Voters in three North Pinellas cities will go to the polls Tuesday to choose new leaders.
In Tarpon Springs, voters will also decide whether the city should sell a long-vacant former nursing home to a developer who wants to renovate and reopen it.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Early voting remains in effect through Sunday at Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections offices. To view hours and locations, visit votepinellas.com/?id=8....
CLEARWATER — The Clearwater Marine Aquarium now has some expert opinion to bolster its campaign to raise cash for a new aquarium: a feasibility study that predicts the new facility will make a profit every year of its first decade.
AECOM, a global consulting firm, found that the proposed $160.5 million, 203,000-square-foot waterfront aquarium, which critics have called a pie-in-the-sky plan, would have an average annual cash flow of about $6 million. ...
CLEARWATER — As the Clearwater Marine Aquarium unveils a long-awaited study on the feasibility of a new downtown aquarium today, a plan for a parking garage for the anticipated rush of visitors is taking shape.
The aquarium and the city had wanted to build a garage on a site on the northern edge of the downtown core. But last fall, the Church of Scientology paid $3 million to purchase that site....
Clearwater City Council Seat 5 candidate Jon-Paul Rosa might be a political novice, but the 30-year-old has managed to do what perhaps no veteran Democratic pol ever did: obtain GOP support in the final days of a contested race against a Republican.
Rosa opponent Hoyt Hamilton, a former council member and a registered Republican, was - let's say -- surprised Thursday when a mailer from the state GOP arrived in mailboxes that touted his own candidacy, but also Rosa's, as worthy of Republican support....
03/04/14 Local Government
CLEARWATER — Residents have told the city that they love their parks and want even more opportunity for stretching limbs and minds.
But Mayor George Cretekos has an antidote for those pleasure seekers: If you want more recreational options, then be prepared to pony up the dollars.
"It can't be free," he said. "What we're going to have to decide down the road: Is it more palatable for our citizens to pay a user fee or to pay a once-a-year property tax increase?"...
CLEARWATER — The big beige warehouse in an area full of them doesn't immediately appear to be a potential municipal gem.
But looks can deceive.
At approximately 5 acres, the former Metal Industries site at 1310 N Hercules Ave. is probably the largest available parcel in the city zoned for light-industrial or technology use.
It is a potentially attractive location for that golden egg-laying goose of city planners' dreams: a tech company....
CLEARWATER--The Clearwater Marine Aquarium has notified the city that a feasibility study on a proposed downtown aquarium will be ready next week.
A letter Thursday to the city from CMA chief operating officer Frank Dame said a delay “beyond our control” was responsible for missing the aquarium’s previously stated goal of delivering the study to the city by the end of February....
CLEARWATER — On a large site overlooking Tampa Bay that once housed one of Clearwater's best-known retirement communities, hundreds of apartments in a parklike setting fronting a private beach will open for business later this year, developers say.
Bayview Gardens, opened by a Congregational church in 1965, was once home to hundreds of seniors before financial problems in 2012 forced its Gainesville owner to shutter the six-story high-rise off Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and the one-story apartment homes that surrounded it....
CLEARWATER---The Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee has given a $6,000 donation to newcomer Jon-Paul Rosa’s campaign for Clearwater City Council.
The Feb. 3 donation is likely the largest given to any City Council candidate in the county, said Mark Hanisee, the chairman of the party's Executive Committee.
Pinellas County Democrats have become more active in municipal elections as part of a strategy to “deepen the bench,” Hanisee said, citing recent support for Democratic candidates in the St. Petersburg and Gulfport mayoral elections....
CLEARWATER — People headed to Clearwater Beach later this year will pay more to park if they want a prime spot near the sand.
At a work session Tuesday, Clearwater City Council members largely supported the decision made by City Manager Bill Horne, saying that it had been a decade since the last hike.
But they also braced for a backlash. The cost of parking in some popular lots will increase by a dollar or more an hour. Some beachside spots soon could cost up to $3 an hour. ...
CLEARWATER — At Thursday's candidate forum, the third public gathering for five men running for City Council, the campaign got down to brass tacks, Clearwater-style: property taxes and Scientology.
Yet the potential firepower of those traditionally explosive issues failed to detonate. All of the candidates agreed that raising property taxes would be — at best — a last resort....
CLEARWATER — With a televised candidate forum looming Thursday, the five City Council candidates are honing their pitches, raising cash and seeking to define themselves against their opponents.
In the three-way race for Seat 4, David Allbritton said he's the best candidate to spur economic development.
Allbritton said incumbent Bill Jonson is "a typical kind of CPA," who can be too focused on what is already budgeted instead of looking for creative opportunities....
CLEARWATER — The City Council is either a fiscally shrewd, visionary group or dangerously out of touch with city residents.
It depends on which of the five City Council candidates is talking.
At a candidate forum on Sand Key Tuesday, Seat 4 incumbent Bill Jonson and challenger David Allbritton and Seat 5 candidate Hoyt Hamilton had similar takes on that issue.
They generally credited the council with reviving downtown, spurring beach development and guiding municipal finances through a rough recession....
CLEARWATER---Just after Mayor George Cretekos caught a commemorative Outback Bowl football at Thursday night’s City Council meeting, he announced that the pigskin would be displayed on the ground floor of City Hall.
Which begs the question, what happens to the Outback Bowl football from last year, currently on display in a glass case at City Hall?...
02/04/14 Economic Development
CLEARWATER — An international hotel developer has teamed up with a prominent Tampa Bay builder to build a condo and hotel project called Marquesas on a long-vacant patch in Clearwater Beach.
Mike Cheezem, CEO of JMC Communities, and Ocean Properties of Delray Beach propose to build two 15-story towers, one with 208 hotel rooms, the other with 74 condo units.
The more than 4-acre site will also feature a 4,000-square-foot restaurant, which developers have described as being similar to the Tate Island Grill at the Sandpearl Resort, a Cheezem development. ...