Home / Community Bloggers / An Open Letter to Andy Zodrow and Janet Hooper:

An Open Letter to Andy Zodrow and Janet Hooper:


Hello, neighbors.

  Some campaign, huh? Come Tuesday evening’s commission election results, win or lose, I’m betting neither of you will be shouting, “Wow, that was some fun! Can’t wait to do it again soon.”

  Understand, totally. For such a small town, there sure was a ton of passion burned by both sides during the past six weeks. You just know things were getting out of hand when the city-limit signs said “Welcome to Nasty Harbor.”

  But, hey, all’s fair in love, war and politics, right? You do what you gotta do.

  AZ, you slay me with the charge Joe Ayoub is against boat ramps. Good one. And JH, got to admit, I will never again look at trees quite the same.

  It’s just politics.

  Hell, look at me. As you may have heard, I even went and started a blog. And that is the reason I am reaching out to you, neighbor-to-neighbor, with this personal letter. I want you to know why.

  Until six weeks ago, my total lifetime sum of political involvement amounted to nothing more than voting. That’s it. I’d never been to a fundraiser. Never campaigned. Never handed out palm cards. Never waved signs. Certainly never blogged. Never wanted to.

  And, if it were not for one thing, I’d still be the same. As a matter of fact, except for that one thing, it’s possible I’d even be voting for you guys on Tuesday.

  But then along came the thing. The merry band of terrorists, who say they want to save Safety Harbor, but will kill it with hate — the face of your campaigns.

  Does this sound familiar?

  “I was victimized by Shelly Schellenberg. I’m out there and this lady comes up to me and starts trying to humiliate me in public, calling me names in front of my children. In front of my children.”

  Those are the words Carlos Diaz, a city commissioner, just like you Andy Zodrow, and just like you want to be, Janet Hooper. He spoke them in commission chambers. Yet, not a word from either of you. Like it never happened.

  The target of Diaz’s ire is the same woman who, although simply a volunteer member of a citizen’s board, introduces herself as “Code Enforcement,” because that makes it easy to bully anyone who does not know better.

  She’s also been accused of using her volunteer position to target citizens for harassment, while trespassing on properties to search for code violations, taking pictures and then carrying out personal vendettas.

  And, somehow, not only has the city (that’s you, Commissioner Zodrow) allowed her to continue on the code enforcement board, you embrace her as the face of your political campaigns.

  Good grief. You should be distancing yourselves from this group like Bruce Jenner is cutting ties with the men’s room, not encouraging them to rumble through town like a goon squad.

  The face of your campaigns.

  Whether you like hearing it or not, you know I’m right. There’s a tiny circle who wafts through our community like a toxic cloud, altering the DNA of everything it contacts. They divide sides, encourage neighbor to oppose neighbor and spew hate on a Facebook page.

  If you do not disassociate yourself with such behavior, then you are condoning it.

  I also suggest you watch your backs. This is the same group that used former commissioner Nancy Besore in the last mayor’s race, then turned on her with shameless abandonment. They did it once, they’ll do it again.

  Look, win or lose Tuesday’s election, both of you are community leaders with the ability to help shape Safety Harbor’s future. Obviously, far more so, if you win.

  But isn’t the task of leading Safety Harbor challenging enough without trying to divide the community into Hatfields and McCoys? You are never going to lead if you can’t unite, and if your loudest voice only screams hate, your job will not be done — especially if Tuesday‘s winners are decided by the tissue-thin margin I suspect.

  So, let’s go back to my original point. Instead of only casting my ballot on Tuesday as has forever been the norm, I worked hard the past six weeks to get Joe Ayoub and Chris Logan elected. Instead of only voting, I worked, not because I do not respect you as candidates, but because I so much dislike the way many in your camp behave.

  I moved here to retire and just wanted to be left alone. But the face of your campaign just can’t leave well enough alone.

  So now, after a string of visits from code enforcement, tree police and sheriff deputies responding to complaints that only produced harassment, I have officially become politically involved. Not to mention, a community blogger. With a long-term contract.

  Just like Peter Finch as newsman Howard Beale in the movie classic Network: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Even better, new families are moving into Safety Harbor every day and if some things do not change, they are not going to take it either.

  Something to consider as you weigh future political aspirations.

