“Conflict Of Interest” or just “The Future Of Fundraising”?
Every bit as troubling as the questions regarding conflict of interest and residency that plague Janet Hooper’s candidacy for Safety Harbor Commission Seat 1 is how she answered.
Hooper claims she is being opposed only because she’s a woman.
“Let’s call it what it really is; it is a personal attack,” Hooper posted on Facebook. “The ‘boys’ do not want a woman on the Commission – period. I am a resident of Safety Harbor; it is my home. In 1776, only property owners could vote and only men could own property. We have come a long way since then, or have we?’’
Conveniently omitted by Hooper (along with the fact Safety Harbor has a history of female city officials, including, most recently, popular commissioner Nancy Besore) is that no one questions her right to run. What is up for serious debate is Hooper’s ability to govern and represent Safety Harbor citizens without perception of bias and self service.
First, and most troubling, Hooper is director of the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center, a non-profit organization that annually receives money –$45,000 last year — from the city. At a recent commission meeting, Hooper was even in attendance to accept a check and took the opportunity to lobby current leaders for continued financial support.
And now she, too, wants to be a city commissioner.
At present, Safety Harbor city attorney Alan Zimmet has offered no public opinion on the potential conflict of interest, indicating he will address the issue only if Hooper is elected. He has, however, acknowledged potential issues.
Simply enough, should Hooper defeat Chris Logan in the March 10 election, any item going before the commission that could benefit or be detrimental to MWNFC would demand Hooper’s recusal. That could even include the city budget — which is kind of a big deal for the commission.
If raindrops are dropping from the heavens, you do not need a weatherman to confirm the probability of showers. When the Courtney Campbell Causeway turns into a 5 p.m. parking lot, it does not take Florida Highway Patrol to know traffic is backed up.
So, if you are an impartial voter, you do not need to wait on a city attorney ruling to know Hooper’s candidacy has conflict.
In addition to accepting money from the city, MWNFC takes donations from businesses and individuals. Hooper has held her position at director for close to 10 years. That’s a lot of donation money — and a lot of favors owed to the individuals who have given.
Would Hooper allow her commission vote to be swayed by favors owed as a result of her position with MWNFC? Certainly, everyone would hope not. But even with honest intentions, does anyone really believe Hooper can disqualify all favoritisms she formed during 10 years of asking for favors as director of MWNFC?
From there, the perception of conflict only spreads. Scheduled on March’s Safety Harbor City Commission meeting agenda, is a discussion on waiving fees for non-profit organizations. If you ask most independent voters, no commissioner who has accepted campaign donations from either directors and officers of a Safety Harbor non-profit operation should be involved in that vote, period. But Hooper’s election would make that conflict pale: Imagine a director of a non-profit group in position to dictate how the city would deal with non-profit groups.
It’s wrong, wrong, wrong.
Then, there’s her residency.
Hooper, who moved into Safety Harbor around a year ago, is not a property owner. As a renter, she is a resident and absolutely qualifies to seek public office.
Still, as a renter she would not be burdened by any pesky property taxes that she might vote to alter or add. She would not shoulder the responsibility of her own votes on property taxes.
Personally, I like my commissioners to face the same tax burdens that they decide I must carry.
None of this, of course, is breaking news. Quite honestly, this was a blinking red light on Hooper’s candidacy from the day she announced. Yet, when the issue was spotlighted, Hooper feigned shock and surprise, telling the Tampa Bay Times she was “scratching my head,” as to why anyone would even ask about conflict of interest when the newspaper asked her about conflict of interest.
It’s wrong, wrong, wrong.
It’s also such an obvious issue that the idea of Hooper claiming to be astonished by such questions is more than a little frightening.
If a candidate is so short of foresight and savvy that the obvious comes as a shock, then that’s another reason to question their qualifications.
Man or woman.
~~ by Mick Elliott ~~
I have to admit even I was surprised on the low blows posted throughout this campaign. This article was insulting to Janet Hopper and her dedication to this community.
