Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rick Kriseman will not have a police chauffeur as mayor

St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman says a full-time driver would be “a waste of manpower. We’re not Tampa.”

St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman says a full-time driver would be “a waste of manpower. We’re not Tampa.”

ST. PETERSBURG — With a new mayor taking over next month, taxpayers will not see a police officer driving Rick Kriseman around the Sunshine City in the fashion of his counterpart across the bay.

"I don't want someone with me all the time," Kriseman said Tuesday. "I'm not looking for that at all."

Kriseman said he does not want to spend money on a full-time driver like Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who is chauffeured in a city-owned car. The scheduling varies, but the retired officer is typically with Buckhorn, police said Tuesday.

"It would be a waste of manpower," Kriseman said. "We're not Tampa."

Since winning the Nov. 5 election, Kriseman said he discussed security topics with outgoing police Chief Chuck Harmon and soon-to-be interim Chief David DeKay.

Both lawmen said they have discussed general security issues, but neither said they advised Kriseman on the need for a police driver.

"I don't see the need for that," Harmon said, adding that Mayor Bill Foster and former mayor Rick Baker never used full-time drivers.

St. Petersburg police take security issues seriously for any mayor and their families, Harmon said. The department looked at Baker and Foster's schedule each week to decide whether officers needed to attend public events. Each event is decided on a case-by-case basis.

It's also possible that police will drive mayors to high-profile events, Harmon said.

"Foster valued his independence, and Baker didn't want to be tied down," Harmon said.

Kriseman said he will accept a driver when police recommend it for certain events.

Kriseman and his closest advisers have said the new mayor plans to operate St. Petersburg like it is Florida's fourth-largest city. He plans to hire a chief of staff and a spokesperson, positions not found in Foster's administration. Instead of spending countless hours in City Council meetings, Kriseman said he might skip them to work on improving the city.

Buckhorn only attends Tampa City Council meetings about once a year to present a budget.

Contact Mark Puente at mpuente@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8459. Follow on Twitter @ markpuente.

Rick Kriseman will not have a police chauffeur as mayor 12/10/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 12, 2013 6:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  2. Seminole man accused of fracturing 8-month-old baby's leg

    Crime

    Deputies arrested a Seminole man Thursday after he fractured an 8-month-old baby's bones, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Gary G. Gibeault of Seminole was arrested on a charge of aggravated child abuse.
  3. St. Petersburg's ballooning sewage debt could threaten credit rating (but there's a Hail Mary plan to avoid that)

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city needs a lot of money — $435 million over the next five years — most of it to fix its leaky sewer pipes and aging sewer plants.

    In September 2016, signs at St. Petersburg's North Shore Park warned people to stay out of the water due to contamination from sewage released by the city's overwhelmed sewer system. The City Council on Thursday learned that the very expensive fix for its sewage woes could hamper the city's credit rating. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. Pinellas County receives $30 million for beach renourishment

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — While Pinellas beaches continually rank among the best in America, they need help to stay that way.

    The Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $30 million to help with beach renourishment at several Pinellas locations, including including Sand Key, Treasure Island and Upham Beach. This photo from 2014 shows how waves from high tides caused beach erosion at Sunset Beach near Mansions by the Sea condominium complex SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  5. Straz Center parking squeeze infuriates patrons, motivates search for solutions

    Transportation

    TAMPA — When the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts opened 30 years ago, it welcomed just 30,000 patrons its first year.

    Fireworks shoot into the sky over the David A. Straz Jr. Center For The Performing Arts. [SCOTT MCINTYRE, Times]