Home / Government / Are Safety Harbor Residents Being Lied To?

Are Safety Harbor Residents Being Lied To?


Harbor Place at Safety HarborAs the March 14th, Safety Harbor Mayoral race heats up – so are the rumors, or what many frustrated residents are calling flat out “lies”.

From social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, to the passionate “door knockers” pacing your neighborhood, there’s no lack of information being spread like wildfire about the Safety Harbor Mayoral candidates – Joe Ayoub and Janet Hooper. But how do voters decide what is true and what is false? There are many “issues” that these candidates have fired back and forth at each other over the past month, but perhaps the most contentious has been the truth about the 7 story condominium building called Harbor Place near Starbucks and Bayshore Blvd.

In the emails pictured below, Mayoral candidate Joe Ayoub sent out an email on February 5th stating…

Joe Ayoub“…it has just come to my attention that as I am writing this my opponent’s supporters are going door to door handing out the below door hanger to residents, which contains flat out lies about my record… Let me address these lies head on:

  1. ‘He voted for the 7 story condos on Bayshore’ – THIS CLAIM IS FLAT OUT FALSE! The 65 ft. condo project was first approved in 2003 and consisted of two buildings. I was not elected to serve on the commission until 2007.In 2008 I voted in favor of a major site plan amendment, which reduced the design from 2 buildings to 1 building. The height and the number of units remained the same but due to the more compact design the footprint was reduced by 41%, creating more open & green space and improving the views of the bay. As part of my campaign I have pledged to work with the developer to negotiate a reduction to the height and scale of this project if I am elected.”

In response to Ayoub’s email, his opponent Janet Hooper sent out the following email (pictured below) on February 10th stating…

Janet Hooper“First let me apologize for emailing you, but you recently received an email from my opponent, Joe Ayoub, complaining that my supporters are spreading lies about him while he is running a “positive,” issue-centered campaign. I would like to correct the record…

  1. Mr. Ayoub ‘voted for the 7-story condos on Bayshore’.

– At the Nov. 17, 2008 City Commission meeting, Commissioner Ayoub motioned and voted for a major amendment to the condos to increase the building from 5 to 7 stories, (5 residential and 2 parking). No one said he voted for the 5-story condo in 2003. But he did in fact vote for the amended 7 story condo building in 2008, which kept the project alive. http://safetyharbor.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=438&meta_id=24684

– He supported an additional 5-year period to get a permit and an additional 15 years to complete the condos.

– The major objection to this project is the height; the City has a 3 story (35 feet) height limit. This is 7 stories and 65 feet. The amendment did modify the footprint, but left the height at 65 feet.

– Mr. Ayoub says he is trying to renegotiate the condo project. He has no authority to do so.”

As with most things, there’s a backstory. If you’re not an elected official or someone who has a responsibility to know and understand pending developments in Safety Harbor, there might not be any reason that you would know the truth about “issues” like this one that the Mayoral candidates are so passionate about. So it would be very easy to simply believe what you are being told through social media or passionate door knockers.

As it turns out, one of Janet Hooper’s biggest supporters and advocates, Barbara Hollen-Hugg wanted answers. So she inquired about the truth, and she received the answer. Hollen-Hugg sent an email to City Manager, Matt Spoor on February 10th with the following questions (Hollen-Hugg’s questions are italicized and Spoor’s answers are in bold text for convenient referencing within the in-line email answers):

“Could you please explain to me what happened during the 2008 commission vote on the amendment to the condo project? Different versions of the story, including mine, don’t match and I would really like to know the truth. Had the permit time run out?”

No, the original approval had no timeline attached to it. The developers, Olympia at the time, had site plan approval and began constructions of the Harbour Pointe (Crispers) Building within the timeframe established by city code. The property owners were arguing that since they began construction of the first building within the time frame that their site plan could NEVER expire; the original approvals had no time frame for each phase. The City suggested a phased plan (schedule). The developer proposed a greater period of time and the CC approved less time than the developers initially requested. This occurred in 2008 with the major modifications to the site plan. All of which would have expired in 2013 if not for Governor Scott and the State of Florida, see link below.  ( http://hgslaw.com/article/house-bill-503-may-extend-permits-and-development-orders/ )

“Is permitting time up again, or is the developer meeting their deadline?”

Permit time is not up, they have submitted for a building permit and staff is reviewing. Any day now they could pay the permit fees and receive a permit to begin building the project.

“Did the commission grant an extension of the original project or was it starting fresh?”

