The president of a local transit union said he will try to unseat Perry Harvey Jr. in the Tampa City Council election in March 1991. Michael Hadley, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1593, said Friday he will take a shot at ousting Harvey, president of International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) Local 1402 and a council member since 1983.
"I live in this district, and I just don't see and have not seen - and this is no reflection on Perry Harvey - any visible leaders," said Hadley, a 37-year-old bus driver.
"The only time people are out saying, 'Let's do this or do that,' is when it's beneficial to themselves. I think the grass-roots people need someone who's going to have a voice for them at all times."
Hadley, who volunteered for Harvey's 1983 election campaign, said the union leader's recent legal troubles were not a factor in his decision to run for the office. Harvey is the subject of a federal investigation into a longshoremen's union fund under his stewardship.
"I'm praying Perry comes through this with flying colors," Hadley said. "Unions in the South have so many bad labels on them, and union organizations have been given a bad name."
Hadley has been an outspoken critic of management and policies at the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) and was involved in recent upheavals that resulted in the resignation of executive director Cliff Hayden.
During negotiations with HART last year, Hadley's union had to abandon a demand that Hadley be paid a HART salary while working full time as the union's business agent.
Hadley plans to collect the 700 signatures required to waive the qualifying fee for the race for the District 5 seat, representing neighborhoods with a large population of blacks. He said unseating Harvey could prove difficult.
"Perry Harvey is a legend in the community; he has a well-known name," said Hadley, who moved to Tampa from Miami in 1981. "I am earning a name, I am making a name. I didn't inherit a name."