The 2021 Suncoast Tiger Bay Mayor’s Forum continued the tradition of bringing together the Mayors of St. Petersburg, Tampa and Clearwater for a start-of-the-year conversation. Rick Kriseman, Jane Castor and Frank Hibbard answered questions from moderator Joe Hamilton and Tiger Bay members.
Click the play button above to see and hear the answers to these questions:
- In America today, there’s a significant divide between the left and the right that’s lead to things like wearing masks and getting vaccinated becoming political issues. What strategies have you used to lead with such a bifurcated reality amongst your constituents?
- Knowing what we know now, what would you have done differently in handling the pandemic in 2020 and how will that change your approach should we face another one in the future?
- The Tampa Chamber and EDC rebranded to Tampa Bay just before the start of 2020. How would you assess the regional cooperation with regard to economic development in the last year?
- Mayor Kriseman: We can all agree that affordable housing is much needed in St Petersburg. As specifically as you can, please help us understand the barriers to having more and opportunities for overcoming those barriers.
- Mayor Hibbard: The Church of Scientology has a large presence in Clearwater. What’s the most noteworthy evolution in the church/city dynamic since your last term as Mayor and what is the most common misconception you hear about that dynamic?
- Mayor Castor: As we sit here today, what is the lasting impact in terms of culture, procedure or mindset on law enforcement from the Black Lives Matter movement?
- The Covid-19 pandemic caused many changes – from virtual meeting and learning environments to increased hand sanitation stations and outdoor dining. In a post-Covid-19 environment, what changes that were implemented in your city would you like to keep in place?
- The now scheduled for a delay, the Westshore interchange improvement project is a shining example of regional cooperation to win funding to improve our regional connectivity. That being said, is the 41 mile BRT from Wesley Chapel to St Pete your top priority, and do you join other leaders on your side of the bay in prioritizing rail services from USF Tampa to downtown?
- Bed tax and other revenue is going to be down. Where do you see the biggest impact from that decrease in revenue?
- Fake news. Real or Fake problem?
- The environment is an issue without borders. Given what you can control, what is the most impactful change you could hope to make in 2021.
- Closing remarks.
Read the Catalyst write up: Despite the pandemic, Tampa Bay mayors optimistic about the region’s future
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