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Florida mayor calls it quits, starts packing his things in the middle of a city council meeting: ‘This is simple math’


The city of Clearwater in Pinellas County, Florida, had a special city council work session on Monday morning that ran over three hours. Mayor Frank Hibbard helmed the meeting for the first hour, but then decided the job wasn’t for him.

Hibbard called a brief recess nearly an hour into the meeting. Prior to the recess, the council had been discussing plans for a new $90 million City Hall and municipal complex. Hibbard, a moderate Republican, was alone in opposing the project, reported the Tampa Bay Times, not least because of an unfunded gap of $60 million in the project’s financing.

Hibbard told WTSP that he had always been fiscally responsible, which put him out of alignment with the council.


“There’s no graft or anything else,” he said. “It was a 4 to 1 vote forward with what I believe is reckless spending.”

After the board reassembled, the exasperated-looking mayor called the meeting to order with one last strike of the gavel. A 8:51 a.m., he said, “Um, this is probably one of the toughest things I’ve ever done in my entire life, but I know it’s right.”


“I’m not a quitter, but I’m not the right leader for this council any more,” announced Hibbard, as adjacent council members looked on, aghast. “I’m concerned with where the city is going, because this is simple math, and we’re not doing very well on the test.”

As the mayor continued with his unexpected resignation, he began packing his briefcase.

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Citing his conscience, his family, his health, and “other things,” Hibbard underscored that he could not continue as mayor.

“I’ve always believed in making sacrifices for public service. And I love Clearwater. And I love some of the things we’ve gotten done.”… (Read more)

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