Paul Yingst, a former city administrator turned community activist, has announced his intention to seek the City Council seat being vacated by J. W. Cate Jr. Yingst, 69, has been associated with city government for much of the last 20 years. Before that, he was an executive with Honeywell, specializing in cost-control and budget oversight.
Yingst said he had not considered running for City Council until a few months ago. Many of his friends and former business associates have encourage him to run, he said.
"That really got me thinking," Yingst said. After some deliberation, Yingst said he decided to run.
He sees fiscal responsibility as the city's main challenge. He said the city has to reduce costs, and having studied city budgets for years, he has some ideas about where to start.
Yingst said the city's leasing of office space is an area where the city could save money. Instead of leasing, the city should buy space, he said. He has lobbied City Council members extensively in the past to buy the Fotomat building, which the city once owned.
Yingst joined the city in 1970 as a special assistant to the city manager. He served as acting budget director and director of energy and technology for the city before retiring in 1987.
During the last two years, Yingst has been chairman of the budget and finance committee for the city's Council of Neighborhood Associations.
Yingst joins a field of three other candidates who have announced their intention to run for the District 1 seat: E. Gardner Harshman, 56, a former Florida Power Corp. executive; W.
E. "Chip" Levick, a 34-year-old employee of GTE Florida, and Robert Kersteen, a 53-year-old executive of GTE Mobilnet.
The primary will be Feb. 26, and the general election is set for March 26.
Cate, who has been on the council for about 20 years, cannot run for re-election because of a new city ordinance that limits council members to two consecutive four-year terms.