  Anyway, so glad we could catch up, but I need to wrap this up — got to wave Ayoub and Logan campaign signs this afternoon.

All the best and I’ll look for you at Chalk-fest.

Warm regards,

Mick Elliott

Mick Elliott - Safety Harbor Resident Blogger
Mick Elliott – Safety Harbor Resident Blogger


  1. An open letter to Mick Elliott,

    It’s finally good to see you mention something positive about Hooper and Zodrow (albeit tongue in cheek). And I agree that there vociferous supporters have been obnoxious. My parents always told me that you are judged by the company you keep.

    Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, though. Your rants have been obnoxious as well. You didn’t do any favors for Mr. Ayoub or Mr. Logan. There’s probably plenty of voters who were put off by you and your ilk as well (I know one of them).

    I look forward to a more reasoned opinion from you now that your election fever has passed. And in the future please save us from your martyrdom lecture. At least you got to retire. You’re not the hero you think you are.

    The Bandit

    PS Dee, please note that this post is addressed to Mick and not you. Instead of responding, please ask him to read my thoughts.

  2. I was so worried after being diagnosed from afar that I went to the doctor. He confirmed that, much to my ex-wife’s dismay, I am indeed a real person. But if Dr. Riggle’s diagnosis is true, Mr. Zodrow and Mrs.Hooper should sweep to electoral victory since anyone who opposes them does not actually exist. Or if they do, they are hiding in Brazil with the other ex-members of the Third Reich.

  3. First of all David, I am a real person. As far as the Shelly/Carlos meeting, I must have seen something different than you, David because I was there, not 3 feet away, listening to that woman, who was later identified as “the code enforcer” bashing Carlos Diaz. Horrendous behavior toward a city commissioner, especially by someone who is suppose to be representing the city. There is too much hate going around but what’s the bottom line for this election? I still go back to who are the right candidates. Joe Ayoub and Chris Logan definitely have my vote for their sensibility and their vision for the future of Safety Harbor. No, they don’t hate trees and are not into big business like the Zodrow/Hooper team would like everyone to believe. I’m still not sure what Hooper stands for but I do see lots of negativity from her which really turns me off. She does have a conflict of interest, not by running for commissioner but IF she wins she must make a choice and that really bothers me because no choices will be helpful to our city. Zodrow is blatantly lying about the boat ramp. The plans that were in place while Ayoub was mayor and Logan was on the waterfront steering committee were to leave the ramp exactly where it is right now. I don’t appreciate trickery for votes. Zodrow also is pro high fines (he actually wants higher) for removing trees which is verified from the last city meeting earlier this month. Please get out and vote and I only hope the best men win.

  4. “Nazi’s, axis of evil, coming out of the shadows, oh, my!” It’s most unfortunate Indiana Jones has been laid up. I think it’s going to take a little more than Sage to rid this bad energy.
    To all the bloggers above who feel the Ayoub/Logan camp is negative, please feel free to reread Mr. Riggle’s upbeat rant about the aforementioned axis of evil, oh, also Nazi’s.
    and may the Force, be with you!

  5. If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself. Attributed to Goebbels (Adolph Hitler’s propaganda minister in the 3rd Reich) in Publications Relating to Various Aspects of Communism (1946), by United States Congress.

    I guess that in a way I pity Mick. He does not write “his” blogs, and most of the “replies” are not written by real people. Mick’s blog is simply a last ditch desperate attempt by the Ayoub/Logan campaign to save a sinking ship. Ayoub’s campaign manager was not able to get Alex Sink elected, and he won’t be able to get Ayoub elected either notwithstanding all of the dirty tricks he attempts to pull.

    Understand clearly, the main tactic of the Ayoub/Logan campaign is to make unfounded accusations unsupported by facts. This is propaganda. When faced with the facts, the Ayoub/Logan campaign ignores them, repeats its unsupported allegations and adds a couple of new ones for good measure. These are the folks that want to represent you and make Safety Harbor a better place to live. Mick is walking in Jim Barge’s footsteps, and just as Jim Barge failed, Mick Elliott will fail as well.