So Janet, here’s to you for Tuesday……
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
correction to my previous post…Oops..Janet Hooper
My quote was :
Barbara W. Hugg
2 years ago
Watching them work right now…
Not sure how this was singing the praises, but ok then.
For the record, once again, I am going to say I have not spread any lies. Anything I put on social media is based on fact and can be documented as such. I support my candiates and you support yours. You believe what you want and I believe what I want. However, I don’t spread lies and I don’t mention you in public forums. I wrote a personal note to you which you chose to ignore and unfriended me on FB. I have no problem with that, but please leave me out of your posts.
You didn’t read my post completely & omitted some important facts 🙂
Here’s what you missed, I never said you lied instead this is what I said;
*not necessarily the 4 people I mentioned, but other members of the group they belong to are falsely saying we all want to destroy the trees*
As for the Baranoff Oak Tree; are you actually saying; you were not happy the tree was saved??
I am positive you were as we all were; also nothing was done to take care of the Baranoff Oak Tree until Mayor Joe Ayoub along with the awesome Commissioners made it possible by allowing an expert arborist to bring the beautiful tree back to life, now we are all enjoying it as do many visitors!
As for your personal message to me, it sits in my other folder which I noticed few days ago & will answer soon however here’s why it is in my other folder; over 2 years ago I sent you a Friend Request which you never accepted or ignored then not you but somebody complained to Facebook & I got a message telling me to withdraw the Friend Request which I did therefore we were never friends in Facebook so no way I could unfriend you, yes it is true I unfriended some who I used to think were friends but in reality weren’t which was long before the election campaign started!
I wish you well, take care Barbara!
Your three for three – another disappointing article.
You must have missed my last post. I encouraged you to focus on persuading your readers. Instead you continue to rant. You missed an opportunity to influence an undecided voter like myself.
Your hyperbole and exaggeration insult your readers. I don’t know much about Janet Hooper but your argument about her financially benefitting from the city doesn’t hold water. Do you realize that current commissioners and candidates include attorneys, a CFO and a former professional baseball player? Do you expect your readers to believe that Janet is out to get rich on the city? If money was her goal she’d never chosen her current career. The fact that she would have to recuse herself from some decisions is not unusual. In fact, the way you write makes me think that you have something to disclose (and so may the candidates that you support – this is a small town after all).
You did not do Mr. Logan any favors with this article. Your unbalanced attack could only appeal to voters already in his camp. Mr. Logan is getting their vote anyway. I wish you would step out of your echo chamber and into the fresh air. You’d have much more credibility if you said something positive about Janet Hooper. You only discussed her background and made no mention of her positions. Maybe there are some areas you have in common. If you at least acknowledged that, I’d be more open to your points on Mr. Logan.
Once again you have missed an opportunity to use this forum to make our community better. Perhaps I should stop posting as it only seems to encourage your poor judgment.
Oh Poor Poor Bandit, you must have had a really rough day worrying about how to convince the readers that you are an undecided voter, here’s a valuable lesson why don’t you be a good little bandit don’t be afraid to come out of the shadow to tell the readers your real name, I guarantee you will feel so much better, otherwise the outlook is very grim for you!
Wishing you much good luck 🙂
Thank you for your response. It’s good to know you care enough about my post to comment.
I actually remain undecided. I don’t know which shadows will remain after the election – the ones cast by trees or the ones cast by homes. Hopefully I will still have a choice.
I hope new homes with trees. Win win for everyone!! And it can be done!
