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Sorting out the truth in state politics

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's broken Pier promises

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman campaigned heavily on the fate of the Pier and his opponent's inability to replace the waterfront icon.

He promised to do a better and swifter job than his predecessor and his failed replacement project known as the Lens.

Now that he's in office, PolitiFact Florida is tracking all those pledges to see whether the new mayor is keeping his word. We recently examined three of his promises about a timeline for a new pier and rated them on our Krise-O-Meter.

An opponent of the Lens, Kriseman said on his campaign website last year that he would "appoint community leaders who are well prepared to lead a thorough but expedited process" before taking office on Jan. 2. He also said he would work with outgoing Mayor Bill Foster and the City Council in the two months after his election and inauguration.

Before being sworn in, Kriseman did meet with Foster several times to discuss the Pier, especially budget concerns. He also regularly updated council members with his progress in selecting community leaders for his group.

But the new mayor did not announce members of the group until May 1, well after his self-imposed deadline of appointing a group before he took office. Because he did assemble it later, we rate this promise as a Compromise.

Kriseman also pledged to get the working group's recommendations by April 2014. Considering he didn't announce the group until May 1, it's obvious he didn't follow his original timeline. It will be months before the group's recommendations are submitted. We rate this a Promise Broken.

Finally, Kriseman said he would "work with the architect to have the new pier built by the end of 2015." While announcing his working group on May 1, Kriseman revealed a new timeline for the pier, projecting an end date far past 2015.

After his appointed panel's recommendations are turned in, five to eight architectural and engineering firms would submit bids. The public would pick their three favorites in a nonbinding vote. Kriseman would choose one of the three and propose it to the council, which would then vote on a contract.

Construction would begin in 2016, with a new pier slated for completion in 2017.

This is two years later than originally promised. We rate this a Promise Broken.

Edited for print. For the full versions, go to PolitiFact.com/Florida.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's broken Pier promises 05/16/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 16, 2014 11:22pm]

© 2014 Tampa Bay Times

    

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