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Politics / Issues

Listen: St. Petersburg's New Mayor Makes Promises to Residents

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St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman shunned the tradition of his new office by taking his oath on the steps of City Hall Thursday, not inside the council chambers.

He answered critics head on as he explained the outdoors was a venue that allowed all to attend not just close friends and family.

Kriseman was equally forthright addressing the controversy over the downtown pier. He announced that within the next week, the chain link fence blocking access to the final portion of the pier will come down and pedestrian traffic can resume.

He acknowledged not everyone will like the final design of the pier, yet he is confident one will emerge in the next year.

“In the interim, residents and visitors should be able to once again enjoy walking, running or fishing around the pier head,” Kriseman said which prompted applause from the audience. “And that’s why this morning, we have begun the process of removing that unfriendly fence.”

Other items on which the new mayor promised progress:

  • Reaching a stadium agreement with the Tampa Bay Rays with “the primary goal of doing what is in the best interest of the residents of St. Petersburg;”
  • Pushing for economic redevelopment in Midtown and South St. Petersburg and a 30 percent reduction in poverty by 2020;
  • Supporting a transit tax and choice for a restructured bus service and light rail system.