Dave Eggers Says City Gets His 'Heart and Soul'
Mayor Dave Eggers says he has a team-oriented approach to Dunedin's future. He is running for re-election against former mayor Bob Hackworth in the 2012 election.
Dave Eggers approaches his job as mayor like he does calling balls and strikes.
Eggers, a longtime coach and umpire for Greater Dunedin Little League, said his deliberate, “consensus-style” leadership encourages a team-like atmosphere and citizen involvement.
“In umpiring you see a play happen,” he said. “You pause, you read the situation and then call it safe or out.”
In government, “when issues come, you pause, you be patient, you read the landscape a little bit and then you react.”
“You can’t get things done quite as quickly,” he said.
It's a quality his opponent Bob Hackworth calls unneccesary lingering and "manufactured drama."
But it’s the city's most divisive issues, like the controversial Patricia Avenue road closure last year, Eggers said could have been avoided with a little more time for resident discussion and buy-in.
Eggers spent a term as commissioner before succeeding Hackworth as mayor in 2009. Hackworth left his seat to make a bid for Pinellas County Commission in 2010. He differs from his opponent, in that “I have not chosen to move on,” Eggers said, residents “have my heart and soul. Without any doubt in my mind, they get all of me.”
Eggers, who earned a masters in business from the University of Pittsburgh, spent his time as mayor carefully and deliberately "reading the landscape" and grooming the city to attract business.
“We’re on the precipice of some really good economic development activity,” Eggers said.
Growth is essential to jumpstarting Dunedin's economy, he says, but it must be managed “the right way” to ensure Dunedin keeps its charm.
That’s why he’s dedicated nearly the last four years to gathering studies and citizen input on the future of all of Dunedin's major commercial corridors (i.e., Patricia Avenue, Dunedin Causeway, State Road 580, Douglas Avenue, etc.), and creating clearer building codes that serve to protect property rights along with the city’s charm.
Dunedin is ripe for continued growth.
The city is locked into a county extension on funding for downtown development and Achieva Credit Union’s recent headquarters move to Virginia Avenue. And with Pizzuti Builders’ pending deal on the Gateway tract, and the 25-acre former Nielsen headquarters site that's leveled and waiting for “somebody’s vision to come into play,” Eggers foresees Dunedin being “a prime place” for business.
“We can get a lot done; that’s why I decided to run again,” he said.
Eggers, a realtor, spent much of his childhood overseas in Peru and Guatemala. His father was in the construction business; his grandfather served as a mayor in Kentucky. He fell in love with Dunedin when he began coaching little league baseball from Safety Harbor. He moved his business to Dunedin and began getting involved in government affairs. He lives in Dunedin with Becky, his wife of seven years, a dog and two cats. Both his father and aunt live in the area.