Nice impartial response however let’s evaluate, team I support is really not about homes being built; I’ve known Chris Logan for about 5 months I like his refreshing approach to what’s going on around our town, his intelligence, honesty & friendly attitude is absolutely wonderful this is what I always look for in a great candidate as for Joe Ayoub I known him for 3 years, we are good friends because he cares about everybody in Safety Harbor, he’ll go out of his way to help anyone even the ones who are being so negative towards him, his love for this community shows with what he does, did you know he helped out Ms. Hooper with the Mattie Williams Family Center but heavens forbid Ms. Hooper’s supporters never talk about that, when Joe was Mayor he was all for preserving the Baranoff Oak Tree; here’s the article on the project; http://patch.com/florida/safetyharbor/baranoff-oak-preservation-project-begins-today; also please be sure to read the comments made by Laura Kepner, Warren Firschein, Barbara Hugg & Robert Saltzman who were praising how the City & expert arborist hired by the City saved the Baranoff Oak Tree unfortunately now they are so much into negative propaganda & part of a hateful group, which is so sad how quickly they forgot the good deeds and now not necessarily the 4 people I mentioned, but other members of the group they belong to are falsely saying we all want to destroy the trees, I can assure you none of us want that, we love the trees & always will however we object to their pushy attitudes especially when it comes to safety concerns of permanently damaged trees that are not saveable!
Please know none of us are monsters as they would want you to think, we just want to continue to enjoy living in Safety Harbor without any drama or being forced to do what they want against our beliefs & rights!
I am wishing you a wonderful day & good luck in your decision making!
The merits of this issue aside, I commend Mr. Elliott for stirring the debate and Safety Harbor Connect for providing a platform where people can air opinions about public matters. As for the air getting too petty and contentious, I find it instructive since it generally reveals more about the accuser than the accused.
And to answer Ms. Hooper’s question – in 1776, women and men didn’t blame every perceived affront on sexism. So yes, we have come a long since then. In the wrong direction.
I have been driving through Safety Harbor a great deal lately. Frankly, the only thing I see is the flashing signs warning me of the hefty fine that will be imposed if I go near a tree.
Frankly, after reading this “blog” and the character assassination in it, I am planning on unsubscribing to the Safety Harbor Connect.
I no longer want to be a part of town that cannot figure out how to get along with their neighbors in a civil manner.
I will be taking my money and finding other places to eat, drink, and look for activities to do.
LOL jan about the dogs and the trees
This town is full if dogs
It’s a good thing we still have some trees
But I’m voting for Andy so we can keep some trees for the dogs and us to enjoy
all this negative comment, makes me not want to vote at all. why does anyone care who owns what? Anna is the worst for saying those sorts of things that should not be allowed on a newspaper. I know Janet personaly, and I think that she is a very kind giving person, who doesn’t deserve to have how much money she makes aired in public by Steve.
it’s Mr. Elliott’s OPINION, not FACT. The thing about this blog, is that Ms. Hooper’s employment by a charity center is made to sound bad by Elloitt who admits he backs her other side, and anyway it’s a biased view. Frankly, im surprised that the Safety Harbor Connect isn’t printing the other side of this story.
I recently found out that Chris Logan who is running for commission is also a building company that builds strip malls and af for the tall condos in down town on Bay Shore. This makes me wonder if his company will be the builders on tha condos.
Mr. Elliott says that Ms. Hooper HAs a conflict” of interest, but everyone knows about the fact the Logan and Ayoup who he is pushing for, have a conflict of interest in doing business, andin the overdevelopment of Safety Harbor. Oh, pull-eeeeze! as you say! Ms. Hooper works for a NO profit organization, he also says she should doesn’t pay taxes of Mr. Elliott’s house is true, maybe he will need to look in a mirror, as to his own proprty taxes. I for one, plan to look into that for myself. It looks like money keeps coming to this election arguments. I am voting, and Janet Hooper will get my vote. I just don’t like all this negative things by the other side that are false, and I would rather vote for a lady who doesn’t make a lot of money instead of voting for someone whom does make a lot of money like Chris Logan and Ayoup.
