Now, let’s work to­gether

Tampa Bay Times - - Opinion -

Now that the dust has set­tled on the ref­er­en­dum in Clear­wa­ter con­cern­ing a strong mayor, it is time to come to­gether and work to­ward a com­mon goal of mak­ing Clear­wa­ter a strong, vi­brant city to live, work and play. I did not par­tic­i­pate on ei­ther side of the cam­paign be­cause as I told many in our com­mu­nity, there are pros and cons to both forms of govern­ment. Nei­ther form of govern­ment of­fers all the an­swers to com­pli­cated is­sues. The re­al­ity is that it comes down to hav­ing in­tel­li­gent, eth­i­cal, open-minded peo­ple in elected of­fice, re­gard­less of the form of govern­ment.

The in­ter­est­ing thing is that both sides of this is­sue want the same thing, they just dis­agreed on the best way of ac­com­plish­ing the goals. Ev­ery­one in Clear­wa­ter would like to see stronger neigh­bor­hoods, bet­ter trans­porta­tion, more high-pay­ing jobs and a re­vi­tal­ized down­town. Much en­ergy was ex­pended on both sides of the ref­er­en­dum. I en­cour­age ev­ery­one to come to­gether and trans­fer that en­ergy to the chal­lenges at hand. We need ded­i­cated peo­ple to serve on boards, pub­lic and pri­vate. We need smart, eth­i­cal peo­ple to run for pub­lic of­fice and com­mit to build­ing on the strong foun­da­tion that ex­ists. Let us all agree that it is time to move for­ward to­gether to make Clear­wa­ter and Pinel­las a bet­ter place to call home.

Frank Hib­bard

The writer is for­mer mayor of Clear­wa­ter.

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