Two new faces file for Clearwater City Council race
CLEARWATER-Two political novices have recently erased former council member Hoyt Hamilton's previously unopposed path to Council.
Morton Myers, 34, who lives in the Manor neighborhood near the Long Center, said he decided to run for Seat 5, currently occupied by term-limited Vice-mayor Paul Gibson, because he wants to see a prosperous downtown and a reformed policy on red-light cameras.
Red-light cameras on Gulf to Bay Boulevard and Chestnut Street snag too many tourists who are unfamiliar with Florida's new law allowing them. This leaves a bad impression and could harm future tourism, Myers said.
He also said he's ambivalent about a proposed downtown aquarium, especially if it involves tearing down City Hall, but wants to be involved in the process.
Myers, a Clearwater native, owns an Oldsmar-area pawnshop and a business that subcontracts labor and information for theme parks and other clients. He said he doesn't plan to raise much money, instead relying on a word-of-mouth campaign.
Myers decided to compete against Hamilton because Seat 4 incumbent Bill Jonson once served on his Eagle Scout committee and he holds him in high regard.
Myers is married with two young children.
Another entry into the Seat 5 race is Jon Paul Rosa, who lives an apartment near Gulf to Bay Boulevard. Rosa didn't return calls requesting comment.
Hamilton, 55, served on the City Council from 1999 to 2006. Myers hasn't run for elected office before.
According to a campaign records through Sept.30, Hamilton has raised $4,450.
Jonson will face David Allbritton, chairman of the Downtown Development Board, in the March 11 election.
Times Researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.