I’m trying to figure out why Zodrow/Hooper label any development “big business” and blame it on Ayoub and Logan? The development I’ve seen in the last couple of years, including the townhouses on MLK and 2nd St. S, an office building on 2nd St S, new homes replacing old run down ones and renovation of old homes all fit in with our quaint town of Safety Harbor and bring up our property values. If that’s “big business,” I’m scratching my head 🙂
I get the impression that they think that Ayoub and Logan (conspiring with Donald Trump) get up in the middle of the night while everyone is fast asleep and build to their hearts content. Sorry, you are pointing your finger at the wrong people, all this is approved by the city before any permits are even filed! Politics can be nasty but this “big development” thing is really getting to me because Safety Harbor has never looked better. If that’s “big business”, I’m all for it. Vote for Ayoub and Logan March 10th!
To the person who has been forging my name, you have been identified and are in the process of being charged!
All the evidence will be presented at tonight’s Commission Meeting!
In response to Cigdem, and we all know who you are, so now, instead of sticking to the issue, why rant about a couple who took three worn down properties and made them so much more desirable? Since they live close to you, you should be thanking them instead of negatively criticizing them. Is anyone who makes improvements to a property labeled as a “developer” now? You are really going too far. Also, who are you to talk since you own five properties yourself, four of which are rentals???
I like Steve D…he stuck to facts and that’s what I go by. I’ll vote for Ayoub and Logan. More sensible people without all the negativity like their opponents.
For someone so offended that gender is a supposed issue in this race, it surprises me (or doesn’t??) that Janet Hooper would refer to her opponents as “boys”. I wonder how she would react should they have done something similar? Actual issues that affect the citizens of Safety Harbor should be the focus of this race. Being a renter is fine, but as a candidate it is a red flag. As are the amounts and duration of donations being given that are directly affected by someone in the role she is running for. The article’s title says is all.
Mick the mud slinger calling the kettle black. I have no long disconnected rant about the opposition. I am for Hooper and Zodrow. As an Independent voter I vote for who I believe to be the best candidate that will serve their neighbors and the best interests of the city. Janet has no more conflict than Logan or Ayoub. Go Hooper and Zodrow.
The “paltry $45,000.00 a year contribution” that the City gives to the Mattie Williams center is not where property taxpayers dollars should be spent.. If a taxpayer or a renter wants to support a non-profit they are free to choose their own personal charity. Taxpayer dollars do support the under privileged by paying for libraries, parks and recreation, emergency services and yes even the waterfront park. Maybe the ZodHoppers are against the Citizens Committee plans for the waterfront park because they are afraid that the under privileged will use it.
In reply to Cigdem2, barking dogs, please, please lets not drag the innocent, sweet non-voting dogs into your hate filled world. I’m begging you don’t make them, a campaign issue, after all who loves trees more.
With all this confusion and because I make decisions based on facts, I reread the February 12th Tampa Bay Times article. Here is what the City Attorney and officials said as quoted by the Tampa Bay Times:
“Any potential clash with the law would need only be addressed if she won. Options range from barring the center from consideration for city funding to Hooper abstaining from votes or quitting her day job, officials said.”
1) Barring the center from consideration for city funding: Would Janet Hooper risk funding for MWNFC to serve on the commission? I would hope not.
2) Hooper abstaining from votes: I have been a resident for 28 years and this has never happened. I would like to see all commissioners available to vote on all issues. Hooper would not be able to vote on any fundraising issues or for that matter any financial or budget issues because they may be indirectly related to fundraising issues. That’s a big chunk of being a commissioner. If she won most likely she will pick this option which to me is selfish and not for the good of the commission or Safety Harbor.
3) Quitting her day job: Hooper probably makes around $40,000-50,000 annually. Would she give up her income to become a commissioner and receive $4,000-$5,000 annually?
THIS CAN ONLY BE ADDRESSED IF SHE WINS. There is no way I can vote for Hooper because none of these options are feasible to me. I will vote for Logan…he seems sensible and I like his ideology. Ayoub and Logan will do a great job and get the city in the right direction.
