Clearwater City Council Seat 5Former City Council member Hoyt Hamilton, whose family owns the Palm Pavilion on Clearwater Beach, is seeking to return to the council. First-time candidate Jon-Paul Rosa, an Army combat veteran, says a fresh perspective is needed. The election is March 11. Charlie Frago, Times staff writer
About the job: The at-large seat represents the entire city of Clearwater for a four-year term. Council members are paid $20,630 annually.
|Hoyt Hamilton, 55Restaurant and hotel owner||Jon-Paul Rosa, 30Student|
|Experience||Hamilton, who served on the City Council from 2001 to 2006, stepped down to move to Atlanta to be near his two sons while they attended Georgia Tech. At candidate forums, he often stresses his family's deep roots in Clearwater. Hamilton says supporting tourism will help keep property taxes low. He also touts his ability to work with other council members. Public safety and fiscal conservatism are points of emphasis in his campaign.||Rosa, an Army veteran who served three tours in Afghanistan, says he will bring a fresh perspective to the City Council from a younger generation. Rosa says the city should aggressively pursue solar energy, placing panels on all municipal buildings. He also wants a "green" convention center to draw young professionals and generate income. Rosa says the city has neglected its neighborhoods in favor of the beach and downtown.|
|Education||Bachelor of science in industrial management from Georgia Tech||A student at St. Petersburg College, studying business|
|How should the City Council |
proceed in negotiating a lease with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for the CIty Hall site?
Are the terms of the memorandum of understanding fair?
|"Now that the referendum has passed, it is time to allow the CMA the chance to proceed with its due diligence. Negotiations should be, and will be, an ongoing process. Since all parties have agreed to the memorandum of understanding, it is fair, but it will also be an ongoing process."||"The terms of the lease should recoup the cost of transition to the new facility, and leave tangible assets for the city to assume responsibility of in case the project fails. I believe the terms are fair. City Hall has more land than it needs, and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium could potentially be a great attraction downtown."|
|Are other neighborhoods being neglected in favor of the beach and downtown when it comes to city attention and resources?||"The city's investments in the beach and downtown are showing positive results. Increases in tax revenue from tourism are allowing the city to hold the line on property taxes. I don't know that I would say that neighborhoods are being neglected. Public safety is always a |
No. 1 priority. I would love to find a way
to upgrade the East Gateway area."
|"The beach areas provide significant income from tourism, which add to the quality of life that we all share. However, it's important to remember the rest of the community that doesn't live on the beach. Plaza Park on Pennsylvania Avenue had playground equipment not long ago. Now it's just an empty dirt lot."|
|What is the best way to continue momentum in revitalizing downtown after the Capitol Theatre and aquarium?||"Working with downtown property owners to recognize the importance of quality space to attract restaurant, retail and entertainment interests into the area. Redevelopment of Coachman Park will also be a vital component for downtown growth."||"The best way to continue the momentum of revitalizing downtown is to clean up the main routes that lead to downtown. Downtown is beautiful. Empty, but beautiful. Once we've cleaned up the routes, joy will come with the ride and our residents will take pleasure in frequent visits."|
|Do you agree with the city's approach to beach development, which seeks to encourage mid-price hotel rooms and eliminate free parking on the beach?||"Clearwater Beach has always been known as a family-friendly destination. Affordable, mid-priced quality lodging is essential to maintain this reputation. I am confident that the city and beach business owners can work together to address the parking issues."||"It is important that Clearwater maintains the family-friendly atmosphere that middle-class families come to enjoy and can afford to visit. Parking on the beach is a great source of income, and residents and workers shouldn't have to pay the same rate as tourists. Discounted permits should be available for purchase by residents of the city. "|
|Assets||Home, stocks, IRA||Stocks, IRA|
|Liabilities||Two car loans, mortgage||Student loan|
|Income||Family-owned restaurant and hotel||Student loan|
|Personal||Married with two sons||Single, no children|