The Commission approved a major modification to the original site plan. It was not starting fresh, it was a modification or change to the original approval.

“Would the project have been dead if the vote had gone the other way?”

No, the previous site plan approvals would have stood if the CC did not approve the major modifications.


Ayoub and Hooper Campaign Emails

Stay with Safety Harbor Connect for complete coverage of the 2017 municipal election, including more “backstory” reports of the election issues that are important to you.

For video of the Safety Harbor candidate forum, please click here: RECORDED LIVE COVERAGE OF 2017 CANDIDATE FORUM. 


  1. These “major issues” in Safety Harbor never cease to amuse me, and I’ve lived here 18 years. People here get the vapors over a seven-story condo being built on an empty plot downtown, while similar projects in downtown Dunedin receive universal praise. Or then there’s that 30-acre eyesore on 590 where a factory used to be, because the same people who are now whining about the construction downtown went and literally protested with picket signs near the site so that we could have a crumbling defunct factory (later razed completely) rather than desperately-needed new housing developments. Or how about the time people got in a tizzy because the spa decided to pave the other half of their parking lot? People always use the talking point that Safety Harbor is “quaint” as if that completely precludes any form of new development, progress, or change. Well, first of all, in the case of the downtown condo building, five stories plus ~1.5 from the parking garage REALLY isn’t that much at all; the spa is the same height. Second, the height of the building doesn’t really make a difference; it will block the ‘view’ of the harbor (you know, for all those people living in the Starbucks parking lot…) even if it’s a one-story building. Third, there’s no argument to be made about ‘preserving downtown’ either, since downtown Safety Harbor was actually more built-out and urbanized in the 1930’s than it is now- just look at some historical photos. Fourth, there was nothing “quaint” about an ugly vacant lot sitting in the middle of downtown like a missing tooth. I’m assuming that Joe Ayoub won since he’s still the mayor, which is good I guess since he was the less backward-thinking candidate of the two, but it would be nice if Safety Harbor could get a mayor that’s interested in moving the city forward rather than backward or nowhere at all. Things like a community pool, a larger museum, a venue for performances, an expanded pier and marina to allow for boat tours and cruises like Tarpon Springs, an expanded library, parking garages behind Main St. to address the ridiculous lack of parking whenever there’s an event, more hotels than just the Safety Harbor Resort & Spa that don’t look like the Bates Motel, more restaurants, more commercial development on McMullen Booth road, and more housing developments. That will bring in more visitors, keep them here longer, bring in new residents, improve quality of life, and rid the city of a lot of eyesores and annoyances along the way, all while completely preserving the “quaint” image people care so much about.

  2. If I’m understanding this correctly, its been many years since the “wall of condo” was originally approved, prior to my move to (what I thought was) quaint Safety Harbor. I just wanted to voice my disgust with this project. I wish developers, contractors, and everyone involved with this building, had more at stake then adding to their bottom line. This building is going to be completely out of character for the area, much too large in footprint and height, and I’m ashamed the original concept was even approved. On what merits? I’m truly disappointed. One of the reasons for Dunedin’s success has been limiting overall building height, thus maintaining their charm. Safety Harbor does not want to compete with Clearwater beach and their many high rises. You can keep your “wall of condo” for that space.

    • Have you been to Dunedin lately??? There are two high rises in downtown much taller than the Safety Harbor condos.

  3. To how low a point does Safety Harbor have to sink? This City’s fantastic residents deserve more respect and professionalism between its adult candidates for mayor. In my 18 years living here I have never seen such childish bullying, jabbing, need for outlandish defensive attitudes, and campaign sign stealing, and really would not vote for EITHER of you if you don’t refrain from negativism and name calling and instead tell us what you HAVE ACCOMPLISHED and how these accomplishments can benefit the entire Safety Harbor population. There are 18,000 residents here who wonder what exactly you plan to do for THEM. Are they the forgotten majority when there’s money to be made developing downtown?……..is that your only platform? Safety Harbor, demand more from your candidates, and remember to get out and vote!!!!!!

    • Who is talking about making money with developing? Joe is not a developer, he is a CPA and the only candidate who has offered a vision. And we as citizens do benefit from additional businesses and a thriving downtown. It brings in tax dollars that helps all citizens whether downtown or in the suburbs. And agree with stealing the signs – why do it? It doesn’t change anyone’s vote.

