I could go on.

The issue here is not about Kevin King it is all about Rick Kriseman’s character.

This whole mess shows the true face of Kriseman’s competency and honesty. Kevin King now oversees an area where would not be hired, he is only there because his buddy is the Mayor.

King should have never been added to the City Staff, he should never have become a parked political operative on the taxpayer’s dime and to put him in charge of educational policy goes further than ignoring the public’s Pier pick. It is like standing on the steps of City hall and giving every St. Pete citizen and parent the finger.

·         King’s actions are abdominal, but Kriseman made the decision to put him on the City Payroll.

·         King made the decision to solicit juveniles, but Kriseman made the decision to put him in charge of educational policy.

·         King typifies everything that is wrong with local government: privileged, over paid, protected, incompetent, and morally unfit for the job.

But, he is Kriseman’s guy and if Kriseman gets reelected you get four more years of Kevin King, four more years of lies, and don’t bother to express your opinion, because they just don’t care.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign

Please comment below.