Fire Fighters endorse Rick Baker for mayor

Tampa Bay Times
July 14, 2017
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The firefighters union has endorsed former mayor Rick Baker, saying he is “tough, but fair” in negotiations and better addresses the department’s needs than incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman.

Rick Pauley, president of the St. Petersburg Association of Fire Fighters, told the Tampa Bay Times that Baker, who they endorsed twice in 2001 and 2005, made sure the department had what it needed in a “timely manner.”

Kriseman was always receptive to a meeting, Pauley said, but didn’t deliver results on equipment or concerns about staffing and call volumes.

“St. Petersburg is safer with Rick Baker as mayor,” Pauley said in a news release.

The mayor did deliver a new fire station, but Pauley said the decrepit condition of the old station gave Kriseman little choice.

IAFF Local 747 represents 417 firefighters and paramedics who live in St. Petersburg, Lealman and South Pasadena.

Kriseman has the police union’s support. A state-of-the-art police headquarters didn’t hurt.

The Florida Public Services Union, which represents a large chunk of city workers, hasn’t yet made a choice in the mayor’s race.

The Kriseman campaign responded with a statement from the mayor.

“I’ll always be proud of the men and women who put their lives on the line every day. As mayor, I’ll continue to ensure that we have the best trained, best equipped first responders that keep us and our city safe.”

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