No need for a strong mayor | Letter, Nov. 4
Why I will vote yes
Clearwater is at a crossroads and today we decide which path to take. I support a change to a full-time elected mayor for Clearwater because it’s necessary.
Much has been made of people who don’t live in Clearwater voicing their opinions on this issue. That’s absurd. How local leaders and non-residents view Clearwater matters. Where they live doesn’t matter. I expected my fellow council members to share this passion for learning our strengths and weaknesses, but unfortunately they don’t.
Today there are issues in Clearwater where neither the council nor the mayor has any ability to reach out to city staff to make changes. We are required to ask the permission of the city manager first. The city manager is not accountable to the voters. I am. I am so angry at the problems in the Parks and Recreation Department. Not only have they had staff allegedly embezzle funds, a recent investigation also found they bullied women in the department. Yet, I am handcuffed because of our form of government, and it frustrates me.
My colleague notes that I am the chair of Forward Pinellas, but that is misleading. The people on that committee know that representatives from Clearwater don’t have any authority to make decisions, so they don’t wait for us. And they shouldn’t. We should be driving this discussion because of where Clearwater is located. The decisions made on transportation will have a tremendous impact on all of Clearwater. Yet again, Clearwater can only be a follower and not a leader in these discussions.
I am voting Yes on Tuesday because I believe Clearwater’s best is still in front of us. We can and should be a power in this region. I believe a full-time Mayor is the right first step. Please join me and vote Yes on the last ballot question.
Doreen Caudell, Clearwater
The writer is vice mayor of Clearwater.
So glad it’s almost over
I am so happy that this slur campaign is over. I have never experienced such a dirty campaign. According to all the TV ads, nobody is fit to be in office. Don’t these politicians know how childish and unreliable they look by running these ads? In the future I hope this helps them all find a new way of campaigning.
Donna Herrick, Hudson