Keller: Clearwater Spending ‘Totally Out of Control’
Tom Keller is a first-time candidate who is running for Seat 4 on the Clearwater City Council.
CLEARWATER – City council candidate Tom Keller said the cost of erecting the centennial monument in 2015 is an example of city spending that’s totally out of control.
“The Clearwater City Council approved a staggering $577,000 for the city’s centennial monument,” Keller said. “I think a monument would have been nice, but maybe for a fraction of that cost.”
Located at the western end of the Courtney Campbell Causeway at the entrance of Gulf to Bay Boulevard, the monument stands 48 feet tall.
“That’s $12,000 per foot,” Keller said.
A 75-foot monument was erected by the city of St. Petersburg at the western end of the Howard Frankland Bridge, but a private citizen paid the entire cost of $600,000.
“Clearwater’s monument not only cost $4,000 more per foot than St. Petersburg’s, we taxpayers had to foot the entire bill,” Keller said. “That spend, spend, spend mentality on our city council has got to change.”
Keller said that, after the dedication of the monument appeared on one of the online news outlets, some citizens left comments expressing outrage at the cost.
“I’m offended … take it down,” said one. “Epic waste of money,” wrote another. A third commented, “Over half a million dollars for this. Just think of the homeless and the hungry kids that this money could have been used for.”
Keller said that, if elected, he will advocate fiscal responsibility.
“This is my first run for public office and I’m tied to no special interest group or networks of influence,” said Keller. “Our city council needs an independent, fiscal conservative to make sure that our tax money isn’t spent recklessly.”
Keller is running for Seat 4 on the Clearwater City Council, which is being vacated by Bill Jonson who is term limited. Keller is opposed by David Allbritton.
Keller is a Florida native who has lived in Pinellas County for 31 years. He has been a sales representative for Metro Bench since 1987.
The Clearwater City Council is composed of a mayor and four council members who can serve two consecutive four-year terms. The City Council is responsible for a city staff, budgets, projects and ad valorem tax rates. The council meets biweekly publicly and council members attend workshops and special events. Council members annually receive $20,629.72 and the mayor $24,755.36.
The nonpartisan election is March 13. The last day to register to vote in the election is Feb. 12.
For information about Keller, go to VoteTomKeller.com.
Tom Keller | Politics | Elections | Clearwater City Council | David Allbritton | Bill Jonson | Tampabay News
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