ST. PETERSBURG — Like many Floridians, David Flintom struggled to afford his house payments in recent years.
This past summer, the 43-year-old walked away from his home on Bayside Drive S and moved to Tampa to start over. He expected the bank to foreclose.
It hasn't — yet. In the meantime, however, Flintom's home racked up fines with St. Petersburg's codes department.
That happens to plenty of people. But Flintom was just hired by Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman to lead the Mayor's Action Center, designed to be a hub for residents with questions about services and city government.
The newly created job comes with a $70,000 salary.
On Tuesday, Flintom said he paid a $240 overdue utility bill. He said the city agreed to waive another $369 in liens and fees for his overgrown lawn. He also fixed a broken fence that code inspectors complained about.
"As far as the city of St. Pete is concerned, I'm fine. I'm all caught up," Flintom said. "I look forward to starting in the mayor's office and moving on and starting to help the citizens."
Flintom, 43, was Kriseman's district legislative aide in the Florida House, a position he also held with state Rep. Dwight Dudley. Before that, he worked in the customer service industry for Continental Airlines, MCI Telecommunications and Amazon.com.
Ten years ago, he bought a home in St. Petersburg given a just market value of $93,480 by the Pinellas County Property Appraiser's Office.
Flintom said he did his best but could not keep up with maintenance and other costs associated with home ownership. When he got a job offer in Tampa in May, he left Pinellas County.
Flintom said he never received notices of the final utility bill or the codes complaints because St. Petersburg officials did not put an apartment number on his address. Records released by the city on Tuesday confirm that.
"I'd never been through foreclosure before," he said. "I thought the bank would take ownership."
Flintom said he plans to return to St. Petersburg soon. He said he knows the home is still his responsibility. He plans to sell it.
"I just want to do the right thing," he said. "Thankfully this has all been resolved."
Kameel Stanley can be reached at email@example.com, (727) 893-8643 or @cornandpotatoes on Twitter.