      • Janet and her Status Quo machine rely on Shelley Schellenberg and her misinformation to perpetuate their propaganda. A little over a week ago, her website posted that “The height requirement can be changed, depending on the make up of the commission and the Planning/Zoning and Board of Appeals” This was done in an effort to mislead her followers. How do I know it is a lie? The Status Quo currently has majority on all three of these entities, in fact Shelley and her husband are on the Code Enforcement and P&Z boards she references. If there really is a silver bullet dependent on the makeup of these entities that could lower the height why is it still in the gun? There will (hopefully) never be a better time to shoot it than the last two years yet it’s never even been mentioned let alone pursued. The story just doesn’t hold water. How many other posts are untrue? Don’t be manipulated into voting based on lies.

  4. Mr. Pressler, “status-quo” does not reference the length of time in a leadership position. “Status-quo” address the broader attitude of Ms. Hooper and her supporters that nothing should ever change in Safety Harbor. It is the attitude that Main Street can’t possibly be improved and we should just accept it’s slow transition to an office park. That new ideas about neo-traditional neighborhood planning strategies that have worked throughout the country are somehow futile here in Safety Harbor and that we should just mothball everything in a time capsule and stamp it 1974. It refers to a “get off my lawn” based government that thinks you can just keep saying no to change and somehow it won’t come rather than trying to shape it with a vision. A myopic focus on “Status-quo”.

  5. This is the THIRD time I have seen Mr Ayoub at a candidates forum. Although his performance/behavior was MUCH improved this time, the two previous two forums, which I think can be found online, left such a bad taste in my mouth that I can not foresee ever voting for him.
    Additionally I have seen several signs around town saying the status quo has got to go so I should vote for Joe. Given that he spent 5ish years on the commission previously, I would suggest that if he is not status quo he is establishment Janet Hooper has been deeply involved with the people of the community for years & only been on the commission for part of one term – in no way does that make her status quo.

    • She is manipulated by those who are status quo, votes on the lines of status quo, and behaves like those who are status quo. So yes, she is status quo. No growth, no improvement. This is a group that loves control and has had it for awhile and I for one do not like a thumb placed down on me by people who do not walk their talk. They live in their large homes and complain about setbacks, get nasty with people who have built new large homes in the community, yet build new homes. Complain about the possibility of taxes increasing however want all the free services they can get from city. It just does not make any sense. She may be great for Maddie Williams but she is not great for Safety Harbor. We need forward thinking leaders for our City. We need people who will lead with reason and listen to all of the people as these commissioners are the peoples commissioners, all of the peoples commissioners. They are not just commissioners for a hundred people that happen to sign a petition when they are on a rampage for something. I would love to see Safety Harbor be the best it can be, honor our businesses, services and homeowners—-all of them. Respect homeowner rights and support local business partaking in their growth and ultimately encouraging and supporting growth for the city. Growth that will be by a clear thinker with clear attention to design studied and proven around the country for city’s such as ours. What is your vision?

  6. I see Shelleys fb page has picked a new resident to talk about who lives on Anglers court. Why is someone on a city board allowed to just keep posting about people and blocks them so they cant defend themselves. I have heard so much about this condo I am dreaming about it in my sleep. Its approved, its going up, and alot of the units are sold. Lets welcome the new people, their tax money ( close to half a million a year) and the money they spend at our merchants, maby we will see Main street fill up. Can more things be said about how we can improve the city and help others in need instead of chasing new people away who want to invest in Safety Harbor . What is wrong with the people of this town? This is not quaint and charming behavior at all.

  7. Not only is Janet Hooper’s entire campaign build on a single issue — a one plank platform — but her one issue is a condo project approved 14 years ago.
    She is in the 2017 mayor’s race campaigning against a building permit granted in 2003 and already in process.
    Get over it.
    Even more confusing and disappointing is Hooper’s insistence on blaming opponent Joe Ayoub for the condo vote, despite city commission records confirming he has zero responsibility for the approval. He wasn’t even on the commission in 2003.
    Five years later, after being elected as a commissioner, he did help reduce the project from two buildings to one, while keeping the height at 65 feet. The result was a 41 percent reduction in the project’s footprint.
    Those facts, however, conflicts with Hooper’s one-trick pony campaign pitch, so she simply lies about Ayoub’s involvement.
    A lier who is living in denial wants to be mayor. Safety Harbor deserves better.
    Safety Harbor, now more than ever, needs leadership. It needs a vision for the future. It needs Downtown to have a heartbeat.
    Janet, the condo project is a train that left the station — 14 years ago. You don’t have to like the condo project – although some citizens do – but it is yesterday’s news. You cannot get Superman to fly around the world backward and alter history.
    Safety Harbor needs to be led into the future, not tied to the past.
    With all the challenges Safety Harbor – especially downtown — will face going forward, the Hooper campaign found only one worth its attention. And it is from 14 years ago.
    Good grief.

