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St. Petersburg council member Jim Kennedy files for second term

ST. PETERSBURG — City Council member Jim Kennedy wants to keep his part-time job.

The 55-year-old attorney has filed to run for a second term representing District 2, which includes the city's northern edge. As of Friday, no one had filed to challenge him in the Aug. 27 primary.

Kennedy said voters should return him to office because he has been a fiscal watchdog by chairing the budget and investment committees. He also chairs the Pinellas Planning Council.

He said he has helped bring four playgrounds and a new community park to his district, along with getting canals dredged. He also proposed the extension of downtown bar hours.

He was appointed to the council in October 2007 and elected to a four-year term in 2009.

Kennedy is one of two members who typically support Mayor Bill Foster. While Kennedy supported Foster's so-called fire-readiness fee to plug a budget hole, he voted against a property tax increase when the council adopted the latest budget.

Kennedy frequently uses his legal skills to scrutinize contracts and has called out top staffers when they put issues before the council without enough vetting.

"Whenever I'm there, I'm prepared to go," Kennedy said. "I've done my homework."

Kennedy graduated from Stetson University College of Law in 1982 and operates his own practice in the city. He has lived in his district since 1983. He and his wife, Norma, have two daughters.

Contact Mark Puente at mpuente@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/markpuente.

St. Petersburg council member Jim Kennedy files for second term 02/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 22, 2013 11:42pm]
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