Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

November election could bring shake-up on Dunedin commission

DUNEDIN — A potential shake-up looms for the Dunedin City Commission.

One commissioner has announced he won't seek re-election, a former commissioner says he is contemplating throwing his hat back in the ring and Mayor Dave Eggers confirmed Tuesday that he is "definitely very seriously" considering running for the Pinellas County Commission.

Two-term Commissioner Ron Barnette announced over the weekend that he had met his goal of "leaving the city in a better place than it had been when I took office" in March 2009. He encouraged other "civic-minded individuals" to assume his place.

"Holding political office for its own sake is not my goal," Barnette wrote in a statement. "It is a treasured but finite opportunity to serve one's community, and then make way for others to do the same."

Barnette had no opponent when he won re-election to his current term in 2011.

Eggers told the Tampa Bay Times Tuesday that he is interested in the County Commission seat being vacated by Republican Commissioner Susan Latvala, who is retiring. Eggers said he will announce his decision later this week.

Now in his fourth term as a Dunedin official, Eggers served as a city commissioner from 2003 until 2009, when he was elected mayor. He most recently defended his seat against former Dunedin Mayor Bob Hackworth in 2012.

"This is a big decision when you are stepping down from a seat before your term is up," Eggers said. "There's an awful lot going on and a lot to consider."

Meanwhile, former city commissioner David Carson, who spent one three-year term on the dais before he was ousted by political newcomer Heather Gracy in the November 2012 election, has picked up a campaign packet from City Hall.

However, he said, "I haven't decided just what I'm going to do yet or which seat I might entertain."

Carson, who retired and sold his pest control business three months ago, said he still keeps in touch with his former commission colleagues, reviews meeting recordings and was highly disappointed in a recent commission vote against dredging Cedar Creek and Lake Sperry.

Dunedin Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski, who is also up for re-election this November, said she is "definitely running" for a city post, but she hasn't decided which one yet.

Bujalski was first elected in March 2006 to a two-year commission seat vacated by Hackworth. She was re-elected to three-year terms in 2008 and 2011.

In November 2012, Dunedin commission terms were extended from three to four years.

In an interview Tuesday, Barnette, 71, said he is most proud of helping Dunedin establish a variety of activities and services that allow folks "to enjoy a splendid quality of life either as citizens or visitors."

He said "there will be no endorsement on my behalf until I'm convinced the right candidate is there." He plans to make himself available to answer questions, offer advice and help smooth the transition.

"I'll miss very much (my) service," Barnette said. "But I'm not leaving things behind. I'm just moving on to a different phase of service for the town."

Keyonna Summers can be reached at (727) 445-4153 or To write a letter to the editor, go to

November election could bring shake-up on Dunedin commission 02/18/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 6:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Departing fifth graders at Booker T. Washington Elementary leave lessons for their peers


    TAMPA — Teaching kindergarteners how to make slime seems like a good idea — when you're 12.

    From left, Tayvon Scott, 6, Arion Taylor, 9, and Nazir Anderson, 6, play with globs of slime they created from a science experiment taught by the Darius Troupe, a fifth-grader at Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Tampa. Students at Booker T. Washington Elementary School spent a "Day of Service" teaching their peers in a class exercise on May 24, 2017. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  2. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul


    TAMPA — If someone is moving between cities with a U-Haul truck, there's a fair chance they could be coming to Tampa. Rankings released Friday by U-Haul placed Tampa as the No. 15 city people are moving to with a U-Haul truck.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  3. Bucs WR DeSean Jackson knows only one direction: full speed ahead


    TAMPA — DeSean Jackson is the "1."

    Actually, Jackson, the Bucs' latest weapon for quarterback Jameis Winston, with his blazing speed and game-changing splash plays, wears No. 11 in games.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  4. Karen Bail, who helped Gibbs kids get to Broadway, retires


    ST. PETERSBURG — When neatnicks retire, they leave no trace behind. Their desks are clean, like a runway after the plane has taken off.

    Retiring musical theatre teacher Karen Bail warms up seniors Jonathan O'Brien, left, as Juan Peron and Addam Setzer as Che Guevara before the dress rehearsal of Pinellas County Center for the Arts (PCCA) magnet program's production of "Evita" at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg, FL,  April 24, 2017.  The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical ran for three days in April at the school and was PCCA's last play of the year. CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times
  5. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall


    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.