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Kriseman - Keeping the Team Together

Is the Mayors Office a new Department of Politics?

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 to, 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: dr.webb@verizon.net, 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.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Steve January 05, 2014 at 08:24 AM
Funny, but I'm SURE that just a few short weeks ago, Doc Webb's post was filled with nothing good to say about Bill Foster and overfilled with all the wonders which Kriseman was going to usher in. Foster may not have been the flashiest Mayor in history, but he was honest, sensible, and underplayed his office and its privileges. Most important, he didn't stuff City Hall with a bunch of cronies (all at the public trough) and try to pass it off as "a new wave of governing." Having second thoughts, Doc?
Doc Webb's Bay Post January 05, 2014 at 08:39 AM
YEP...disappointed to say the least...
sparky January 05, 2014 at 10:04 AM
Bill Foster failed as a mayor. He didn't lead and he really does not have any politial friends. He left the administrative hacks in place and let them do whatever they wanted because he like to live the title of mayor and held none of the responsibility. he was not honest with the citizens about the pier and the vote on it proved that. Sensible- give me a break he- just look back at the way he cocked his head like the orangutan at the zoo listening for the keeper at feeding time. Underplayed his office? no way he would delay appointments for a month if possible and say he would handle it rather than actually getting staff to do something. Foster should disappear into the woodwork and never ever come out.
Johann January 05, 2014 at 11:16 AM
Umm Steve? "At least Bill Foster was honest...." You have GOT to be kidding me. With his lying about RNC costs, to his ridiculous "secret plan" for the Rays, to demolishing an active murder/crime scene, to the CONSTANT lies about the TRUE cost to renovate the Pier (1st it was 87million, then it was 78million, then 64 million, then finally 46 million), and his no-bid giveaway to Gonzmart for a restaurant on OUR waterfront parkland, trying to close historic pools, fire fees, fired Boyd Hill Park Rangers, and on, and on and on. The man left town a disgrace as he should have. Good riddance. As for Kriseman, I don't think he needs his own "posse" and I would add a #4 to Doc's list: #4 - Doesn't City Council have to 1st approve or deny the Mayor the funding for all these new high-priced positions that did not previously exist??

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