FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


What would a “yes” vote mean for a full-time mayor?

  • The Mayor would be limited to two four-year terms.
  • The Mayor must be elected by over 50%.
  • With council approval, the full-time Mayor would be able to propose an annual budget tied to strategic priorities with accountable measurable outcomes.
  • With council approval, the full-time Mayor would be able to hire key city employees: City Administrator with relevant management experience, Police Chief, Fire Chief, City Clerk and City Attorney.
  • The Mayor will be subject to an annual independent auditor analyzing the Mayor’s proposed budget and providing accountability for the strategic priorities.

I’ve heard that “The majority of cities in Florida have a council-manager form of government.”

While the majority of cities in Florida have a “council-manager” form of government, the average population of those cities is just 20,000 residents.

In 1923 Clearwater had just 2,427 residents when the current “council-manager” form of government was established. At a current population of 116,000 with more than a million tourists traveling to our beach every year, our founders never could have predicted the regional challenges, like transportation and protecting our beaches, that our leaders currently face.


People say “this will be more expensive.”

Nearby cities Tampa and St. Petersburg demonstrate this is false.

Clearwater – unelected City Manager makes $202,660 and is not subject to term limits
St. Petersburg – full-time elected and term-limited Mayor makes $188,131
Tampa – full-time elected and term-limited Mayor makes $160,742


Who’s opposed to letting the people elect the person who represents us at City Hall? Who’s behind “No Boss Mayor”?

The professional association representing unelected city managers (International City Managers Association) heavily funded the No Boss Mayor campaign last year in Lakeland and they have filed in Clearwater to oppose letting you have a full-time elected mayor.

Last year the Washington, D.C. based Association contributed a total of $75,800 to fuel Lakeland’s No Boss Mayor campaign. An out of state special interest, their Association contributed more than seven times that of any local donor and was responsible for over 50% of all funds spent in a campaign to keep their Association members - unelected bureaucrats - in control of the city.


Why is a full-time Mayor referendum on the ballot?

Clearwater has been discussing the need for a full-time elected mayor, and what checks and balances should be in place, for almost 30-years. In August, the City Council voted to put the question on the ballot for the people to finally decide. A citizen-led task force outlined the proposed changes, and now Clearwater residents will be able to vote to have an accountable full-time, term-limited mayor.

2001 – Tim Johnson of Johnson Pope started the discussion.

2007 – Then-Mayor Frank Hibbard advocated for changing to a full-time elected mayor to manage the daily functions of City Hall.

2007 - Citizen-led Charter Review Committee discussed changing to a full-time mayor.

2011 - Citizen-led Charter Review Committee discussed changing to a full-time mayor.

2015 – After months of research and community discussion, the Citizen-led Charter Review Committee unanimously recommends City Council form a citizen Task Force to explore placing the full-time mayor question on the 2018 ballot.

2018 – City Council appoints a Citizen-led Task Force to draft the proposed changes to change Clearwater’s part-time mayor into a full-time term-limited mayor.

2018 – Upon reviewing the Citizen-led Task Force’s proposed changes, City Council voted to put the question on the 2018 November ballot so the residents of Clearwater can decide.