Rick Kriseman promised during his campaign to support Greenlight Pinellas, the failed transit initiative to expand bus service and build a light rail line from St. Petersburg to Clearwater.
While the measure was soundly defeated on Nov. 4, 2014, it wasn't because Kriseman didn't hold up his pledge of support.
When we last checked in on this promise in June, we found Kriseman had mentioned "restructuring the bus system, adopting light rail, and even reconfiguring our tax system to pay for the way we travel in this region" in his Jan. 2 inaugural speech. He brought it up again in a recurring stump speech.
We further noted that his deputy mayor, Kanika Tomalin, was co-chairperson of the Greenlight Pinellas Business Committee. Kriseman and Tomalin made sure the plan was on the city's website, and Kriseman is the city's representative for the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority, which supports the initiative.
Spokesman Ben Kirby said the mayor had done more since June.
Kriseman stumped for the transit measure at a June forum in west St. Petersburg along with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos.
In the weeks before the election, Kriseman spoke in favor of Greenlight at a televised roundtable on the city's television station and at a news conference at City Hall announcing that city workers would ride free on Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority buses.
And the mayor, along with city council members, directed Greenlight informational brochures to be available at city recreation centers and libraries, said Kirby. He added that Kriseman raised thousands of dollars for the failed initiative by calling donors as part of a Tampa Bay Partnership fundraising campaign.
Kirby even pointed to his bosses' sartorial choices as evidence that he had fulfilled his promise.
"He wore a Greenlight button every day. We have pictures to prove it," Kirby quipped.
His efforts weren't wasted in central and southern St. Pete, the epicenter of the measure's support on Election Day (the referendum garnered barely any precincts north of 54th Avenue N). Kriseman said North Pinellas residents weren't sufficiently informed of how the plan benefitted them, and he said that should be a priority with any future transit plan.
"It means we have to work harder," he said after the defeat.
Although the plan was voted down by 62 percent of county residents -- mostly over the 1-cent sales tax increase for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority -- he delivered on his promise to support the project through speeches, providing information and soliciting donations.
We rate this a Promise Kept.