Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Foster and Kriseman field soft questions at St. Petersburg mayoral forum

From left, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and mayoral candidate Rick Kriseman during a light moment League of Women Voters Broadwater Neighborhood Association Forum at the St Pete College’s Allstate Center on Sept. 11. During a “lightning round” of questions they are agreeing that they will not support ice skating at Tropicana Field if Tampa Bay Rays move elsewhere.

CHERIE DIEZ | Times

From left, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and mayoral candidate Rick Kriseman during a light moment League of Women Voters Broadwater Neighborhood Association Forum at the St Pete College’s Allstate Center on Sept. 11. During a “lightning round” of questions they are agreeing that they will not support ice skating at Tropicana Field if Tampa Bay Rays move elsewhere.

ST. PETERSBURG — With more than 15 mayoral forums behind them, fatigue might be overtaking Mayor Bill Foster and challenger Rick Kriseman.

Neither man tossed a political jab or discussed any big issues facing the city during a Friday morning "mayoral conversation" sponsored by the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

Moderator and chamber CEO Chris Steinocher said he wasn't interested in hearing how Foster and Kriseman would build a new Pier or handle the stadium stalemate with the Tampa Bay Rays. Business leaders have heard those answers.

Instead, Steinocher asked the candidates whether they thought the mayors of their high school years had vision. Both Foster and Kriseman were in high school in the 1980s.

"There was nothing in high school that was communicated," Kriseman said about growing up on the city's west side. "Rick Baker really changed that. We felt neglected."

Foster, who grew up in Shore Acres, praised former Mayors Bob Ulrich and Randy Wedding. "They did have a vision," he said. "They knew we were a major-league city. Every successful mayor builds upon the foundation of someone else."

Kriseman, 51, and Foster, 50, were asked to explain their vision.

Downtown growth needs to spread away from the core, Kriseman said, adding he would work to make Midtown, the Gandy Boulevard area and the west side of the city as vibrant as downtown.

"We need to have things throughout the city that we have in certain areas," he said. "We don't do a very good job of talking, like other communities do, about various areas within their city and what they have to offer."

Foster discussed the marine science industry and the health care corridor near Bayfront Medical Center and how they create high-paying jobs and lure new residents to the city.

"My vision is to coordinate and bring all of that together and to make sure it all explodes," Foster said. "My vision is to make St. Petersburg cool."

Steinocher asked what role a mayor should play in economic development.

"The mayor really has to be the head cheerleader," Kriseman said. "The mayor's the face of the community. It includes going outside the boundaries."

Foster stressed how he guided the city through the Great Recession.

"What's great is I've been in the seat for three years and some change," Foster said. "It's my job to be a steward of your tax dollars."

Closing the event, which drew about 40 people to Franklin Templeton Investments, Steinocher said: "No matter who wins, we're in great hands."

Said Foster: "It does matter who wins."

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

Foster and Kriseman field soft questions at St. Petersburg mayoral forum 09/27/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 27, 2013 11:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kenya opposition says it will challenge election in court

    World

    NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya's opposition will challenge the results of last week's presidential election in Supreme Court and wage a campaign of civil disobedience, its leader announced Wednesday, saying they intend to expose a "computer-generated presidency."

  2. Kriseman and Crist rally troops for final push in St. Pete mayor's race

    Blogs

    Elections have consequences. Donald Trump. Charlottesville.

    Rick Kriseman and Charlie Crist pose for a group photo Wednesday evening with progressive activists at Allendale United Methodist Church
  3. The FHP trooper behind quota on speeding tickets will resign Sept. 5

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A Florida Highway Patrol official's call for troopers to meet ticket quotas has cost him his job.

    Major Mark D. Welch, Troop Commander of Troop H, wrote an email asking his employees that he wants them to write two citations each hour. "This is not a quota," he wrote. His resignation is effective Sept. 5. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  4. Plan your weekend Aug. 18-20: Elvis in concert, Jason Aldean, Monster Jam Triple Threat, Sing-Along Grease

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    The king

    Elvis: Live in Concert: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, and Ruth Eckerd Hall will have a Graceland-produced Elvis concert on a movie screen, accompanied by a full live orchestra. Graceland calls it the closest audiences …

    Handout photos of Elvis: Live in Concert, a tour spectacle featuring a live orchestra backing the voice of Elvis Presley, projected onto a movie screen. The tour comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall on 8/18/17. Credit: Graceland.
  5. Woman convicted in murder of 18-year-old with cerebral palsy gets lighter term

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Linda Bonck, a 90-pound Chamberlain High School senior with cerebral palsy, lived near Tampa's Lowry Park. She struggled to walk and talk but was known for being friendly and trusting of strangers until she vanished one day in 1992.

    Georgia Miller, 39, was convicted for the 1992 murder of Linda Bonck, an 18-year-old Chamberlain High School student who had cerebral palsy. Originally sentenced to life in prison, Miller was resentenced Wednesday to 65 years, the result of U.S. and Florida Supreme Court decisions that found it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life. With gain time, Miller will be released from prison in the next six years. [Florida Department of Corrections]