    • My heart hurts for the integrity of our community today. Maybe I just have higher hopes than I should for people. Our city manager clearly and unequivocally proved that Janet Hooper lied on her personal election mailers and media. This is an indisputable fact. The information provided in her name by her supporters are even more blatant in their manipulative lies. I really had hoped that Ms. Hooper would rise above the muck, and publicly correct the misinformation. This is what would have been the ethical and right thing to do. That is not what happened. I hoped she would not just remain silent and quietly collect votes. This would be a horribly unethical way to steal an election. What is incredible is that she has done so much worse. She has literally removed anyone from her campaign Facebook page that mentioned the issue. Residents that have not only the right, but the responsibility to ask about the discrepancies between what she said and what our City Manager said were simply deleted from her website and blocked from posting. She hypocritically claims that she is the candidate that listens to her constituents. This is an issue that an ethical candidate would consider clearly worthy of a response, of a discussion. We should not reward this behavior, we cannot tolerate this type of unethical leadership. Please help us to make sure your friends and neighbors know the truth. Help us fight to stop this election from being stolen by lies.

    • Joe had a chance to negotiate in 2008 by voting no against the extension (which Andy voted against). At that point they had leverage…

  8. Does it not seem odd that the Hooper/Saving Safety Harbor camp acts as if Downtown is its own private fifedom, but treats Downtown merchants and newcomers as unwelcome squatters?
    Suggesting Third Friday is all the financial stimulus the city needs to do for merchants is insulting. And has anybody noticed how stale Third Friday has become? Interesting fact: Janet Hooper was former chairperson of Third Friday committee.

  9. I’ve lived in Safety Harbor for over 20 years, so many people try to paint it as a warm community. Well those people should read all of this hatred and name calling going on. Too many of you downtowners have your head buried in the sand or somewhere else. Do we still have gas lamps on the street corners? Seems like this don’t ever change mind set is really doing well for Main street shops, just not too many of them are there, place looks more like a ghost town than downtown. Yes there needs to be some restraint in what we do, but living in the past will not make the city grow. Time to speak like mature adults not a bunch of kids, tell the truth and get something accomplished.

  10. My wife and I moved to Safety Harbor in 2014 rented downtown for a year and now own a house a little further out from downtown when we started a family. I LOVE Safety Harbor.

    Based on the most hotly contested issues of this election cycle I would assume I’m the newest member to town. I could really care less how someone voted on an issue 6 years before I moved in, those old bones should’ve already been sorted out over several election cycles past. I’m far more interested in tackling the issues as they face us today because we won’t be able to revise history with a vote but a vote will affect our cities future.

    Coming from this viewpoint, I have come to two conclusions about the candidates.
    1) Joe Ayoub is passionate about our city and its future, he has well thought out plans to impact and improve it going forward, his message tells me this.
    2) Janet Hooper is passionate about the past of our city, and wanting us to punish those who she feels wronged it in the past. In fact I’m not sure she has any plans for the future, her message tells me that.

    Throw in that the facts of the email I just read from the City Manager to a supporter of Mrs. Hooper’s in this story call into question the validity of the entire punitive nature of her campaign anyways and its been a simple decision in our household to overwhelmingly vote for Joe Ayoub, the only candidate that has a plan for the future.

    • Thank you Matt for moving into our City. You and your family are a welcomed addition. Great comments: “he has well thought out plans to impact and improve our city moving forward”. We need to move forward with someone who has a clear and detailed vision. Not someone and her supporters who want to continually bring up the past (almost 15 years ago) and totally ignore accurate and truthful information published by our City Manager, Matt Spoor.

    • Thank you Matt. Very well said and meaningful. Agree the old bones should have already been sorted out elections ago. But it seems it is all the Hooper campaign has at this point.

  11. If David Riggles just paid for a new mailer is that not against the code of conduct just recently passed by the City. Does anyone know? If not, should it not be?

