‘Wrong guy’ for the job: Mayor of Clearwater, Florida resigns, walks out of city council meeting

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News March 20, 2023

Saying he is “the wrong guy right now,” Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard on Monday resigned suddenly and walked out of a city council work session.

Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard

Hibbard’s abrupt resignation followed a budget discussion where the mayor was reportedly the only council member in opposition to spending $90 million to build a new City Hall, local reports say.

That city hall project reportedly has a $60 million deficit.

“I’m not a quitter, but I’m not the right leader for this council anymore and I’m concerned where the city is going,” Hibbard said before walking out of the session. “Because this is simple math and we’re not doing very well on the test.”

“I know this is shocking, but just I’m the wrong guy right now. And I just called my wife, she’s shocked. And don’t ever quit anything but it’s been more and more obvious to me that as much as I love the city and as much as I want to stick around for some of the things that are going to occur over the next couple of months, I simply am not the right person be here,” Hibbard said.

Hibbard suggested former city council member Hoyt Hamilton as his replacement for the time being.

“I would highly recommend you appoint Hoyt for the interim. At least he knows the city. You’re going to have to appoint somebody who doesn’t want to be the next mayor,” Hibbard told council members.

Council member Kathleen Beckham told reporters she was just as surprised as anyone: “A little surprised, saddened, shell-shocked,” Beckham said. “You know people make significant decisions about their life or work every single day. And a lot of factors weigh in on that. I have no idea why Mayor Hibbard chose to resign today.”

Hibbard previously announced in 2022 that he would not seek reelection when his term ended in 2024.

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