    In my opinion, Mick’s actions throughout this campaign have been despicable. If he had any backbone, he would stop claiming that renters do not pay property taxes. Mick is a landlord himself, and certainly he includes property taxes in his projected expenses when he sets his rental rates. Actually, renters pay higher property taxes (through the rent they pay) because they are not eligible for the homestead deduction. Of course, Mick and his wife only pay $619.51 in taxes on their large house in downtown Safety Harbor (206 6th Ave. S.). These are facts, and you can check the Pinellas Tax Collector’s web site.

    Mick also repeats unsupported charges by Carlos Diaz that Shelly called him names in front of his children at the gazebo during last year’s campaign. This is another falsity. I know this is a false accusation because I was across the street watching when the supposed incident occurred. Shelly was on the sidewalk, where she had every right to be. Contrary to Carlos’ opinion, renting the gazebo does not give one the right to control who may use the sidewalk along Main Street. Carlos’ children were dancing on the gazebo, a pretty good distance from the sidewalk. Of course, when Jim Barge showed up and did one of his famous melt-downs, I’m sure the kids could have heard him. Carlos has a problem with his false claim, because it turns out that there were a few other witnesses as well. But, this is just another example of Mick parroting the Ayoub/Logan campaign’s unsupported accusations as though they were carved in stone and carried down from the mountain.

    Mick also accuses Shelly of introducing herself to residents as a member of code enforcement. This is Desi Daly’s lie (Mick’s wife). What is happening in this world is not the same thing that is happening in Desi’s world. There are exactly ZERO people who have substantiated Desi’s lie about Shelly…except for you, Mick. But, if you repeat a lie often enough, people may believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself. Perhaps someone will suddenly “remember” that a member of code enforcement introduced themselves in that fashion, but they are either a liar or the blogger is a fake created by one of Nick’s “political operatives” to try to make people believe the lie through constant repetition.

    There is certainly an axis of evil in this community, but it’s not Andy, Janet and their supporters. The axis of evil is Ayoub, Carlos Diaz, Jim Barge and certain members of the development community. Mr. Logan, the reluctant candidate, has now come out of the shadows to publicly reveal his membership in the axis. The bottom line is that the axis has no basis that holds water for attacking Andy or Janet. The only desperate effort they can make is to attack Andy and Janet’s supporters with unsupported lies. Do you really want liars and “dirty hands business as usual” politicians to control this city and use their positions to feather their own nests while “paving paradise and putting up a parking lot?”

    Man up, Mick. Admit that you’re on the wrong side of this campaign and apologize to those you have slandered and libeled. Your neighbors already hate you and Desi. Do you really want to be held in the same low esteem city-wide as the members of the axis?

    • David,
      Our house is noted in PC records as a 1925 bungalow and after many times begging them and the city to change it to the 1985 renovation date (prior owners) they refuse. I would much rather pay higher taxes with a correct value then 10x’s that amount to an insurance company! I welcome you to come with me to the PC appraisers office. Maybe they will listen to you because they will not change it for us.

      And Shelly did say “Do you know who I am? Shelly Schellenberg, Code Enforcement”. Why in the world would we make something like that up? It was last February, not this year. We had no clue who she was but did report it to the city stating we felt that was not an introduction but a threat. That is when we got a response back that she in only a volunteer and not a paid city employee. We did not think about it again until a string of code enforcement calls and questions over tree permits we had were being brought up. It truly baffled us because we work so hard to keep our properties clean, neat and beautifully landscaped. Then a kind neighbor (you have a mole in your camp) informed us of what was going on and who was involved. I hate to admit that it took someone else to tell us but we would never think in a million years someone would be so angry and vindictive because of different opinions. Too many have told us similar confrontations. Most do not want to out themselves and I can understand that but I hate bullies. I rarely use the word hate – wasted energy, but so is a bully.
      Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. It is a beautiful day.

  6. Just for the record, I do not appreciate being called a terrorist. But once again I will use this as an example to the children that I work with on an anti-bully program, that even as an adult you will always have to deal with a bully. When this is all over I will walk through the Harbor with Sage to rid all the bad energy form this election. Whoever wins, I wish them the best.

    • No amount of sage you plan on walking around with will take away the bad energy you have within you especially misuse of adults to teach children your poor choices to define a bully, also in case you forgotten I will remind you how rudely you treated that sweet and wonderful elderly lady with the pink pom poms because you dislike her choice of candidates which happens to be her right and as long as I live you can be sure I will never forget or forgive you!!

