Thursday, June 21, 2018
Politics

Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman: Stalemate with Tampa Bay Rays is city's biggest issue

ST. PETERSBURG — Rick Kriseman frequently blasted Mayor Bill Foster on the campaign trail about the stalled negotiations between the Tampa Bay Rays and the city over a new stadium.

Now, as mayor-elect, Kriseman received a private briefing Wednesday by Foster and top officials on the secret details known only to a few City Hall insiders.

After the more than two-hour meeting ended, Kriseman said he came away with a new understanding and said the Rays stalemate will be the most pressing issue facing his new administration.

"The challenge in going forward with the Rays is significant," Kriseman said in the City Hall lobby. "I knew it was going to be challenging."

When asked if the inside information changed his views on how Foster has handled the Rays, Kriseman said, "It might have."

"It's always interesting to get the other side of the story," he said. "I'm not comfortable answering that until I absorb all the information."

Kriseman said he has reached out to Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, but the two have not yet been able to connect.

Foster called the meeting productive and vowed to work closely with Kriseman until he takes office Jan. 2. He pledged to keep Kriseman up to speed on important matters.

"We were friends before the campaign," Foster said. "We re-established rapport. It will be a smooth transition. We've gone from campaigning to governing."

The meeting also touched on the search for a new police chief and how to move forward with plans to replace the Pier.

Kriseman announced he would make Assistant Chief David DeKay the interim police chief when Chuck Harmon retires Jan. 6.

With tourist and snowbird season under way, Kriseman again said he will consider opening the area around the Pier to walkers, bicyclists and fisherman. Foster closed the Pier at the approach in May.

Kriseman said he supports Foster's plan to gauge residents' opinions about what they want at the Pier. An initial poll is being worked on to ask residents what kinds of amenities they want to see at a new pier.

Kriseman also addressed the buzz swirling through City Hall. Many longtime administrators fear he will ask them to leave.

His message to employees: "Be relaxed and not nervous about your jobs. I'm not looking to create havoc."

Kriseman is expected to announce a "major hire" for his administration today.

His transition team wouldn't provide any details Wednesday, but last week Kriseman said his first hire would be the person who will oversee economic development in the Midtown area.

Contact Mark Puente at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow on Twitter @markpuente.

Comments
Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

NEW PORT RICHEY — A seasoned historic hotel renovator and operator is going to take a crack at getting New Port Richey’s city-owned Hacienda Hotel back into action. New Port Richey City Council members, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, u...
Published: 06/20/18
Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis stepped into a growing controversy over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, criticizing the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexican border and saying that "populism" and "creating psychosis" are not t...
Published: 06/20/18
Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Well, that didn’t last long.U.S. Army veteran Michael Sean McCoy filed to run as the Republican candidate in the State House, District 57 race just hours after incumbent State Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, announced he was stepping down.McCoy, who live...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Published: 06/19/18
‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

SEATTLE — The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life. So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for t...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

WASHINGTON - As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration policy of se...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with...
Published: 06/19/18
Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another facility intended for detaining undocumented children is reportedly in the works for Houston as the number of children separated from their parents at the border continues to swell.Southwest Key Programs, the same contractor that operates the...
Published: 06/19/18
Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

ST. PETERSBURG — They appear to rise out of nowhere — two enormous, reclaimed-water tanks with an artist’s white clouds scudding across a blue background.A closer view reveals silhouettes of a lone coyote howling at the sky, mangrove islands, oak, cy...
Published: 06/19/18
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Published: 06/17/18