    • Dont worry Natalie by big mouth will be speaking again at the meeting asking why he is allowed to do that also why the mayor told a bunch of people after the meeting that the condos may not go up while 2 people who bought units were listening , and whey shelley put up a huge pictures of Mr. Diaz after the meeting with the caption he must go, i am sure it will be erased but i have screenshots. The one woman bought a unit on the top floor and is questioning the builder, if he loses sales because of a rumor be prepared for a possible suit against the city

  12. The Hooper campaign spends its efforts fighting a condo project that was passed in 2003 instead of offering insights for our city’s future. How can you lead into the future if you insist on clinging to 15 years ago? For gosh sakes, stop killing Safety Harbor’s future. Lead, follow, or get out of the way. And stop lying.

  13. Hey Judith Greaves, I see your commenting about my monstrosity on saving SH again. Just want to let you know that there are 5 not 6 of them and I wont mind the condos it will not be blocking any of our views. The builder was very up front with us about where the condos were being placed a pool will be going on the corner and we will have clear views. Please dont speak for the people on Iron Age without asking. I am going to welcome the new people and I am sure our merchants will to. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but name calling of peoples homes is not very polite for a so called quaint and charming Mayberry. I guess I will drive by your house today and see if it fits in.

    • You are so right Diane! They are just mean-spirited, unhappy angry people. Trying to hang on to 30 years ago. I love welcoming new people to the community and will continue to do so.

    • I personally can not wait to get some new people in to this town. They are going to be a welcomed group of neighbors who will bring a positive impact to both the businesses and neighbors of our community. Maybe if the meanies (my new name for the crazies) see that there are too many of us accepting the new homeowners they might either change or leave. No room in our town for people who are deceptive or nasty.

    • I walked by your house the other day and I can honestly say that y’alls house is beautiful. The eyesores are the run-down houses across the street from you.

  14. As stated earlier I’m not a supporter of either candidate for mayor and haven’t decided who I’m going to vote for, so I appreciate all the replies and the efforts made to clarify the accusations and the 2008. Based on this article and the comments, it seems to me…

    1) Joe Ayoub’s 2008 vote kept the proposed condos at the same height they were already approved for and reduced the project from 2 buildings to 1. For those people who want to limit development in Safety Harbor, maybe you wish the 2008 Commission would have done more, but it seems to me you ought to at least give them some credit for reducing the size of the project, right?

    2) Janet Hooper’s statement that the 2008 vote “kept the project alive” seems misleading to me. I’d like to hear an explanation or correction by Janet Hooper.

    • I would also add that he new Hooper lie is that Joe voted to extend the development period.

      That’s also not true.

      You’re too kind when you call a claim Joe ‘kept the project alive’ by Hooper ‘misleading.’ It’s a very bold lie. People have already voted based on this lie. To me, it is very disturbing.

      You do have a better grasp of the situation that all of the Hooper supporters. It’s really a mouthful to try to explain and one of the reasons she has gotten away with lying about the condos.

      • I’m ok with being thought of as “too kind.” IMO we could find ground much more often and reduce the contentiousness in our elections if we did less accusing of lying and more asking people to provide explanations and clarifications.

          • Steven – We got the same mailer. Unbelievable. What’s more incredible is that it was paid for by David Riggles, Shelley Schellenburg’s husband. Mr. Riggles is on the Planning and Zoning Board and Ms. Schellenburg is on the Zoning Enforcement Board, appointed in part by Ms. Hooper who is directly benefitting from their lies. They have been given special responsibility and privilege in our community in regard to exactly the issues they are explicitly lying about. Ms. Hooper should lead the fight to remove them from their at-will board appointments for directly contradicting the facts given by our City Manager on Friday. Instead she just sits back and quietly collects the soiled votes the manipulative unethical tactics bring to her campaign. Shameful.

    • I absolutely agree that this requires response and action from Ms. Hooper. People have already voted based on this manipulative lie. She owes it to the integrity of the community to publicly address her action. Her website has been silent. She has been silent. We need to demand that she not sit quietly by, collecting votes based on her lie. I’d recommend going to her Facebook page and explicitly asking for a response on these issues.

