Former Clearwater City Council member Bill Jonson will run for Mayor, he announced Friday.
Jonson served four terms on City Council before leaving office last March due to term limits.
Jonson said he’s running to give Clearwater residents a stronger voice in their community.
“So many Clearwater residents tell me that they don’t think the City feels they are important. As Mayor, I will change that,” he said.
Clearwater is a city manager form of government, which means the mayor serves as head of the City Council. Unlike a strong mayor form of government where the mayor sets the city budget and priorities for City Council to approve, a non-elected city manager assumes those responsibilities.
The Mayor in city manager governments serves on the council while those in strong mayor governments serve as a chief executive of the city.
Clearwater residents rejected a referendum last year to shift the city into a strong mayor form of government.
In his mayoral announcement, Jonson said he’s already gathering support from constituents.
“Bill is known to be a community builder that gives the citizens of Clearwater a reason to believe and trust in the municipal system. I can always count on Bill to have a listening ear and to work vigorously to make Clearwater a safe and vibrant town,” said resident and community leader Ronnie White.
Jonson plans to file for office on September 19 when the city’s filing period begins for the 2020 municipal election.
Incumbent Mayor Geoge Cretekos is not seeking reelection. Voters will decide on his successor March 17.
“Bill represents Clearwater as a whole. His work on the Courtney Campbell Causeway Scenic Highway and Trail is a testament to his collaboration with Hillsborough, and even federal funds, to enhance our roadway into a trail for the entire bay area,” said 30-year Clearwater resident Beth Davis.
Jonson said he will begin his campaign rounding up more community support.