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Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019
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Mayor-elect Kriseman should rethink action center hire

St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman needs to rethink his choice to run the Mayor’s Action Center, a forum for residents seeking help with problems that concern city services.

David Flintom, an aide to Kriseman when he was in the Florida Legislature, was tapped to run the action center after Kriseman takes office next week.

But as the Tribune’s Christopher O’Donnell reported, Flintom had his own problems with the city that raise questions about his fitness for this job.

Flintom abandoned a home in St. Petersburg in May, leaving it to the banks holding the mortgage. He left behind an unpaid utility bill and made no arrangements to maintain the yard. He moved to Tampa, and when the yard in St. Petersburg became overgown, the city was forced to clear it. A few months later, the city had to clear it again.

City officials put liens on the property totaling $600 and sent notices to the abandoned home, but got no response. Not until O’Donnell contacted Flintom last week did the liens get resolved.

Flintom says he assumed the banks would be responsible for the property. He says he never received the city notices.

Thousands of people caught up in the mortgage crisis were forced to walk away from homes they could no longer afford. But Flintom’s lack of concern for his neighbors, and for how the anticipated foreclosure process was proceeding, is troubling.

So is Kriseman’s lack of knowledge of the liens before hiring Flintom, who will be paid $70,000.

Kriseman should find someone else to run the action center, and hone his hiring process.

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