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Kurt Peters: 1946-2006 // Director of public works was 'great guy'

The flag over City Hall was flown at half-staff Monday in honor of a man who spent 16 years working there and attending many a late-night meeting in its commission chambers.

Kurt Peters, 60, director of the Public Works Department, died early Monday morning at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater after suffering a heart attack last week.

"We're very saddened ... shocked by it," said Bill Cropsey, the city's personnel director. "He's going to be greatly missed."

Mr. Peters, who lived in Palm Harbor, was born in Glen Ridge, N.J., and moved to Clearwater from Parsippany, N.J., in 1970. He was Belleair's public utilities superintendent for five years and its town manager for seven years.

In 1989, he resigned to take a job at former Belleair Mayor George Mariani's asphalt company in Tampa.

According to Cropsey, Mr. Peters, 60, was hired by the city of Safety Harbor as a contract employee in 1990, and then full time as the department's superintendent. He was promoted to assistant public works director later that year, and then was named its director in 1993.

"I can say the engineering community has lost a great guy," said Bill Baker, Safety Harbor's city engineer, who had known Mr. Peters since 1983.

Interim Mayor Andy Steingold expressed deep regret at losing "one of the nicest city employees I've ever met."

"He was someone who could be relied upon," Steingold said. "You gave him a task to do and it got done."

Mr. Peters' survivors include his wife, Sharon; three grown daughters, Dawn Cardamone, of Clearwater, Courtney Burchard, of New Port Richey, and Nicole Donaldson, of Jackson, Mich.; his mother, Mary Peters, of Delray Beach; a brother, Kim, of Boca Raton; a sister, Cheryl Sottile, of New Jersey; five grandchildren; and a great grandchild.

A memorial service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Dobies Funeral Home at 701 Tarpon Ave. E, Tarpon Springs.

Eileen Schulte can be reached at (727) 445-4153 or schulte@sptimes.com.

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