Last Thursday, City Council member Jim Kennedy laid out his recruitment plans for a new community-based action group, St. Pete Together. The group will include people who live and work in St. Petersburg.
Last time I checked Council people were selected by a district primary and voted on citywide by the people who actually live here and pay taxes. The objective was to elect someone who represented them.
Council member Kennedy has been more than a little bit self-serving in his tenure on the City Council, and this whole St. Pete Together thing looks like it could easily morph into a grassroots effort or a Political Action Committee in the Jim Kennedy for Mayor effort.
It's also kind of interesting that a City Staff Member, Kewa Wright, is going to be Kennedy's point person for this effort. Is that really a proper use of City resources when the neighborhoods can hardly get a seat at the table in City decisions and the budget is in shambles?
Going down this road, can Rick Kriseman start the Legislative Friends of St. Petersburg Focus Group and request a paid city administrative aid for help? Or how about the Rick Baker and the Committee to Develop the New Baker Plan?
Do they get City-supplied help? Or the Leslie Curran Global Initiative for The Arts in St. Pete? They will need domestic and international city-paid support people.
The whole concept looks typical Kennedy and highly suspect. Before any City resources are invested in this latest Kennedy effort, the City Council and Administration should ask what they are opening the door to.
Do we really want every council member to have his or her own little political action group supported by staff?
Maybe it would be a good idea if council member Kennedy caught up with the Neighborhood Associations in his district and started representing their interests. There is more than enough there to keep him busy.
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