Over the years, I have seen 5 different commissioners and 2 Mayors abstain from voting because of personal obligations. This is small town politics, everyone there is involved with the community in some way. Be serious…if you haven’t seen this, then you were not paying attention. Here are just a few that I could remember…
On November 18, 2013 Richard Blake abstained because they were voting on his “Blake Real Estates Paddle for Kids Event”.
On November 4, 2013, Cliff Merz filed a Conflict of Interest form and did not vote.
On June 21, 2010 Nancy Besore abstained because the funds were for her.
On November 3, 2008 Nina Bandoni abstained to a neighborhood and beautification project.
On July 2, 2007 Mayor Steingold abstained a vote because the appointment was for him.
IF you want MORE instances, just google it.
Geeezzzz! People…do your research, this is too important just to guess about it!
Steve D….here’s one for you:
Chris Logan, sitting on the Planning and Zoning Board abstained on Januray 9th 2013, on a vote ito amend the land use designation of the Firmenich property.
Just thought I would let you know, as did Renee, during your 28 years of living in Safety Harbor, board members,, commissioners, and mayors have abstained from voting….
The fact that Hooper is pulling the gender card just turns me off off off. Isn’t it about time women and others stop this unfair and unfounded claim in an effort to divide and conquer. She is being opposed for several reasons. These reasons are many and to many residents they are valid. Janet is being opposed because she has shown herself to be unreasonable. In an effort to put forth her agenda her proposals hurt and punish residents of the town. She neglects to realize that humans are also part of the scheme of nature and must be considered in the same way as we consider any other creature. I am not happy with the fact that both candidates are Democrats. I am not happy that I was stuck with the choice of dumb or dumber. However, Janet has arranged herself to be far left of Joe and shows that there is no stopping her when it comes to going to far. I think that she will go even further under the guise of keeping Safety Harbor provincial. I don’t trust Democrats and will never vote for one. Their decisions invariably result in unintended consequences that result in a tangled web. But this time I am considering a vote for Joe as much as it hurts me to do so. As far as I am concerned Joe made a foolish move to change his party affiliation and I hold it against him. This crying out of “because I am a women” . Sealed her fate as far as I am concerned. It washes away any good she has done and diminishes any respect I may have had or would have for her.
Who is Mick Elliott, and why is he attacking Janet Hooper?
First, Mick and his wife Dizzy Desi Daly own several “rental” properties. These are not annual rentals, these are Weekly and Nightly rentals. They advertise on VRBO and offer 1 night, 2 nights, 3 nights, 4….well you get the idea, like the “no-tell-motel” with people coming and going all the time. At $193/night, this is a BUSINESS use in a RESIDENTIAL neighborhood. When their neighbors complain about Mick and Desi’s obnoxious activities, (like blocking the alleyway access and their barking dogs), Mick and Desi threaten to sell the whole block to developers. When you have 4 or 5 rentals, and you are renting them on short term, such as this, that IS development. If Mick and Desi want to run a hotel, why don’t they buy the spa? According to prior postings on this site, Desi is quoted as saying: “It’s all about money here in Safety Harbor”, and “You People are just jealous because you can’t afford to buy a big house”. They attack Janet for renting her home. REALLY?
Second, why such vicious attacks on Jane Hooper’s character? Mick Elliott does this because Janet has a sterling reputation and years of assisting families, and helping the children of this community. She has contributed more to the welfare of our neighbors in 7 years than Mick and Desi will ever do in their miserable life times. He attacks her on the basis of how much property tax she pays. Well…let’s just talk about property taxes. The fact is that Mick and Desi bought their house at 205 6th Av S, back in 2011, and paid $264,000. 2011 was the bottom of the real estate market here, and Desi, being the shrewd commercial real estate agent that she is…probably got a heck of a deal. According to Desi, they have “vastly improved” the property. In any case, can anyone explain why Desi and Mick’s $264,000 house is only paying $619 in taxes? Can anyone explain how they got the property appraiser to value their $264,000 house at only $25,000? When Desi and Mick are not paying their fair share of property taxes, this shifts the burden to the rest of us to pay their share. As for paying taxes, it seems that Mick and Desi are the pot calling the kettle black. At least there isn’t any “funny-business” about the rent that Janet Hooper pays to her landlord. Do Mick and Dizzy really want people to think that they don’t “tack on” the cost of the taxes to their $193 nightly and weekly rental fees? REALLY? Someone once said, if it smells today, it will stink tomorrow.
