Kriseman State of the City swaps locations, aims to be "bold"

On Saturday at 10 a.m., St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman will deliver his third (if you count the speech he gave at his 2014 inauguration) State of the City Address.

Due to likely frigid temperatures, the locale of the event has moved from the steps of City Hall to the Palladium several blocks away.

Kevin King, the mayor's chief of staff, said he hopes for a good crowd.

“I think this'll be one of the bolder speeches he's given," King said. "His remarks will be bold and informative. He's going to talk about things I don't think he touches on very often.”

Subjects he touches upon will run the gamut, but King said to expect an emphasis on ongoing efforts to address problems in impoverished, predominantly minority areas like south St. Petersburg, issues like economic inequality and crime.

“A little bit with the police department, the department he inherited; where things are today and where they're going," he said. "And a lot about the continuation of the conversation he started at the Urban Affairs Update, and how we're doing things differently, the long-term planning that really hasn't been done before.”

Over the past year, Kriseman has gotten quite a bit done. His administration has gotten curbside recycling, a new Pier deal, a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium deal and is laying the groundwork for a new police station. King admits that some of the issues the mayor has dealt with have landed him in some controversies, namely over the Pier as well as disposal of sewage in estuarine waters in the wake of severe storms and flooding.

As a result, there could be critics at Saturday's event who aim to sour the mayor's high spirits.

“The byproduct of getting things done is, not everyone's going to be happy all the time," King said. “He's been a very consequential mayor, and as a result you're going to have critics. That's what happens when you get things done. I think a lot of times politicians shy away from moving things forward because of the possibility of there being some opposition. We're here to get things done and that's all we've done.”

Kriseman is likely to run for reelection in 2017, a prospect that would make most politicians couch their words more so than, say, if they were about to term out. King said that's not really the way Kriseman operates.

“He doesn't overthink a whole lot of things, and the political calendar has never influenced his thought process over remarks or policy solutions a whole lo," he said. "I don't know if there's anything next year, going into the election year that changes his tone or his stance. But from the time he's got here he's had an agenda that's pretty bold and different and hasn't thought down the road in terms of politics.”

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