Monday, April 23, 2018
News Roundup

Mayor Kriseman to share vision for St. Petersburg at Mahaffey Theater event

ST. PETERSBURG — One week ago, Mayor Rick Kriseman stood in front of a group eager to hear his thoughts on sustainability issues.

His first words, however, could have been mistaken for commentary on the weather.

"The sun shines here in this great city," Kriseman told the crowd, before launching into a speech about the ways the city can build on its "green" reputation.

People of St. Petersburg should get used to hearing that phrase. A lot.

Like former Mayor Rick Baker's signature slogan, "It's a great day in St. Petersburg," Kriseman's "The sun shines here" is likely to become a ubiquitous utterance over the next four years.

There's even a logo — featuring an image of a sun — to go along with it.

The motto is only a small part of what Kriseman calls the "vision, values, and operational strategy for the city," which he will officially unveil at a 2 p.m. event today open to the public at the Mahaffey Theater.

Those who attend will hear from Kriseman, Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon and St. Petersburg City Council Chairman Bill Dudley. They also will see a video, produced by a former Kriseman campaign volunteer, of people across town talking about why they like the city.

Kriseman plans to devote the bulk of the event, however, to explaining his vision, which, according to city documents, is broken into three parts.

It seems to be largely a strategy and guide for how to make decisions, rather than specific things he wants to accomplish.

The overall vision statement reads: "St. Petersburg will be a city of opportunity where the sun shines on all who come to live, work and play. We will be an innovative, creative and competitive community that honors our past while pursuing our future."

It then lists four "strategic pathways": stewardship and fiscal responsibility; innovation; impactful service; and community engagement. Those pillars are supported by values, which range from celebrating diversity to transparency to having responsive processes.

"The mayor is trying to define a vision that moves the city forward," said Kriseman spokesman Ben Kirby. "This is a broader vision for the community."

The vision will have practical applications, he said.

Officials already are incorporating it into the planning for next year's budget, Kirby said.

As departments submit requests for how much money they need and what they need it for, Kirby said, officials are making sure it matches with Kriseman's goals.

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

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