Why are Mick and Desi so tight with Joe Ayoub and Chris Logan? Time will show that they will want more property variances.
So, let’s talk about the property variances. On August 14, 2013 Mick and Desi whined to the Zoning Board of Appeals that they “couldn’t access their property from the alley” and “had no place to park in the back”. The wanted a variance to build a carport in the front of their house, within a few feet of the sidewalk and clearly encroaching on the front yard set-backs. Chris Logan gave Mick and Desi a variance…but wait, take a look at all the stuff they have parked behind that property now…suddenly, there’s lots of room for vehicles in the back. According to the P & Z board minutes, Desi didn’t think that she should have had to apply for that variance at all. But, some day she might need another one, so she might as well cozy up to the guy who passes them out like cheap candy, (Logan). Apparently, Desi and Mick are also Jim Barge’s new best friend. The actions of Joe Ayoub and Chris Logan speak louder than Jim Barge’s words. Look at their voting records.
Folks, everyone needs to take what Desi and Mick say with a whole lot of grains of salt. These are miserable people, who have dumped their crappy attitude on their whole neighborhood, with their “expanding” little rental compound on 3rd St South. They are big fish in a very tiny sea, and the tide is about to turn.
Shelly – really??
Shelly, Shelly, Shelly; I didn’t know you liked my name so much that you are pretending to be me, I appreciate your liking me so much & just to say take a lesson I am a very positive lady with me glass is always half full, you are completely opposite, learn to control your emotions dear one before you have a nervous breakdown 😉 Sending you a great big hug & always much good luck to you!
The Logan supporters are obviously panicking. They know their candidate is losing (even though they will likely insist otherwise).
So, as a last desperate act, they are again attempting to manufacture controversy over issues that have already been deemed non-issues by the City Manager and the City Attorney (conflict of interest), and the longstanding laws of our great Nation (the rights of individuals to run for public office).
This is, plan and simple, local politics at its worst and an insult to the intelligence of the voters of Safety Harbor.
I would never ever vote for a renter in an election, they don’t have any skin in the game. Being a property owner you have so many hoops to jump through and you don’t want someone making decisions that isn’t effected by those decisions. Be a woman or a man, playing the gender card is a political tool we’re all getting tired of!
WOW…we should have let the apartments go through. Joe Ayoub said “they would be so nice that I wouldn’t mind living there”. Once he moved in, we wouldn’t have to worry about him making any more decisions for us, because then he would be a renter and NOT allowed to represent us.
This is more in response to a “mailer” sent to my home by Janet Hooper. When did this election become about a vague “moving a boat ramp and commercialization of the waterfront park”? Really now, there is or was a master plan, that with great joy I watched, evolve, from much involvement of hardworking people. There is to be a boat ramp and no commercial structures, but let’s not let truth get in the way of a good attack on the opposition. I’m not sure who threw the first rock, but I know untruths when I read them. Iron Age has less homes then was originally planned for. While we all cheer that Firmenich, won’t be apartments so other renters won’t have the advantage that Ms. Hooper has, in finding a rental in Safety Harbor, what happens now? Are you going to keep out it’s only other zoned use, Industrial?
I am so sick of women using the gender card. Buck up! And run on your merits.
Nicole’s comment has insight. And I agree Hooper’s response is comical and insulting to any property owner.
Also, heard she was facing foreclosure proceedings on her Clearwater home and gave it up in lieu of foreclosure. Is this someone you want in control of your tax dollars? Not me!
