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Old June 4th, 2017, 05:44 AM   #1
TampaMike
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Rick vs Rick - 2017 St. Pete Elections

Even if anyone else decides to jump in the race, it's clear that the race will come down to Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker. Ignoring their political affiliations and positions on social issues and national politics, who does everyone believe is best when it comes to both development in downtown and throughout the city and also just economic growth in general?

It's a tale of two mayors that had and have seen exponential growth and development under their terms as mayor. Baker saw projects like Signature, Dali Museum, Progress Energy, and others get developed while Kriseman will have ONE St. Pete, Western and Wildlife Art Museum, new downtown Publix, and numerous other projects to take partial credit for.

It's really tough to say what Rick will continue the momentum in growth since both have had a solid track record. And with major projects like a Rays stadium and Tropicana redevelopment, who would come up with the best plan? Kriseman seems like he can keep the Rays in St. Pete, would Baker be more willing to let the team go for redevelopment purposes?

And when it comes to jobs, who has the better track record? Baker convinced Progress Energy (now Duke Energy Florida) to open their headquarters here, can Kriseman say he has had the same economic impact as Baker did?

Again, this isn't a debate about the R or D next to their name, this is development debate only.
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Old June 6th, 2017, 04:50 PM   #2
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I think whoever wins will continue to make DTSP grow but, for me, Kriseman has the edge because of his forward thinking. If Baker were Mayor would the city have attempted the Cross Bay Ferry pilot project? Or would the city have invested in bringing Bike Share to the city? I'm not sure.

The type of people who are wanting to come to St. Pete are much different than the type of people that came to St. Pete in the 2000s (actually the city lost population). I think for the types of people we want to come to St. Pete today (i.e. millennials, techies, creative types), Kriseman is the better choice because he resonates better with them.

One major draw from Baker for me is his support of Destination St. Pete Pier which was essentially a refurbishment of the inverted pyramid. I don't think that would've been good for St. Pete and I think the "Pier Park" was the best idea. His tendency to want to placate the older populations who are hesitant to change in St. Pete are what concerns me.

Additionally, I feel that Kriseman has treated St. Pete like a big city mayor would. He began marketing the city to those out of the area and doing symbolic things that bring press to the city. Under Baker and under past leadership I always felt that St. Pete was given minor spotlight and was governed like a small beach town.

Regardless I think both would do a good job and both have major accomplishments but Kriseman has invested in the small projects that have made Downtown St. Pete more attractive.

Last edited by TampaGuy; June 6th, 2017 at 04:56 PM.
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Old June 18th, 2017, 06:22 AM   #3
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Judging from the voting map in the presidential election, I think this is Krisman's to lose. As said above, St. pete is a very different place than it was in the early 2000's. Development will continue under either because St. Pete is hot right now but Kriseman has the will power to do more with St. Pete.
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Old July 6th, 2017, 02:52 AM   #4
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For sure, Kriseman has a big challenge and he will have to do all he can to defend his seat. I agree with CubanBread regarding the possibility of him losing. While Kriseman does resonate better with Millennials, St. Pete does still have a big chunk of residents who would favor Baker. It will be a tough and close race for sure, but if the cards aren't played right, Kriseman will certainly lose.
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Old July 6th, 2017, 03:00 AM   #5
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Regarding some of the issues:

Community Development: I think both will push forth with building better communities within St. Pete - especially in regards to building better relationships with residents, but also in regards to neighborhood and urban development. They will just do so in their own way.

Sewage Problem: The blame game can go on and on, but at the end of the day, steps need to be taken so that we don't have a repeat of what happened this past year.

Transportation: I think Kriseman will push for permanent ferry service to Hillsborough (even if it is on a seasonal level) while Baker will probably take a more cautious approach and not commit to it right away. I think bike share will expand under either leadership, just perhaps at different paces. PSTA's planned BRT line will probably see more traction under Kriseman than Baker, and gosh knows where Baker stands on TBX.

Rays: I think Kriseman will continue to try and keep the Rays in the region in whatever capacity he can, even if it means they go to Hillsborough anyways. I think Baker on the other hand, will just allow the team to leave the state altogether without caring too much.
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Old July 6th, 2017, 04:26 PM   #6
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Is the BRT ever going to materialize ? It's been talked about for years.
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Old July 7th, 2017, 11:09 AM   #7
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As long as politics doesn't get in the way, yes.

My fear is, politics will get in the way and it will never move ahead unless it's a corridor that is tied into TBX.
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Old July 7th, 2017, 03:43 PM   #8
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Here's hoping ...
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