Frank Hibbard relocated with his parents from Chicago to Clearwater, Florida, in 1979, and he has been there ever since. Hibbard was elected as mayor of Clearwater in 2005 and served two terms in that position. In 2020, he returned to his position as mayor, however he just declared he will not run for reelection in 2024. In fact, the civil servant didn’t go that far since his tenure in office just came to an untimely end.
On March 20, Mayor Hibbard abruptly resigned while attending a special city council meeting to discuss a project the city was working on. Hibbard said he loved his community, but he just wasn’t the appropriate person for the position. He said he was “concerned” about the way the council intended to take Clearwater, that the plans versus the money didn’t stack up, and that he could no longer “remain the mayor.”
Hibbard, who as mayor voted like a councilmember, was the lone city council voice who opposed constructing a $90 million city hall. Clearwater is already facing a quarter billion dollar shortfall for other projects. @FNCOriginals @FoxNews https://t.co/AKuWXdmcOV— Jon Michael Raasch (@JMRaasch) March 24, 2023
The primary undertaking considered was a new city hall and municipal building, which had been budgeted for $40 million. The cost may now exceed $100 million. According to the financial adviser, the projects considered in Clearwater would have resulted in a “shortfall” for the municipality of around $250 million, which is cause for alarm. The financial expert called the expenditure suggested in Clearwater “reckless.”
Hibbard said that because he never “quits anything,” his wife was “shocked” by the news. Councilwoman Kathleen Beckman was apparently taken aback by Hibbard’s claim. She said that she was still shocked and unsure of how to react to the information. The public was assured by council members that the city will continue to function normally until a new mayor takes Hibbard’s position. The body must choose the next mayor within 30 days.
According to reports, the soon-to-be-former mayor has not yet submitted a formal resignation to the city attorney.