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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Another candidate throws in to replace Polson on City Council

ST. PETERSBURG -- Herb Polson's District 1 City Council seat is a hot commodity.

Two months after announcing he wasn't seeking re-election to the seat, which represents the city's western neighborhoods, four candidates have already announced they want it.

Last week, Joshua Shulman, a 35-year-old financial planner with Wells Fargo, filed to run. He follows former city council member Robert Kersteen, attorney Charles Gerdes, and Monica Abbott, a community activist.

Shulman moved to Pinellas County 12 years ago after graduating the University of Pittsburgh. In 2006, he earned an MBA from the University of Florida. He graduated from Leadership St. Pete, a training ground for the city's political class, last year. And perhaps most of all, 22 days ago, his wife gave birth to his son, their first.

"I have a lot going on, but I'll always have a lot going on, and getting involved like this has always been an interest of mine," Shulman said.

He said he's concerned that the city has lost its way of late, getting bogged down in budgetary minutiae rather than search for new opportunities.

"We need a long-term view," Shulman said. "Otherwise we'll be stuck in the same cycle until there's some external force that we don't control."

Dwelling on budget cuts, without thinking of doing anything differently, is a dead-end, Shulman said. Because of the Save Our Homes 3 percent cap, it'll take at least 15 years to get much of the property tax revenue the city has lost in the last four years, so the city better come up with other ideas, he said.

"That's what we should be focused on, not just if the library is going to be open a couple hours on a Sunday," Shulman said.

-- Michael Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer





[Last modified: Friday, May 20, 2011 11:02am]


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