Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Pete Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman holds private call with council

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman is two weeks from taking office, but he's stoked controversy by holding a private conference call with City Council members.

City Hall watchers question whether the call violates Florida's Sunshine Law and whether Kriseman plans to keep his campaign promise to be transparent.

Kriseman invited council members to the call by sending a message to their private email accounts instead of their city accounts, which are subject to open records law. He said he did that because two incoming council members, Darden Rice and Amy Foster, don't have city accounts yet.

"There was no city business discussed," Kriseman said. "There was nothing nefarious here."

Council members Charlie Gerdes and Jim Kennedy declined to participate in the call because of Sunshine concerns.

"I didn't think it was a good idea," said Kennedy, a lawyer.

Kriseman, who takes office Jan. 2, said he apologized to council members for not yet meeting with each of them before his term starts.

He compared the call to three council members having lunch.

"I didn't screw up here," Kriseman said. "You have to trust us. That's what voters did when they elected us."

Council Chairman Karl Nurse said Kriseman stressed how he wanted to work as a team to move the city forward.

"It was more about congratulations," Nurse said. "Nothing of what I heard violates the Sunshine Law."

On Tuesday, Kriseman also announced that Michael Dove would serve as his director of neighborhood affairs. Dove, 60, a former St. Petersburg deputy mayor for neighborhood services, retired in 2007 to start his own consulting business.

Mark Puente can be reached at or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter @markpuente.

St. Pete Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman holds private call with council 12/17/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 11:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Senator: American student arrested in China has been freed


    BILLINGS, Mont. — Chinese authorities have dropped charges against an American college student who was arrested and detained in the a week ago after reportedly injuring a taxi driver who was roughing up his mother in a fare dispute, a U.S. lawmaker said Sunday.

    Guthrie McLean was detained for reportedly injuring a taxi driver after the driver physically attacked McLean’s mother.
  2. Tampa-based makeup artist disqualified from contest over pro-Trump post


    WICHITA, Kan. — A makeup artist who splits her time between Tampa and Kansas says she won a national contest sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty but was later disqualified because of an Instagram post supporting Donald Trump's presidential candidacy.

    Gypsy Freeman won the contest with this image posted to Instagram. [@facesofgypsy on Instagram]
  3. Flesh-eating bacteria nearly kills Florida man who thought he just had blisters from a hike


    Wayne Atkins thought little of the blisters he had gotten while hiking. He was trekking up and down the 4,500-foot-high Mount Garfield in New Hampshire - a 10-mile round trip - and blisters were no surprise.

    Wayne Atkins thought his blisters were from hiking, but the flesh eating bacteria nearly killed him. [YouTube]
  4. Yes, again: Rays blow late two-run lead, get swept by Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As weekends go, this was a bad one for the Rays. In a word: brutal.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brad Boxberger, foreground, reacts after giving up a home run to Texas Rangers' Carlos Gomez during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 23, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson) FLMC116
  5. White House offers muddled message on Russia sanctions legislation


    WASHINGTON - White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sunday that the Trump administration supports new legislation to punish Russia for its meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its aggression toward Ukraine.

    President Donald Trump at the commissioning ceremony for the USS Gerald R. Ford  at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, July 22, 2017. [New York Times]