During televised debate, look for Rick Kriseman to criticize Bill Foster & Kathleen Ford for dividing city

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During the Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9 televised mayoral debate, former City Councilman and State Representative Rick Kriseman says he will focus on unifying St. Petersburg and criticize opponents Bill Foster and Kathleen Ford of further dividing our city.

“I want to bring people in this city together and find solutions to the problems we face,” said Kriseman. “We need to refocus our energy to create jobs, improve our schools, and strengthen our neighborhoods.”

Throughout the night, Kriseman will distance himself from his opponents, Bill Foster and Kathleen Ford.

“We need leadership in City Hall,” said Kriseman in a preview of his comments. “The job of mayor isn’t just to maintain the status quo or point out what’s not working. It’s to be a problem solver.”

On two big issues in the St. Petersburg election, the future of the Tampa Bay Rays and the city’s Pier, Kriseman will offer “solutions and a pathway forward.”

“It’s a shame that it takes the mayor’s political future being on the line for him to care about the future of baseball in Tampa Bay,” said Kriseman in response to Foster’s new position on the issue.”

“My approach has been consistent,” he said.  “As mayor, I will sit down with the team and ensure that we do everything in our power to help them be successful. It starts with making sure they stay in the region so that the people of St. Petersburg can still go to games.”

Kriseman also offered an aggressive solution for the future of the St. Petersburg Pier.

“If the Lens designed is not approved by the voters, I will have a new task force give me additional recommendations within the first three months of my administration,” said Kriseman. “We will have a final design is in place within the first nine months of my administration, and the new pier will be built by the end of 2015.”

Kriseman will wrap up the debate by stressing the importance of the 2013 mayoral election.  

“Right now with so much at stake, we can’t afford to be divided. Not because of politics or personalities,” he’ll say. I’m running because it’s time the really big issues get resolved – issues that Mr. Foster inherited nearly 4 years ago. And yet here we are, still debating them.”

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.