    • Who is calling you a terrorist? Sorry but have no clue who you are. There are only a few that have been referred to as the terrorist (and you would be surprised who and how many are calling them that) but you are not in that merry group of 3:)

      • From the letter above.

        But then along came the thing. The merry band of terrorists, who say they want to save Safety Harbor, but will kill it with hate — the face of your campaigns

  7. Oh Mr. Elliott, you are a stitch! I love the way you use passive-aggressive behavior to influence people who you hope won’t check out your accusations, appealing to people that you’re pretty sure will believe you. I like the way you turned the bullying situation around as if Mr. Diaz was the one being harassed. You slay me! And the way you actually claim that Mr. Zodrow and Ms. Hooper have made this an ugly campaign! That’s rich. You should entertain at the White House. This campaign is reminiscent of Rick Scott’s handlers who came out of the gate during his campaign, flinging poo, almost a month before Charlie Crist put out one commercial. Then when Crist’s campaign fought back we suddenly saw the kinder, gentler Rick Scott tell the camera that his opponent only wants to denigrate him and not focus on issues. See, you guys bank on people forgetting. You hope people will swallow everything you feed them. Unfortunately, you’re probably right. That’s why George Bush got elected twice. That’s why Rick Scott did too. I love this town, but no town is Pleasantville. Little governments are microcosms of big ones. As my Father always said, “This too shall pass.” He was an ethical and kind man, (who loved trees by the way.) He was also a life-long Republican, before they got to be so mean. Anyway, whoever becomes the new commissioner, I will try to have faith that they understand that the City Commissioners work for the citizens of Safety Harbor. ALL of us. And if everyone keeps that in mind, maybe we can all play nice.

  8. Mick, true enough the fact we are all disappointed with and tired of the negativity surrounding our local elections and most of what passes for political discourse at all levels in this country. What I, and I hope others would love to see in your next blog post is not yet more information about “terrorists” out to ruin SH but a reasoned discussion on exactly why one should vote for your candidates. I asked a couple of your candidates’ sign wavers why I should vote for the names on their signs and all I got was an earful of negativity about Hooper and Zodrow. I want to vote for a positive; not simply against a negative! To be fair I asked the same of a gentleman handing out Zodrow information. He started talking about Logan and Ayoub! But at least he, when asked for reasons to vote FOR and not AGAINST a candidate was able to be positive. Please be reasonable and positive and use your blog to post specifics on why I should vote the way you’d wish. We are new to SH and not interested in the obvious negative animosities between many of the commenters here. We are leaning in one direction with our votes on Tuesday but are still not convinced.

      • No, Dee. It does not help at all. I am certain somewhere there is a similar wholesome video of Zodrow and Hooper. I am certain Zodrow and Hooper are similarly involved in our community and also have loving friends and families. Before this I had no doubt Logan and Ayoub are impressive pillars of our community and we are blessed with their tireless efforts to improve our city as they see fit. Showing a video of family, volunteerism and community is great! Well done! But it does nothing to answer specifics. What are the specific differences between the candidates?

        • Sounds to me like you already made your choice but in case you really haven’t nobody can make the decision for you, what I suggest is instead of talking to the supporters go directly to each candidate and ask them specific questions you need answers to, I imagine all the candidates will be out Monday evening all around town then it would be easier for you, I find this method much easier during any kind of election, take care and be well!

          • Also making the photo stories are a hobby of mine and many people all around the world love it, I felt we all needed something happy which would lift us up with a positive message, I am sorry you were unable to enjoy it however I am not hurt because I know there are enough fans who will 😉

          • Oh no! I enjoyed the positive images of community and respect very much indeed. It’s just that I am looking for substance. I have learned Safety Harbor Connect is not the go to place for fair, mannered or polite discourse. I was hoping for better and more reasoned discussion here. I am sorry I did not find it. But please let me reassure you I did enjoy your work.

