St. Petersburg voters sent a clear message Tuesday that they want their mayor to provide stronger leadership and their city to aim higher. That is why they replaced incumbent Mayor Bill Foster with Rick Kriseman, who promises to bring new energy and fresh ideas to City Hall. Now Kriseman should build on his solid victory, unite the city and lead St. Petersburg in a more positive direction.For those of you keeping score at home, there have been more than a dozen Times editorials ripping Foster over the Rays. A small sampling:
Sept. 2013 | Feb 2013 | Feb 2013 | Jan 2013
Jan 2013 | Oct 2012 | April 2012
The Times, which continues to give the Rays a free pass on the Stadium Saga, now moves on to lobbying Kriseman for a Tampa stadium:
The incoming mayor also should reach out to the Tampa Bay Rays and renew discussions about allowing the franchise to look at potential stadium sites in Tampa. It's understandable that the new mayor wants to try to build attendance at Tropicana Field, but that effort should be simultaneous with talks on the long-term approach to keeping Major League Baseball in Tampa Bay.Kriseman is about to find out it's not easy to protect the city's interests and please the newspaper on this issue. The mayor-elect said on the campaign trail he favored letting the Rays look in Tampa, but he also stressed protecting the city's financial interests. St. Pete's contract with the Rays runs through 2027.