    • Well we should be used to the lies. Last election, Janet told the voters that she would be stepping away from Mattie Williams if elected to avoid a conflict of interest since the city does donate to the center. After she was elected, there were a lot of hoops jumped through by her handlers to make sure she could still stay on with Mattie Williams without any appearance of a conflict. Now, we are being mislead again by her and her handlers’ version of the truth. I am not sure about you, but this is not how I vision our city to be represented. Some of the decisions made to our local codes without fair and proper notification to homeowners is typical of how this could go for our future in the city. The excuse that it was published in some document that no one reads anymore is another deception and should not be accepted by homeowners. Just like this on going deception and mince of words. There is a handful of people trying to dictate how and what we do with our home and properties and you as homeowners in town and at the outskirts need to pay attention. This handful of people live in their large homes and complain about large homes and change to our “quaint ” city, more deception. The whole can’t walk the talk is annoying. Sounds like a control issue and I for one am sick of it. I am not sure about the other homeowners, which Janet is not, but I am really tired of people thinking they can tell me what I do or do not want in this town trying to bend my thoughts to meld with theirs. I am much more independent. . I can think for myself. I am tired of hearing that if some of the business owners speak in favor of progress that they are threatened by this handful of people entertaining their businesses. Telling a new homeowner to a newly constructed home that they do not belong here and their new home is awful. This is sickening and you as adults should feel the same. These are the type of people that back Janet Hooper. Do you really want to be a part of this? Really? Wake up Safety Harbor-It is time we put Mayberry hats on or least try to do better. This bullying and intimidation is at its highest level has got to stop. This does not just happen during election, it is becoming a consistent mantra with this group. Someone must have a pretty sucky life to be so vicious. It is just stupid and mean.

  15. Mr. Steven Collins, once again you are makng something out of nothing. Joe was not involved in 2003 decisions as he was not elected until years later and then when elected he worked to reduce the condo site from two buildings to one to preserve more green space. A city cannot just stop a project that was previously approved in 2003, they would be sued. It is a shame that you continue to report inaccurate information. If anyone is to blame it is those elected officials back in 2003. They approved it.

  16. Very tired of this. Joe Ayoub is lying. I have gone to great lengths to document this. I would do it here but you do not allow for pasting. I’ll sent it to the editor for inclusion.

    • Tom Hicks, Stephen Collins, Janet Hooper and Barbara Hollen-Hugg have all brought shame on their families, support organizations and their community with their lies.

    • No you haven’t. You’ve just gone around waving your arms like a wacky, waving, inflatable arm man and hope no one is paying attention to facts, preferring to stand around going “nu uh, cause, the other guy did something or other and stuff”.

  17. Haha – seems like everyone here is from Washington.

    Obviously everyone has their spin. I have no idea how you can intelligently read this article and come to the fact that Joe Ayoub did NOT vote for the additional 2 stories – making the project 7 stories.

    As stated before, Hooper didn’t go into everything and expound on the entire situation – but in politics they never do. Each side only gives you tidbits of what they want you to know – obviously to their advantage and to the disadvantage of their opponent. Our job as voters is simple – get informed.

    Per the original relevant question/issue of this article – Yes, Joe voted in favor of the 7 stories.

    Next issue….

    • She printed that Joe helped make sure this entire project stayed alive – that was a lie. Janet claims we would not have these condos if it were not for Joe – she has lied and people voted based on her lies.

    • Because, if the vote is on whether you want path A or path B, claiming Joe’s a skeez for not voting a path not even being presented is ridiculous.

      If I ask you for Milk or Lemonade and you chose milk, wouldn’t you be outraged when the local authority running against you claims you hate coffee and you didn’t vote against coffee, and how you’ll be shutting down all the coffee shops in town?

      It’s a lie to claim Joe voted for coffee, when coffee wasn’t what was being considered. In this case, a giant building or a small building were the options, basically. It wasn’t a straight “yes or no to the project” vote – that was done, long before Joe got in. He was trying to make the best of a bad situation.

  18. I would also like people to know that I have seen Joe actively talking to the builder on 3 separate occasions in the past couple months because I was in the office when the conversations happened. I know Janet has quoted he doesnt have the authority to do so. He is not promising that he can make things happen just that he is going to try. I try to stay out of all this non-sense but its hard to sit back and not say a word when people are calling him a liar. I know this is part of politics and both sides are passionate about who they are supporting.

  19. Paul, You are correct they made the building 7 stories from 5 but never increased the height of the building and went from 2 buildings to one. I myself don’t care they added stories if the height never changed. I am however happy that he voted to make it one building instead of 2. Lets all be happy there is only one building. I would also like to know why the mayor told people after the meeting last week (after the cameras stopped) that the condos may not be able to be built. A woman who had bought a top floor unit was present and wants to know whats going on. If we cause the builder to lose sales from a lie the builder ould file a suit against the city and since Mr. Spoors email states they can start at any time I assume its a rumor. This also brings me to the questions of Joe voting for the apts. on 590. I was told the county has to pay 16million to the developer for turning the project down and if Joe had voted no SH could have been on the hook as well with the lawsuit and that would have cost taxpayers. Can someone correct me if I am wrong please.