          • When it comes political races there’s no steady ground for me it is lesson well learned that mean people are everywhere, you know I came to Safety Harbor almost 3 years ago, I was very happy at first now I no longer care, I will vote for the team I believe in after that whatever happens life will go on as for the Saving Safety Harbor group get a life stop with your harassing me me attitude, learn to spread kindness or otherwise you are going to wake up one day and see how you destroyed paradise by driving good folks away due to your meanness!

  9. To Janet Hooper!
    Here’s the story why I am unable to support you it goes beyond this election to Summer of 2014 during 3rd Friday Festivities when I came to your booth about donating brand new designer clothes that were not selling at my boutique I decided it would bring happiness to the needy women within your organization as everybody knows the only day I am able to deliver the goods is on Mondays which is my only day off, I will never forget your rude attitude towards me by saying Monday is your busy day & that I would be refused if I brought the merchandise over, you can’t begin to imagine the heartbreak I felt when I was only trying to be a good neighbor & to bring happiness to those who need it more than I do but you know I am a better person due to your attitude, I did come back on a Monday without the merchandise, I parked my car & watched finally saw 2 young mothers holding their babies so I went up to them & told them I would help them, you should of seen their eyes lit up, with tears of joy when I gave them suitcase full of clothes at my boutique & also gave them $10 each for bus fare & lunch!
    Let this be a lesson for you if not now maybe for the future, I am no executive director for an organization who gets paid to do good deeds, I just do it because I want to. my reward is bringing joy & happiness to those who need it!
    Finally I believe everybody has a right to know your last sad gesture towards me by blocking me from posting on your Facebook campaign page, needless to say that act confirms your character & as a political candidate you have so much to learn about respect & honor plus running a clean campaign on your own merits & accomplishments, if you win this election I hope you will consider distancing yourself from the group who are taking away your values, take care & be well!
    Sincerely~Dee Dokumaci

  10. Here we go again…old news from the council meeting. I notice Shelly’s formal response to the council was not mentioned …Why not?
    I hope people are not fooled by these blogs on the Connect with all of the attacks. You are obviously calling people with their own opinions “THE MERRY BAND OF TERRORISTS”….A disgraceful comment. What’s funny and not ever commented on is the over 500 people that have liked Saving Safety Harbor on FB. I suppose you will never hear the number of citizens that have held signs in the street….and of course the firefighters endorsement… your inference of terrorists is highly offensive to the firefighters of our community that endorsed Hooper and Zodrow.
    I think there is a clear difference in this election and everyone has their own choice. If you want smart progressive growth keeping in line with the character and charm of the town then Zodrow and Hooper are the best candidates.
    If you support the 7-story Condo then you will go in the other direction. The Condo was voted on by Logan on September 10,2008 and Ayoub on November 17,2008.

    Respectfully submitted to all citizens of Safety Harbor,


    • You don’t have to bring up her embarrassing rant at the commission meeting. It was the talk of the town! Even the Mayor reprimanded her.

      And it has been the talk for a year about the “few” they call the terrorists. Nothing at all to do with the firefighters.

    • Pitiful you don’t live here as for over 500 likes just a handful lives here rest of it is from other areas which doesn’t count, there were only 12 sign holders during the tree protest, I know because I have the pictures when they were blocking my door so my customers couldn’t have access to my boutique; as for respect too sad too bad you have no respect for all the nice people in this community so in return you deserve no respect! 🙂

  11. Citizens of Safety Harbor, logic and intelligence is evident in Mick Elliott’s posts. Please restore the small town, “Hi Neighbor” ambience. “Hi neighbor” is just that, face to face discussion, not threats or harassment.
    Elect intelligent, rational, positive, caring people. PLEASE…………

  12. Thank you for being so brave and stating what many Safety Harbor residents feel. These people honestly scare me because they come across so strong and full of anger. I understand they love trees, as we all do but why are they so malicious? I’m very surprised Zodrow and Hooper allow them to be a part of their campaign. Just one comment to the commission, especially Zodrow, by doing nothing for a fellow commissioner, that speaks volumes…shame on you!

    • No worries Judy, Dee is always nearby for all the nice people everywhere so don’t be scared, just believe sooner or later everybody gets what they deserve! 😉

  13. For Now I will just say, another excellent & well written blog by Mr. Mick Elliott, here’s word to the negative posters, we are used to your off beat remarks & it is no longer a surprise!
    Sincerely~Dee 🙂

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