To the moderator: Will you please be kind enough to only use my first name in the post I just left? I do not mind people addressing my comments here, yet I would rather not be contacted outside of this forum. Thank you
It is very disappointing to see this kind of vitriolic, personal attack published in SH Connect without any background on who the writer is, what axe he has to grind or any attempt by the publisher at balance or fairness.
I would hope that the readers here would step back for a moment and consider why the Mattie Williams Center exists, who it helps and why it is in the best interest of the City to support its efforts. I know Janet Hooper to be an ethical and caring person. After all, what other qualities would one expect of someone who devotes her professional life to helping the neediest residents of Safety Harbor? Can she be trusted to do the right thing? I think she has demonstrated that. Anyone can talk the talk but Janet walks the walk.
Safety Harbor promotes itself as a nice, family-oriented place to live. As a property owner I pay property taxes here and am thankful that some of that money goes to help people in need and assist them in their efforts toward a brighter future–it helps Safety Harbor be a great place to be. I hope future discourse will refrain from negative campaigning and address the real issues of importance to the community in a meaningful, positive and productive way.
For the same reason I expect a city commissioner who is a property owner to give fair and full consideration to issues concerning our many citizens who do not own property in town, so I also trust that a professional and socially concerned individual, such as Janet Hooper is, will give fair consideration to the concerns relating to and affecting property ownership. I also trust that our city’s legal counsel
will be capable of recognizing times when the possibility for conflict of interest must and can be averted, as this matter is up front and in the sunshine. May all issues concerning our town’s well-being be addressed in the sunshine.
I second this comment.
The prodevelopment group of Logan and Ayoub do have a lot of signs on empty lots. Hurrah for gentrification. I own property. So I am in the landed gentry class also. And I have developed six townhomes on Fourth Street North also.
“Hurrah” for gentrification and paying to have trees deemed diseased and thus “permissibly” cut down.
I deplore the trumped up charges made by Mr Elliot and other backers like the mass mailing letterwriting Mr Barge. (Thankyou resident of 2105 Bow Lane for making yourself a public figure in this campaign)
Would that these guys had a positive platform for people. As a physician in Safety Harbor for 32 years I have seen the human needs. Some human needs are being filled by a nonprofit outside the control of the city (the Family Service Center on Fourth Street North, ably run by Janet Hooper). This city has let the nonprofit carry it’s just obligations to its populace, only providing a paltry $45,000 a year contribution. Compare this to the budget of a typical city department like parks and recreation. Now obtuse property owners would take away a champion of the people. This is crazy.
I think I just figured out why Joe Ayoub switched from being a Republican to a Democrat. He does not want to be accused of being a Republican.
His backers seek to prevent representation of all the people. They only appeal to their equals in their like housed subdivisions. and town homes. They say don’t vote for someone who does not own property. This position is medieval.
Surprise: developers & pawns: there are people who lead decent lives and put other people first, living right here in Safety Harbor. We are voting for Janet Hooper and Andy Zodrow.
This is clearly a contest between good and empty. Between a person who puts concerns for others before herself and those who tout and display property values more.
It is a contest of young men on the move and a woman using the latter portion of her career for the good of others.
I will take the heart of a woman on the commission before the calculating obsessive faux polite I saw on the candidate forum video.
The Mattie Williams center has provided clothing, food , literacy , computer skills, child care, voter registration, and more to those in need.
A woman who rents in this little city and devotes her last seven years to the welfare of it’s least privileged citizens has by deeds shown the more royal soul than the boys who need to have the power to further the zoning for developers.
The concerns about her recusal are smokescreens to avoid discussion of the letterwriter Barge’s attempts to zone his property; and word has it: a reduced rear easement for housing.
When do we see self revealing candor instead of assertions of conflict of interest?
