Re: Duncan won't seek re-election | story, March 26
Duncan right not to seek new term
I was glad to see that Pinellas County Commissioner Ronnie Duncan has decided not to run for re-election. I hope the other members of the "Smith Seven" will have enough class to make the same decision, but I doubt it.
James Nelson, Largo
Dunedin faces many challenges
To the people of Dunedin, my family, friends and supporters:
Thank you for re-electing me to another term on the Dunedin City Commission. I offer my sincere congratulations to Commissioner Julie Bujalski on her successful re-election campaign and to Tony Scruton for a race well run.
A January 2008 report of the U.S. Government Accountability Office to the U.S. congressional committees stated, "State and local governments will see new and growing fiscal challenges emerging in the next 10 years." We in local government must think even more innovatively, and we must work even more collaboratively with other entities, both public and private, to find economies of scale. Also, we must develop new sources of revenue that are not dependent on ad valorem taxation.
The city of Dunedin has many challenges ahead. We must:
• Deal with fiscal challenges to our ability to provide high-quality services and repair aging infrastructure, including our reverse-osmosis plant.
• Address the effects of overdevelopment on our natural bodies of water and the resultant flooding and erosion.
• Minimize threats to our environmental sustainability.
• Reshape our codes to support our vision.
•Provide economic revitalization opportunities for four major corridors, i.e., the Dunedin Causeway, Douglas Avenue, State Road 580 (Main Street) and Patricia Avenue.
We must also work actively to secure new "clean industry" for Dunedin and, thus, broaden our tax base. Citizen input and dialogue on these issues will be crucial to our success.
During the campaign, I spent significant time visiting our various departments. I was very impressed with the high caliber of our Dunedin city employees and their commitment to serving the public. I was able to witness their pride in and dedication to their jobs, whatever those jobs might be. This experience was both humbling and enlightening. Our city of Dunedin employees are there and they care.
Lastly, I commend the generations of Dunedin leaders —both paid and volunteer — who have contributed so much to the Dunedin "brand" of a unique, eclectic coastal community with a hometown feel or, as one constituent said, "Mayberry with an edge." The "edge" has long been innovation. Leadership is a continuum. I thank you for allowing me to be a small part of that continuum.
Dunedin vice mayor