The St. Petersburg Times’ Sandra Gadsden echoes much of the criticism I have leveled about Bill Fotser’s awkward personnel decisions the Mayor has made during his first months on the job, especially Foster’s appointment of Todd Yost as the city’s lobbyist:
Yost’s appointment was announced in a rather curious way. “He didn’t contribute money, he didn’t raise money, he didn’t knock on doors for me,” Mayor Bill Foster said. “His involvement in my campaign was zero, zilch, none.”
No offense to Yost, but should Foster have filled the position with a novice at a time when the city badly needs state money, considering its budget shortfall of $12 million to $14 million?
Among the many applicants were some with valuable statewide connections who appeared to be better suited for the job.
Just like the hiring of Jim Neader, Foster’s campaign manager, as a $50,000-a-year sports consultant, this appointment seems forced.
Now, keep in mind, one of Gadsden’s prime sources is the perpetually disgruntled Rene Flowers, who Foster passed over for this position. Hence, Flowers got to put in her two cents about Yost’s selection:
“Code compliance, as you know, has nothing to do with governmental relations. (Yost) will be on an extremely steep learning curve.”
Speaking of steep learning curves, I’m beginning to think it’s Bill Foster who is falling down from the steep learning curve he is on as Mayor.