Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

We’re waiting, Mayor Foster…

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I know, I know, it’s only been two weeks since Bill Foster was inaugurated as only the third strong Mayor in St. Petersburg’s history, but isn’t it time for him to announce some sort of bold staffing decision or policy initiative?

Foster has actually been the defacto leader of St. Petersburg since he won the Mayoral election in November. Since that time, Foster has done little to establish a tone for his administration. His inaugural speech, for those few outside of Foster’s family who bothered to attend his swearing-in, was a real snoozer — more boring than any of Rick Baker’s “It’s another great day in St. Peterburg” lullabies. The only thing Foster really said was something about how ‘everything begins with the City Council.’

If that’s true, nothing is ever going to get started.

You’d think for a guy who wanted to be Mayor of St. Pete basically his whole life, Foster would have hit the ground running. Instead, he re-hired much of Baker’s administration, including Deputy Mayor Tish Elston. Nobody expected heads to roll, but Foster could at least change the curtains around City Hall.

Wait, I forgot that Foster authorized the city staff to change the recording for the city’s phone line (although Foster didn’t want to use his own voice).

Of course, the first time Foster tried to change things, such as the Police Department’s no-chase policy, he ran into public opposition from still-Deputy Mayor Go Davis. Foster couldn’t even get Davis to buy into his re-classifying of the city’s art department. Mysteriously, the St. Petersburg Times’ story about Davis’ opposition disappeared from the its site.

The Times did report today how Foster is “excited to have a day off after two weeks,” a comment that did not go over well with Rev. Louis Murphy of Mount Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, who as, Cristina Silva reporst, at one point during the breakfast told the crowd of Foster: “You’re the mayor on paper, but you will not become the mayor until you become the mayor in all of our hearts.”

I guess I’m not the only one waiting for the Bill Foster I voted for to show up at City Hall.

Update: Cristina Silva writes today, “St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster says he is up to ‘something’“:

Mayor Bill Foster said he is “up to something,” but declined to tell us what exactly something is.

Foster is in his third week of office. He has mostly kept quiet about policy in the works since becoming mayor.

For instance, when asked about a recent staff meeting, he said he was filing balloons with air, but wasn’t ready to release them. We then reminded him of his campaign promise to be more transparent than former Mayor Rick Baker. Foster said he would share his plans soon.

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.

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