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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Clearwater officials Philly bound



Cretekos_3 PhilliesCity leaders are talking tough about budget cuts, but one thing that didn’t make the chopping block: an all-expenses-paid baseball trip to Philadelphia.

Four City Council members, two city managers and the head of parks and recreation will meet with Phillies owners next weekend and watch Vice Mayor George Cretekos throw out the first pitch of a game. Taxpayer cost: at least $2,800.

“The (Phillies) are one of our most important tax payers and these guys have other choices in terms of where to put their operations, but they pour so much money into the city, we think it’s a good idea (to go),” said Councilman Paul Gibson, who’s picking up his own tab.

Three of the City Council members said they’re going to pay their own way. Traveling at taxpayer expense will be Cretekos, City Manager Bill Horne, Assistant City Manager Rod Irwin, and parks director Kevin Dunbar. Several city officials’ spouses, along with a contingent from the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, are also on the trip, but are paying their own way. Besides Gibson, Council members Carlen Petersen and John Doran are also paying for themselves.

--Mike Donila, Times Staff Writer

[TIMES file photo: Pitcher-to-be: Vice Mayor George Cretekos]

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:28am]


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