The former mayor of Florida resigned abruptly earlier this week after he objected to the “reckless” way the city council wants to spend tax dollars, he told Fox News.
Former Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibberd said, “We have very little debt. But the spreadsheet I saw on Monday had a lot of projects and a $2.5 billion shortfall.” “Local and general government need to be very careful with their resources and also be more creative in the way they solve problems.”
Hibbard, who voted like a city councilor as mayor, was the only city councilor to vote against the construction of a $90 million city hall and town hall. Clearwater already faces a $225 million shortfall in other projects, and should pay more attention to that resource, Hibbard said.
The former mayor of Clearwater says spending priorities led to his abrupt resignation.
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“It’s a simple math, and it’s not doing well in testing, so I’m worried about where the city is going,” Hibberd said at a budget meeting on Monday. can’t continue
According to Hibberd, the original price tag for the new City Hall and Town Hall was $40 million, but in the end it more than doubled.Typical construction cost He estimated the price could reach $100 million.
Hibberd, who works full-time as a financial advisor, wealth managerserved as mayor from 2005 to 2012 and was re-elected in 2020 for an additional four-year term. Re-election in 2024.
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After Mr Hibberd’s resignation, city councilor David Allbritton said, “I don’t want to upset anyone about this right now.” “We have enough people here to make decisions and get everything on track. That’s the plan for today.”
Another Clearwater City Council member, Kathleen Beckman, told Fox News that Monday’s meeting was “to provide direction to staff on budget priorities” and not a formal vote on funding allocations. said.
Still, Hibberd said no new construction projects were needed.
“This is a matter of wants and needs, we don’t need this new City Hall. It’s just a want,” said Hibbard. “I think it would be reckless to build a new facility.”
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According to the city charter, the Clearwater City Council will have 30 days to appoint a new mayor by majority vote.
To see Hibbard’s full interview, click here.
Ramiro Vargas contributed the accompanying video.