Times recommends: Kriseman for mayor

Under Mayor Bill Foster, St. Petersburg has been treading water for nearly four years. The city faces no major crises, crime rates remain low and the economy is recovering. Yet the mayor’s lack of vision and unsure footing in key areas has resulted in stagnation and missed opportunities. For voters seeking a fresh start and stronger leadership, the only viable alternative is Rick Kriseman.

Kriseman, 51, is a trial lawyer with the experience and creativity to lead the city. He has served as a member of the St. Petersburg City Council and the Legislature, and he has developed a reputation as being progressive on public policy and persuasive in advocating his positions. He is as comfortable talking with neighborhood associations as he is with City Council members and legislators, and his familiarity with both local and state government would be an asset.

As a City Council member between 2000 and 2006, Kriseman was a stabilizing influence who worked well with Mayor Rick Baker. He helped sell to homeowners associations a plan by Baker and St. Petersburg College to build a joint-use public library. He was the deciding vote in Baker’s move to sell city property in Hernando County to the Southwest Florida Water Management District after receiving stronger assurances the land would be preserved. Kriseman also was an advocate for open government, leading the effort to stream council meetings live on the Internet.

(To read the entire editorial, go to http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/times-recommends-kriseman-for-mayor/2135730 )