Mayor James R. "Dick" Feimster is seeking a sixth term in office. A 61-year-old retired businessman, Feimster is being challenged by former Town Commissioner David Cowan. The town election is March 13.
During his most recent two-year stint, Feimster has defended the use of a rock breakwater to nourish the beach, defended his style of management and defended himself from foreclosure.
Feimster has said the breakwater at a beach near 182nd Avenue and Gulf Boulevard is not inherently dangerous, as critics charge. At least five people have drowned and several more have been rescued since the breakwater was built in 1986.
Feimster has said that most swimmers who have encountered trouble there were at fault for swimming too close to the rocks.
He also has said his brash management style and penchant for telling critics off is a plus for Redington Shores.
"I've been mayor for 10 years, something's got to be going right," he said in an October 1988 interview. "I've answered to the public."
Feimster declined to be interviewed for this story.
Last year he and his wife, Faith, still owed about $70,000 in property taxes, dating back to 1984, on property in neighboring Indian Shores and on their home.
The Feimsters sold their home to avoid foreclosure and paid the back taxes on the house in October. The remaining back taxes, as well as current taxes, were paid in January, according to county records.
They blamed their financial problems on the failure of a business that bought the Indian Shores property to pay the mortgage and taxes.
Feimster has lived in Redington Shores since 1970.