The voters have spoken and have swept in a stunningly extreme group of leftists who will cause immense damage to the citizens of St. Petersburg. On the long coat-tails of Obama, The Political tactics of Organizing for Action have brought us people who will raise taxes and utility bills, force all to recycle, Kow-tow to the unions, empower the rich and powerful and push extreme social agenda items on us all. The Sun Beam Times offers predictions for what is likely to roll out in St. Petersburg under Mayor Kriseman and the “progressive” city council. Hold on to your wallets, guard your freedom jealously and prepare for political class warfare. (Left: “Forward” is the utopian order of all Modern Progressives, as well as failed progressives of the past- Lenin, Stalin and Mao).
Massive Overspending – The city has been spending record amounts of money in St. Petersburg over the last several years. For the first time in city history, over the last two years under a so-called “Republican” Mayor, the city has spent $51.2 million more than it took in in revenues. The City spent $482 million in 2011 and $468 million in 2012. For 2011-2012 the city spent over $951.5 million. In the prior two years, 895.7 million (2009-2010), $841.3 million (2007-2008) and back in 2001-2002 spent $673.2 million. Expect the Progressives to spend and look for growing deficits and figures approaching or breaking the $500 million mark by 2017.
Higher Taxes and Fees – Utility bills have gone up $13-25 million a year since 2003. Property taxes went up $10 million in 2012 and will go up $10 million in 2013. Watch taxes, fees and utility bills to go up to feed the ravenous big government of the progressives. They will need the dollars as they roll out endless social programs, start mandatory recycling, fund multiple crony capitalist deals in the name of “economic development”, meet underfunded pension obligations (see below) and waste money on large bureaucracies.
Threat of Bankruptcy Rises – The City has underfunded its government worker retiree benefits. $177 million is promised for health benefits and not a dollar is saved. The Pension plans are funded only at about 82% and have a $148 million shortfall. The City has been spending money on feel good projects instead of funding the plan. The city has refused to modify the unsustainable benefits since the politicians love to get Union endorsements and boots on the ground to help get them elected. The best example of this is the yellow shirted Police “Benevolent” Association (PBA) members at the polls on election days handing out full color cards they paid for with their panel of progressive candidates. The PBA is guilty of false advertising – they should call themselves the “Police Union”- plain, simple and honest. The unholy alliance of the Unions and the politicians is setting us up for the same bankruptcy that Detroit and many other cities have suffered.
Mandated “Good Behavior” – The People elected full throated Obama activists in Kriseman, Rice and Amy Foster. Rice served as the Obamacare Communications Director for a liberal physicians group. These folks believe in mandated good behavior – mandated health insurance purchase. They all are on record for supporting a forced recycling plan that will cause you to have a higher garbage bill and have to reduce your garbage collection to one day a week (in summertime St. Pete). Look soon for bans on plastic grocery bags, global warming initiatives stopping light bulbs, taxing and banning car travel in certain areas, mandatory use of the women’s room by transgendered men and more. Watch for a heavy push of every so-called “gay rights” issue that could possibly exist as the city has three out of eight members who are gay and a very gay friendly make-up of the rest of the Council and Mayor. The Gay agenda will take priority over other more important issues to average, hard-working taxpayers in St. Pete.
Government-Assisted Property Theft by the Well Connected – The social justice crowd will claim that “something” needs to be done for midtown and they will ride in with their false good intentions to impose the “2020 plan” on St. Pete. Properties will be condemned and seized for transfer to the well connected to redevelop the blighted areas. Wealthy land developers will be given sweetheart deals as the city sells taxpayer-owned land to them in the “Community Redevelopment Area” and they make unnatural and unethical profits. The same paradigm will apply if the “Greenlight Pinellas” plan moves forward and light rail is financed with a 1% sales tax hike. The city will steal your tax money and spend it on more political campaigns to push their utopian rail dream.
Welcome to St. Petersburg 2017. Now, the question is: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?! The Sun Beam Times encourages you to sign up for a free email subscription to this blog. Get your friends and family to sign up for the Sun Beam Times by EMAIL. The Sun Beam Times is continuing the “Your City Campaign” to turn back control of this government to the citizens. The problems created by these extremists in charge of our local government will be exposed and calls to action issued. As the Progressives over-reach (they always do) and impose their vision on St. Pete, you can bet that more people will wake up. Considering voter turnout was barely over 31% this time around, there is ample opportunity to get this city back on the right course in the next few years.