Rick Kriseman sworn in as St. Petersburg Mayor in an unusual outdoor ceremony

Defeated Mayor Foster has no regret

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - "Rick Kriseman spent a record amount of money to deprive incumbent Mayor Bill Foster of a second term. 

In his first Mayoral address, Kriseman promised to bring more bold and decisive leadership to the job, and to tackle the big challenges facing St. Petersburg.

>Watch:  Raw video of ceremony in media player.

About 200 supporters came to witness the change in leadership-- in the first outdoor inauguration in memory. Many have high hopes for the new mayor.

"He will be beneficial to helping the youth get better jobs here in St. Petersburg- especially young minorities," said 50- year-St. Petersburg-resident, Ann English.

In his first mayoral address, Kriseman acknowledged that finding the right design for the waterfront pier and dealing with the Tampa Bay Rays' demands for a new stadium are at the top of his list.  But, he also pledged to address the stubborn crime and poverty in the city's poorest neighborhoods.

"Property values have fallen 42 percent since the onset of the great depression. This is happening right here in St. Petersburg and it's unacceptable, especially given Midtown's rich history and potential," said Kriseman.

Kriseman, a Democrat, has been consulting closely with former Mayor Rick Baker, a Republican.  Baker says the most important thing is to love your city.

"I believe St. Petersburg is the best city in America and I've been a lot of places.  The mayor needs to be the one to promote that to the world and I think Rick Kriseman will do that," said Baker.
    
Earlier Thursday, outgoing officials were honored by the City Council including now former Mayor Bill Foster who leaves after one term with no regrets.

"Every mistake that I made, every event that happened was a part of God's perfect will and my life. That's the journey. I wouldn't have missed the dance for anything," said Foster.

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