Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kriseman makes hip moves; Dave Metz fills in; late bill payers will get counseling

Mayor Rick Kriseman works to take a selfie with an audience of city employees at the Mahaffey Theater last week. The mayor also busted a move and laid out his goals.


Mayor Rick Kriseman works to take a selfie with an audience of city employees at the Mahaffey Theater last week. The mayor also busted a move and laid out his goals.

Moves like Jagger?

Residents are learning more and more about their new mayor. On Wednesday afternoon, for example, they learned that he can dance (and not all that badly).

He may have swayed, bopped and even done a quick two-step during his grand "vision unveiling" event at the Mahaffey Theater last week, but it was Mayor Rick Kriseman's last act of the day that stole the show.

Before dismissing the more than 800 employees who'd gathered to hear about his goals for the city, Kriseman turned his back, whipped out his phone and snapped a group selfie.

How long until #sunshinecityselfie becomes a trending topic on Twitter?

His old stomping grounds

In between meeting with residents, getting updates on pressing issues and unveiling his vision to city staffers and the public, Mayor Kriseman fit in a quick trip to the state Capitol last week.

He spent a day and a half in Tallahassee participating in the Florida League of Cities' annual legislative action days.

Kriseman said his administration is tracking an effort to create a business school at University of South Florida St. Petersburg, proposed changes to public records laws, and how the state will divvy up money that supports local housing initiatives. Officials also are keeping an eye on $2 million earmarked for the 20/20 Agenda antipoverty program.

"We have tried to be very clear this is a significant priority for this administration," Kriseman said.

His visit was his first trip back to Tallahassee since taking office in January. The mayor said he plans to travel north at least once more this session.

Musical chairs at City Hall

Although Kriseman brought in a lot of people when he took office, he also lost plenty. The latest to leave, longtime city development administrator Rick Mussett, will be replaced on an interim basis by Dave Metz.

Metz has served as director of downtown enterprise facilities. He also has been in charge of neighborhood services, and worked at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport and Pinellas County Economic Development Department.

"Dave Metz has been a big part of this city and this region for more than 30 years, and I trust he will serve as a strong, stable leader in a critically important department," Kriseman said in a statement.

Ben Kirby, the mayor's communications director, said the mayor will conduct a search to replace Mussett.

Help for chronic late payers

The city has kicked off a pilot program that will link people who have trouble paying their utility bills on time with financial counseling.

On April 1, officials in the billing department began reaching out to 100 randomly selected residents, asking them to participate in the program, funded by a $20,000 grant from the National League of Cities.

Participants will go through a course of credit counseling in exchange for a $50 credit on their bills and a payment plan if needed. The program will run through January.

Kameel Stanley can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8643. Follow @cornandpotatoes on Twitter.

Kriseman makes hip moves; Dave Metz fills in; late bill payers will get counseling 04/04/14 [Last modified: Friday, April 4, 2014 4:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning needs to hold onto Sergachev


    Here’s hoping the Lightning hold onto Mikhail Sergachev.

    Mikhail Sergachev has scored his first three NHL goals in his last two NHL games.
  2. Developers raise offers for city-owned land

    Local Government

    TEMPLE TERRACE — Two of the four developers under consideration to buy and build on city-owned land in the downtown redevelopment area have upped their offers by $1 million or more.

    Temple Terrace city  council-member Cheri Donohue asked for detailed plans from developers bidding for redevelop-ment prop-erties.
  3. Hip-hop artist looks to deliver music, monologues with one-woman show


    Tampa hip-hop artist and actress Dynasty takes her career into a new direction Saturday at Stageworks Theatre with her first one-woman show: A Star in Life's Clothing : Life. Love. Language. Lyrics.

    Courtesy of @JoeyClayStudio
  4. (From left to right) Former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama address the audience during a hurricane relief concert in Texas on Saturday night.
  5. Manufacturing expo highlights locally-made products


    TAMPA — Thursday's inaugural Made in Tampa Bay Expo at the Hillsborough Community College Dale Mabry campus, drew manufacturers, on lookers and even Gov. Rick Scott.

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott appeared Thursday at the Made in Tampa Bay manufacturing expo.