  20. I am not a supporter of either candidate for mayor and I haven’t made up my mind about who I’m going to vote for. I didn’t know the details about the condo project, so thank you so much for writing this article!

    Based on the information in this article, I appears to me that Janet Hooper’s statement “He voted for the 7 story condos on Bayshore” is accurate. Is it the whole story? No. But Joe Ayoub’s statement this is a lie is itself not true. Is

    If we can get passed the accusations of lying the real issue when it comes to the condos is whether in 2008 it was good for the city commission to increase the height of the condos from 5 stories to 7 while reducing the buildings from 2 to 1. At first glance, personally, this seems like kind of a wash, but I’m open hearing more from anyone who wants to make the case that it was a good or bad decision.

  21. I say that we do not need it. It does not go with the old look of the great Safety Harbor. It would look like a sore thumb sticking out as you came into Main Street in the Safety Harbor Spa. I don’t think many people want us to be another country way. We are a town in itself that is very unique with the older buildings great people great artist and great inspiration for everyone. I moved to Safety Harbor took over my friend’s condo a little over a year ago after she had passed I only wish I would have moved down here a long long time ago I love that it is so friendly that it is like my old home town I grew up in. As I walked by The Barbershop I can actually see my dad cutting hair as he was the town Barber. We don’t want all this new construction coming to downtown Safety Harbor because what we love about Safety Harbor is just what it is now.

  22. As I said previously, I am totally appalled by the actions of Janet hooper and her supporters with the continuous lies about Joe Ayoub including the ones about the condo project. Janet continued to spread misleading and untruthful Information about Joe Ayoub even in an email that she sent to her supporters yesterday. Matt answered Barbara’s questions with the truth and proof which Joe Ayoub and his supporters have been communicating all along. Janet Hooper, Barbara, Patty Kent, Terry Dahl Thomas and other Janet supporters have been spreading incorrect and misleading information ever since this campaign started many weeks ago against Joe Ayoub. How can anyone expect to trust her in any type of city position if you CANNOT trust her to tell the truth about information that is discoverable from city records and documents. No Ethics, No integrity and No honesty from the Hooper camp. What is the saddest thing out of all of this is the shame that Janet Hooper and Patty Kent (Board member at Mattie Williams) has brought to the Mattie Williams Center.

    Barbara, the signs which you paid for and put in Janet Hooper supporter yards are not appropriate and mislead the residents of Safety Harbor. These untruthful signs should be taken down. I am hopeful that you will do the right thing and have them removed.

  23. I would like to know if the yard signs that were posted “No to Joe” based on TOTAL lies paid for by Barbara Hollen-Hugg will be taken down now? She, and Janet Hooper knew the truth and now we all know the truth.

  24. No he did not. It was approved in 2003 and Joe Ayoub was not a City Commissioner at this time. Please read the email below from City Manager Matt Spoor setting the record straight. And thank you for asking.
    Finally! Proof that Janet Hooper and Barbara Hollen-Hugg KNEW the truth about the condo project but STILL continued to lie.

    Read Matt’s email below:

    From: Matthew Spoor
    Sent: Friday, February 10, 2017 9:44 AM
    To: ‘Barbara Hollen-Hugg’ <hollen_hugg@verizon.net>
    Subject: RE: Condo Project – Harbour Pointe


    I will attempt to answer your questions below. If you would like to review the documents, minutes and video from the 2008 meeting they should all be available online.

    Have a nice weekend,


    —–Original Message—–
    From: Barbara Hollen-Hugg [mailto:hollen_hugg@verizon.net]
    Sent: Friday, February 10, 2017 9:25 AM
    To: Matthew Spoor <mspoor@cityofsafetyharbor.com>
    Subject: Condo Project – Harbour Pointe

    Hi Matt,

    Could you please explain to me what happened during the 2008 commission vote on the amendment to the condo project? Different versions of the story, including mine, don’t match and I would really like to know the truth.

    Had the permit time run out?

