Mayor of Clearwater Resigns Over Quarter Billion Dollar Deficit Spending

( – The Mayor of Clearwater, Florida has resigned over the city council’s insistence on spending money they simply don’t have. It seems the federal government’s pattern of overspending is trickling down into local city governments, as the city of Clearwater is attempting to spend $90 million dollars they don’t have in the budget for a new city hall.

Mayor Frank Hibbard called the spending “reckless” and emphasized that the city regularly maintains very little debt. During a city council meeting on March 20th, their spreadsheet showed a deficit of a quarter billion dollars, most of that was due to the new city hall project. Emphasizing that government must be creative with taxpayer funds, the Mayor was exasperated over his fellow councilmen’s willingness to spend money they did not have.

Hibbard was the only person who opposed the $90 million dollar project, he called the move a want and not a need. Implying that the city needed to brush up on its math skills, Hibbard implied the council was failing at basic arithmetic. Hibbard opposed the project when its estimated cost was $40 million, but of course that ballooned like all government construction projects to more than double. He anticipates it could go as high as $100 million or more.

Crucially Hibbard’s full-time employment is in finance and wealth management. He also served as mayor from 2005 to 2012 and was re-elected in 2020. As someone who is very familiar with finances and the city of Clearwater, one would think his opinion would carry some weight. However, when you have a coterie of big spenders on a city council, it’s very easy for lone voices to be overridden or ignored.

Hibbard decided he’d resign instead. Councilman David Allbritton wanted to assure everyone that they’d be able to continue to run the city without him for the time being. They’ll likely advance their agenda over-budget and spend taxpayer funds they don’t have. When the federal government makes it seem legitimate, local and state governments follow suit.

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