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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Clearwater reaching out to "Super-Voters" for aquarium referendum



The city’s communication department is readying an informational mailing to the city’s “super-voters” about a proposed $160.5 million downtown aquarium.

The City Council has approved the mailing, which should go out about the same time as absentee ballots are mailed, approximately 45 days before the Nov. 5 referendum.

An informational mailing for a referendum on the downtown marina in 2007 cost $3,600 to send to 7,700 super-voters, or residents who have voted in three out of the last five elections.

City communications staffers are currently researching an updated list of such voters and figuring out how much it will cost to reach them, said city spokeswoman Joelle Castelli.

The money will come out of the city’s communication budget.

The mailings won’t advocate a position on the vote, but provide factual information. 

In a July council meeting, council members discussed sending mailers to all of the city’s 49,000 households, but opted to follow the previous practice of alerting the super-voters.

The city has always sent out mailers for proposed changes to the city charter, said City Attorney Pam Akin.

“It’s our responsibility to our community. It’s not just the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, but our community that we’re talking about,” said City Council member Doreen Hock-DiPolito.

The aquarium will pay for the referendum, which is estimated to cost about $70,000.

[Last modified: Friday, August 9, 2013 2:24pm]


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