    No, the original approval had no timeline attached to it. The developers, Olympia at the time, had site plan approval and began constructions of the Harbour Pointe (Crispers) Building within the timeframe established by city code. The property owners were arguing that since they began construction of the first building within the time frame that their site plan could NEVER expire; the original approvals had no time frame for each phase. The City suggested a phased plan (schedule). The developer proposed a greater period of time and the CC approved less time than the developers initially requested. This occurred in 2008 with the major modifications to the site plan. All of which would have expired in 2013 if not for Governor Scott and the State of Florida, see link below.


    Is permitting time up again, or is the developer meeting their deadline?

    Permit time is not up, they have submitted for a building permit and staff is reviewing. Any day now they could pay the permit fees and receive a permit to begin building the project.

    Did the commission grant an extension of the original project or was it starting fresh?

    The Commission approved a major modification to the original site plan. It was not starting fresh, it was a modification or change to the original approval.

    Would the project have been dead if the vote had gone the other way?

    No, the previous site plan approvals would have stood if the CC did not approve the major modifications.

    Please please help explain, one way or the other I would like to know the truth.

    Thank you,

    Barbara Hollen-Hugg

    Sent from the iPad of Barbara Hollen-Hugg

    House Bill 503 May Extend Permits and Development Orders – Hopping Green & Sams

    The Florida Legislature adopted House Bill 503, which amended a number of statutes dealing…

  25. Now I’m confused. Did Joe Ayoub vote to approve 7 stories or did he not? This shouldn’t be that difficultca question to answer.

    • You are not asking the right question.

      Did Joe keep this project alive? No.
      DidnJoe help negotiate a drastic decrease in the overall foot print? Yes.
      Did Janet Hooper lie about Joe’s role? Yes.

      • Nice spin. This is a classic example of deflecting to avoid answering direct question and instead ask and answer a questions you’d prefer to focus on.

        Based on the information in this story, the answer to Valerie’s question is “Yes.” Joe Ayoub voted to approve 7 stories. It is not the whole story but it’s is an accurate answer.

        • You missed the point – Janet claims Joe helped keep the project alive…as if here was some ‘extra’ vote in 2008 to keep this project going. That was a lie.

          • Where is this claim documented? I don’t see it in the article or in the messages from the 2 candidates.

          • Paul – it’s he very first bullet on Janet Hooper’s campaign mailer. She lies by claiming Joe’s vote kept the project alive. All he voted on was to make it smaller.

            The builder had no set timeline to start or finish building – so the new lies coming from Janet Hooper that Joe voted for an extension is also a lie.

          • You can’t add an ‘extension’ to infinity – Joe actually voted to decrease the timeline for building and completion from infinity to a fixed number of years.

        • Paul – It is a misleading answer. Intentional misleading is the ethical definition of a lie. The actual quote from her recent mailing (sent 2/10/17) says ” he did in fact vote for the amended 7 story condo building in 2008, which kept the project alive. “ Mr. Spoor’s email clearly shows this to be false. Ms. Hollen-Hugg asks in the email, “Would the project have been dead if the vote had gone the other way?“ Mr. Spoor unequivocally responds “No, the previous site plan approvals would have stood if the CC (City Commission) did not approve the major modifications.“ This perpetuation of the fallacy that if Joe had voted “no” in 2008 the project would have been stopped is the critical issue here. Ms Hooper specifically adds that Mr Ayoub’s vote “kept the project alive”. This is intentionally misleading. A lie.

        • While keeping the height the same, buy lowering the ceilings of the units, and making it 1 building not 2 reducing the footprint by 41 per sent and allowing more greenspace. Lets share the whole truth. Thank You

    • Valerie – Thank you for this question. In 2008 I voted to change the design from 2 buildings to one building, which reduced the footprint by 41%, kept the number of units the same, increased the number of stories from 5 to 7 and kept the height the same. As Janet Hooper said in her e-mail the major objection to this project was the height, which did not change. I did not have the option to reduce the height but given the option to reduce the footprint I took it. How can anyone that is opposed to this project disagree with my vote that reduced the scale of this project given that was the only option on the table in 2008? Let’s remember, Janet Hooper has been claiming that I gave the builder an extension, which is flat out wrong. Her claim that I increased the number of stories without mentioning that the height remained the same is flat out misleading. I hope this clears things up for you.

      • Thanks Joe, but this was a yes or no question. I’ve read what you’ve shared and I’ve read what Janet has shared. I don’t need more spin, just a yes or no.

    • Amen! It is not difficult to answer. Joe Ayoub was not on the commission until many years later after the project was approved. Simple.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar
Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views :