I voted for Hooper, and I would again even after reading this curiously interesting commentary. One woman on the Commission is hardly representative of the population of women in the community. We need more Athenas on Mount Olympus. And two, the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Center is a place for which Safety Harbor can be proud. I would vote for her BECAUSE of her affiliation. Are you saying that none of the current commissioners have vested interests in other things? Things that would perhaps cloud their judgment on occasion? Oh, pull-eeeze! I would also point to an observation I’ve made as I’ve driven and walked around town. There seems to be a proliferation of signs for Ayoub and Logan. I understand that her signs have “gone missing.” This is not an amusing prank. It’s corruption. As for the fact that Ms. Hooper is a renter, so what? I’ve been a renter all my life. Is there a caste system now between home owners and renters? Are we somehow, lower class because we don’t pay property taxes? The Boss Hoggs are out full force this time. It’s wrong, wrong, wrong.
Personally, I think all this is nasty. EVERYBODY, every candidate in a small town like ours has SOME conflict of interest.
Vote for honesty and integrity. Some good will wouldn’t hurt. These vitriolic utterings do nothing but harm.
You think this is nasty? Look in the dictionary under Nasty – there is a picture of Shelly Schittenberg!
Wow…Safety Harbor is a small town, I am surprised at all the spewing of hatred and attacks on each other. And, what is your problem, Dee and Anna???
What happened to women sticking together and supporting each other? What happened to trying to keep Safety Harbor the quaint little town that people love to visit and to live in? Money sure does change people!!!
Seriously Camilla?? I do not need support. I worked hard as a business person – NOT man and/or woman BUT PERSON!! Using the gender card is weak to me and comes across as blaming anyone but yourself if your fail. And I will not apologize for my success! It has nothing to do with money but how you want to see the town you live in succeed and grow so more people want to come and visit and live!
Oh Camilla, I have no problem, I am taking life with a grain of salt as it was suggested to me by Zodrow!
As for women sticking together sorry I don’t feel like it especially with Hooper her views & my views clash!
As for money changing people, I wouldn’t know I only make enough to pay bills & go to Cafe Orlando to be with honest & true friends plus enjoy Sushi prepared by my best friends Heeya & Tony!
Anybody don’t like my response, Catch Me On A Day When I Care; For Now Too Sad Too Bad 🙂
I’m getting a little tired of reading these overly subjective articles. It’s a constant attack on someone. If this website is supposed to be a “news” source for Safety Harbor residents then please give us the facts and let the people form their own opinions. Right now it’s like “Billy Bob’s blog”, overly opinionated and rude. Same goes for the tree debate or any other matter – please just give us the facts and let the people form their own opinion.
It’s a blog Tina!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can’t be that naïve. You can have one too if you were able to write and someone would want to read it.
Hooper states that she does pay property taxes. She says that the owner is taxed and then passes that tax onto her in form of rent. So in her mind, she really is paying taxes.
Although I find her logic to be comical – she could have a point because the same should be said for her salary. Although the city has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the taxpayers over the last couple years to give to her business, she states that there’s no conflict of interest because her salary comes from a 3rd party, she receives no enjoyment or benefits from the hundreds of thousands of dollars the city has taken from residents and given to her business…another comical untruth. If her rent money, that she pays indirectly through a 3rd party (the owner), really is “tax money”, then isn’t her “salary”, that she receives indirectly from a 3rd party, tax money as well?
If any of the candidates have a solid political platform to run on they wouldn’t have to attack the others or bring up the fact that they are a man or woman!!! Run on your accomplishments that you’ve brought to The Harbor and your career of public service that speaks for itself.
The President and one of the Directors of The Mattie Williams Center are two of the largest donors to the Hooper and Zodrow Campaigns. It is obviously wrong, wrong wrong. How sad for Janet Hooper that she has allowed the “save Safety Harbor gang” to use her good name for nasty small town politics. Watch your back Janet: these people will stab you as soon as the next Judge wannabee comes along: just ask former Commissioner Besore.
You bet it is a major conflict of interest & also her trying to gain sympathy by throwing the jilted female card cause the boys don’t want her is a good example of crocodile tears, she just simply is not a good choice due to conflict of interest arising from the director position at the Center you can’t have both that is just not right!!