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2012 mayor's race in Clearwater

2012 mayor's race in Clearwater

Clearwater Mayor

Filling the shoes of outspoken, outgoing mayor Frank Hibbard, elected in 2002, won't be easy. But two candidates — Vice Mayor George Cretekos and political newcomer Christine Marketos-Cuomo — say they're up to the task. If elected Jan. 31, the new mayor will be sworn in Feb. 13 and serve a four-year term. The position pays $23,794 a year.

George Cretekos, 64 Christine Marketos-Cuomo, 63
Experience Worked on the staff of U.S. Rep. C. W. Bill Young from 1971 until 2007. Filled vacated City Council seat in 2007, was re-elected to council in 2008 and now serves as vice mayor. Worked for 30 years as executive assistant for federal government, including IRS, ATF and U.S. Marshals Service. A notary public and member of Republican committees. Founder of Greek American Republican Society.
Would you change the city's spending priorities, and how? "Public safety will remain the city's spending priority. Should voters approve the pension reforms that have been approved by three of the city's unions, the city will have greater flexibility in planning future budgets without tax increases. Provided property values hold steady, I would then encourage city leaders to consider restoring programs and services previously reduced or eliminated." "I would make sure that the money is there to keep services like the tennis courts and library open. We need money to enhance services for our youth and seniors."
What are your top three priorities? "To diversify the city's economy, broaden the tax base and stabilize the local economy during cyclical downturns. To strengthen the city's neighborhoods and encourage community participation. And to maintain and build Clearwater's status in Tampa Bay." "In this economy we need incentives for all businesses. The city needs to host job fairs. And there need to be mortgage and foreclosure fairs, where homeowners can learn about banks and lenders."
What would you like to see happen with the Harborview Center and Coachman Park? "While the Clearwater Marine Aquarium occupies the Harborview, the city will have an opportunity to judge its impact on the downtown and Coachman Park. If successful, the city can partner with the aquarium and others in redeveloping the park and the nearby open space south of Cleveland Street. If not, I still believe Clearwater needs some type of 'community center' that will be part of Coachman Park.". "To demolish it would be a waste of taxpayer money. I don't want to waste taxpayer money."
What could the city improve upon on Clearwater Beach? "Clearwater's beach investment has enabled private investors to open the only new major resorts along Pinellas beaches in recent years. The city must remember that not only is the beach a premier tourist destination, it is also home for many residents. I support Beach by Design but will continue to work to limit the 'canyon' effect along Coronado Drive, to upgrade the marina without destroying its ambiance and to seek opportunities for small businesses to prosper." "We need to have tour companies promote the beach, with no expense to the taxpayer. The timing of the lights, from the causeway down to the beach, would also be an important change. Synchronize them. People coming from the airport don't want to wait at a light."
Assets Stocks, IRA, checking and savings accounts, condominium on Sand Key, shared interest with sister in Tarpon Springs home inherited from parents Declined to answer.
Liabilities Condo mortgage Declined to answer.
Source of income Federal retirement pay, City Council salary, retainer from All Children's Hospital, dividends and interest from stocks and savings accounts Declined to answer.
Personal Married, no children Married, three children
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2012 mayor's race in Clearwater

2012 mayor's race in Clearwater 01/20/12 [Last modified: Friday, January 20, 2012 7:40pm]
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