Myths vs Facts

Myth: The Mayor would be able to make “back room deals” and award “no bid contracts.”
Fact: City Council votes to approve or reject proposed spending and contracts.
  • No taxpayer money can be dispersed from the City without an approved appropriation from City Council.
  • All contracts and deals must be approved at a public meeting by City Council – NOT the mayor.

Source: Ordinance 9179-18, Sec. 2.01, 3.03

Myth: The Mayor would be a “dictator.”
Fact: Many checks and balances would be in place. For example City Council would:
  • Approve hiring of the police and fire chiefs, city clerk, the city attorney and the new city administer.
  • Approve purchases, leases and the budget.
  • Be responsible for writing and submitting ordinances.
  • Have an independently funded and chosen budget analyst to oversee the Mayor’s proposed budget.
  • Have an internal auditor appointed by City Council and independent of the mayor.

Source: Ordinance 9179-18, Sections: 2, 2.11, 3.06, 3.07, 3.08, 4.01, and 9.02

Myth: Special interests would be able to influence our elections
Fact: This would increase the percentage of votes needed to win the mayoral election to 50.1% of the vote.

Today, the person with the highest percentage of votes wins – even if that is less than 50%.

Source: Ordinance 9179-18, Sec. 8.05

Myth: The person running Clearwater is term-limited already.
Fact: The person running Clearwater is an unelected bureaucrat who has been in charge for nearly 20 years.

The Clearwater Referendum would transition executive authority to a mayor elected by the people who will be subject to two 4-year terms.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, 8/6/18

Myth: Clearwater would lose professional staff in exchange for politicians.
Fact: The mayor is required to hire qualified professional staff that City Council must approve. For example:
  • The city administrator must have “relevant management, executive or administrative experience.”
  • The city attorney must “be an attorney at law in good standing.”

Source: Ordinance 9179-18, Sec. 3.06 and 4.01