Rick Kriseman launches reopen St. Pete advisory committee

Charlie Crist, Rick Kriseman
Kriseman will have one on one meetings with advisors to develop a reopening strategy.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has four indicators for reopening the city for business amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Kriseman said he plans to measure reopening based on the percentage of positive tests, not the actual number. The overall number, he noted, can increase based on overall testing, making the rate of positive tests an unsullied indicator of flattening the curve.

Kriseman will also evaluate hospital capacity, availability of testing and contact tracing in his reopening strategies.

That was the main take away Monday morning during Kriseman’s first meeting with his reopening group consisting of health and business sector experts.

The members of the committee include two city officials, the head of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, three doctors, a hospital executive, a school board member, business and arts representatives and a St. Pete publisher.

Kriseman did not dive into specifics on what a St. Pete reopening would look like, but said he would be having one on one conversations with his advisory panel to begin developing strategies.

He also cautioned that whatever strategy is developed could be preempted by county or state orders, but trusts residents are ready and willing to do the right thing to keep the city safe and thriving.

“In this city there is a spirit that is unmatched anywhere,” Kriseman said. “Our people are engaged, they’re passionate and they’re willing to do what ever it takes to see this city succeeds.”

The committee members include:

— Dr. David Berman, pediatric infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

— Dr. Mona Mangat, allergist and immunologist at Bay Area Allergy and Asthma

— Dr. Israel Wojnowich, physician of family medicine for Bayfront Health Medical Group

Scott Smith, president of St. Anthony’s Hospital

Amber Boulding, St. Petersburg Emergency Management Manager

Kanika Tomalin, City Administrator and Deputy Mayor

Olga Bof, executive director, Keep St. Petersburg Local

John Collins, executive director, St. Petersburg Arts Alliance

Duggan Cooley, CEO of the Pinellas Community Foundation

J.P. DuBuque, president and CEO, Greater St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation

Dexter Fabian, publisher of ilovetheburg.com

Rene Flowers, Pinellas County School Board member

— Rev. Watson Haynes, president and CEO of the Pinellas County Urban League

Jason Mathis, CEO of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership

Brad Miller, CEO of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority

Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce

Michael Vivio, CEO/owner of Corp Fitness Works

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


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