Foster unveils initiatives to help struggling Midtown neighborhoods
In the wake of blistering criticism on the campaign trail, Mayor Bill Foster announced plans Tuesday to create a high-level position to oversee economic development in the city's poorest neighborhoods.
Foster's moves come in the middle of a fierce reelection fight with challenger Rick Kriseman in the Nov. 5 election.
Economic development in the Midtown and Child Park neighborhoods is one of the most contentious issues in forums and debates.
Voters in African-American neighborhoods south of Central Avenue could swing the election for either man. No city administrator has overseen Midtown since Foster fired Goliath Davis, the former police chief and deputy mayor, in 2011.
The new administrator will also oversee the recently approved redevelopment area around Midtown.
Foster plans to take questions from reporters at 1:30 p.m. today about Midtown initiatives like the African-American Heritage Trail and helping land new a restaurant for the historic Manhattan Casino.