Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Look At Rick Kriseman's Run For St. Petersburg Mayor

Rick Kriseman in running for St. Petersburg mayor. Kriseman has been piling up some impressive endorsements.

West Central Florida Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO)

Former Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink

St. Petersburg Councilman Charlie Gerdes

Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala

Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long

Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice

Incoming House Minority Leader Darryl Rouson

State Representative Dwight Dudley

Former state Senator Paula Dockery

Largo Mayor Pat Gerard

I like Kriseman's more realistic approach to the situation of the Tampa Rays wanting a new stadium.

St. Petersburg and its residents have invested much time, energy, and money into the Tampa Bay Rays. The African-American Community, and particularly residents of the Gas Plant Neighborhood, made great sacrifices to make way for Tropicana Field. My preference is for the team to remain in St. Pete and to thrive here. If that proves to be unrealistic - if the Rays simply do not want to be here any longer - then they should be given the opportunity to pay an exploratory fee in order to look at other locations, provided those locations are in the Tampa Bay area.

I would like to know what Kriseman means by this statement.

Throughout the negotiating process and regardless of the outcome, I will ensure that our taxpayers are protected.

Kriseman is vague on if he would support funding for a new Rays stadium. The fact that he is willing to let the Rays leave St. Petersburg means he doesn't want to take this to the voters. I don't blame him. Voters don't want to pay off a second Rays stadium.

I wonder if Kriseman is hinting at light rail and other infrastructure projects as economic stimulus. I'm for that. The question is where will the funding come from.

We must do a better job of attracting new businesses and supporting existing ones in order to compete with other cities. Avoiding high taxes, unreasonable regulations, and burdensome permitting is important, but the best way to grow and sustain our local economy is by having a top notch public education system, efficient mass transit, and sound infrastructure. We want to embrace and celebrate diversity. We want vibrant neighborhoods and we want well-trained, properly funded and fully-staffed public safety personnel. These are quality of life issues. Our residents and visitors deserve the best -- and the best will bring businesses looking for a home.

Kriseman is sounding like Ed Turanchik with his idea about a ferry to Key West. Really?

Why not - at last - transform our underused port? Good leadership can turn it into one of our most important assets. Imagine a ferry service to and from Tampa or a high speed catamaran to Key West. The port already is ideal for research vessels; let's generate other uses to serve the general public.

I don't see it.

Kriseman's announcement for his candidacy.

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