St. Pete mayor unveils vision for city with Rays manager

St. Petersburg, Florida -- St. Petersburg city employees gathered to hear the new mayor's vision for the future of St. Pete.

It was a historic move on Mayor Rick Kriseman's part to have all the 2,700 city employees invited to one spot to listen to his three-month anniversary speech. He said that had never been done before.

Mayor Krieman and Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin talked about three points they are bringing to the city: innovation, creativity, and making St. Pete the most competitive city in the country.

"I want to spend the next 100 days meeting each one of you and making your thoughts and ideas matter," said Mayor Kriseman to the city employees.

Kriseman treated the meeting like he was at a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game. He had music playing and was launching t-shirts into the crowd and handing out prizes.

"We know that working together as team we can get there," said Kriseman.

Then he introduced his guest speaker, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon.

Maddon threw out signed baseballs and those who caught them in the crowd got two free tickets to Wednesday night's baseball game. He also sat down and talked about why the Rays work so well together as a team.

"You give them as much freedom as you possibly can or all the freedom that they need or want, because the more freedom I give you or give my players, I believe the greater respect and discipline we get in return."

Employees seemed to respond to the mayor's and Maddon's message.

"I enjoyed the fact that he had a vision that included all of us," said a city employee who works for parking enforcement, Hannah Rebholz. "I know he was out in the community, but I liked that the involved us the city employees that make this place tick.*

The mayor told 10 News he plans to make some announcements in the next couple weeks when his 100 days into officer concludes, including a new chief of police, where the Rays stand, and ideas for the pier.


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