Contain your laughter: Mayor Bill Foster speaking in D.C. as a “mold breaker”

in Uncategorized by

This weekend, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster goes to Washington D.C., to give a presentation at the America’s Promise Alliance: Building a Grad Nation Summit.

Foster is billed a mold breaker — “leaders who have looked at old challenges in new ways, disrupted the status quo, and generated results that are now being adapted and replicated in businesses, schools and communities all across the country.”

Have the folks at America’s Promise ever met Bill Foster?

Even those who like and support Bill Foster don’t consider him much of a “mold breaker.”

Looked at old challenge in new ways?  Which old challenge has Foster looked at in a new way.  Certainly not what to do about the Tampa Bay Rays’ stadium issues.

Disrupted the status quo? If you look up status quo in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Foster right next to the phrase. In fact, Foster once said he prefers to “tinker” with the city’s agenda, rather than set bold, long-term plans.

Generated results…replicated…all across the country? You’re kidding, right.  Perhaps the planners of America’s Promise thought they were booking Rick Baker when they asked Foster to speak because I can’t think of a single program instituted by Foster being replicated ANYWHERE.

Seriously, did anyone at America’s Promise both to look at Foster’s record?

Did they not read this editorial from the Tampa Bay Times?

Halfway through his term, Foster has led on little of significance beyond replacing the Pier. He’s secretive, and he seems suspicious of anyone whose family hasn’t lived in St. Petersburg for generations. He’s a probate lawyer who is quicker to threaten lawsuits than collaborate on creative solutions to public issues.

As my newfound friends at BillFosterWatch (bookmark them now!) conclude, since this is a conference about education and boosting graduation rates, Foster will likely be talking about the Mayor’s Mentors and More Doorways Scholarship Program, which wasn’t even set up by him, it was set up by his predecessor Rick Baker.

Foster even managed to tarnish this program through his “heavy handed fundraising” by pushing City employees to donate to the charity.

Mold breaker? Hardly.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.