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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.”

The drawback?

“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  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  and  to Virginia Avenue. And with Pizzuti Builders’ , and the 25-acre 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.

Cecilia September 12, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Too bad after the Patricia Ave. closure/debacle, the Mayor and three of the current sitting Commissioners have done NOTHING to assist those of us living on Patricia Avenue between San Salvador and San Christopher, The Mayor himself has stated that this end needs assistance, and the only thing we get is more studies. Obviously this is not the only issue facing Dunedin, there are budget issues, loss of jobs for City employees, etc. But rest assured this problem was not addressed in an equitable manner and was fully supported by the Mayor. Through out all the side street, including Patricia Avenue north of San Salvador the city installed NO THRU STREET signs to attempt to form a gated community at the cost of tax payer. What these signs are intended to accomplish is to keep traffic from entering this neighborhood unless the drivers have a specific destination such as visiting some one who lives there. Patricia Avenue is effectively used as an ingress/egress speed strip for those living north of San Salvador, including the residents of Patricia N. of San Salvador; however those of us living South of San Salvador are not supposed to travel our own street it's entire length because of the NO THRU STREET SIGNS. Clearly, the police have far more important issues than to issue a citation that problably would not stick anyway,,,but come on. Evidently for this Mayor and three of the four Commissioners, I suppose this is their twisted form of inclusion. cont'd....
Cecilia September 12, 2012 at 11:42 AM
While this may seem like beating a dead horse, this end of the street is plagued with speeders, including paid City employees, who travel here for their convenience at break neck speeds DAILY. And the reference to the paid city employee occured the Thursday before Memorial Day at just after 5:00 when the Temporary Electronic Speed Monitoring Signs were still in place - not heresay, actual occurance. People chimed in left and right about how the closure was not inclusive, blah blah blah. they STOPPED COLD once they got their opening and a quasi-gated community which our tax dollars paid for - MUST BE NICE!!!!!!! How would you like to have the City of Dunedin effectivly say, that your neighbors, who live on the same street as you, can drive up and down the entire stretch of road, when they have no destination on your end, just the convenience of a faster ingress/egress to their home yet you encounted road signage forbiding you from doing driving there as you face a possible traffic citation? Inclusive, fair? I do not think so. I am not an attorney, but it sounds discriminatory and illegal! Not only is my safety endangered by opening this stretch with a documented history of excess traffic and speeding (we have LOTS of studies), I was relegated to my "end" of the street by the City. Great Job Mr. Mayor! Oh wait, you can drive the entire length since you live off the special end of the Patricia while the 30 familes on my end must stay on our end. Thanks!
Anti-Westboro Baptist September 12, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Mayor, not really sure which landscape you have been looking at? Maybe your screen saver? You had your chance with plenty of time but now it's time to go. We each make difficult choices daily and you had your share. I have no clue why you did many of the things you did but it was not what the people wanted. I am not going to bash your record it speaks for itself. That being said I wish you the very best in the future.
Tim Shepherd September 12, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Despite individual axes to grind, like Cecillias's. Mayor Eggers has had a balanced approach to governing and it has served the city well. He understands that business development is the key to continued quality of life in the city. He spearheaded the revamp of the building code and approval process that directrly resulted in new business choosing Dunedin for expansion and new jobs. Walmart Community Grocery store is a case in point. With the new approval process, the people building the new Walmat could be assured of a timely and efficient process to get approval for their project in a center of east Main street that had been vacant and languishing for years. Walmart promised to have the store open in months, if the new approval process worked as advertised. It did and so did Walmart. The east side now has a compatible and much needed business serving its community and creating jobs. Mayor Eggers has also lead the city trough significant budget cuts during the economic downturn. His consensus leadership style and business management ability have produced improved basic city services operating more efficiently. The Library, which serves 1,200 to 1,900 citizens each day is a case in point. WIth a nearly 30% budget reduction in 3 years, the Mayor's leadership enabled the Dunedin library to reconfigure it's facility, cross train remaining employees and take advantage of new technology to become one of the most efficient Library facilities in the state.
Anti-Westboro Baptist September 12, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Mayor Eggers leadership has been weak at best. The Library program is a debacle and will take years to overcome. The City of Dunedin has always been know for it's services, that is until Mayor Eggers became mayor. City Government is not a private business. Our Library is a shell of what it was! New Business has been running from Dunedin! As a business owner here for longer than you have been alive, Ive watched the past few years as business's have left and gone to nearby cities because it was easier to do business there not here. Praising the coming of Walmart clearly shows your lack of vision in a small town, with a desire for local buying and keeping money here at home. Last I checked Sam Walton's family does not live here. We are a small town and because Walmart opened more jobs were lost than gained. We've got to turn this around and good start would be replacing Mayor Eggers!
Bill McElligott September 12, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Its ironic that Dave should use the words "heart amd soul" those are the same words I used addressing my farewell to Dunedin business's and residents as their statewide award winning Fire Department Division Chief and Fire Marshal who is layed off and being replaced by a lower qualified individual. The hundreds of hours which i and other dedicated employees put in went unnnoticed ,employee families were devasted after being layed off while others selectively recieved $7000.00 raises. This resident thinks its time to step up to the plate and replace the "umpire" with a team leader ready to put Dunedin back in the game.People live in Cities for good quality services it takes a leader to keep the city on track and in the game.
Bill McElligott September 12, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Tim hopefully you will return to living in Dunedin soon and be able to see things here more clearly
Bob Burdewick September 12, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Is "Anti-Westboro Baptist" afraid or ashamed to publish his/her name?
Lori September 12, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Hey Mayor...Been living in the "Southside" for 25 years...When you ever going to get ANYTHING done over here!? Time to bow out! GO BOB!
jasminetea September 12, 2012 at 06:22 PM
AWB - isn't this your post "Dee I don't often look at (non food) retail labels, I don't often shop retail lol I buy online from trusted sites a lot. But yes I often wonder about some of the things I buy from large outlets and where the product really came from. I try to buy what I can local so if a product is made in Dunedin/Clearwater or nearby they usually have my business." And just so you know, most of the business in Dunedin that are no longer there went out of business because locals don't shop local and it's really hard to stay in business when you have to depend on snow birds.
Tim Shepherd September 12, 2012 at 06:43 PM
And we've just been treated to Bill's ax to grind. Bill, I am sure you can take your outstanding qualifications some where out there and land another job. Remember, Florida is a right to work state.
Tim Shepherd September 12, 2012 at 07:02 PM
AWB. Get your facts straight and have the guts to use your real name.
Mike K September 12, 2012 at 07:05 PM
While I respect Eggers time and effort with the Dunedin Little League, I wouldn't hang my hat on that since the Dunedin Little League has the worst softball program for girls in Pinellas County due to poor management by the Dunedin Little League in 2010, 2011 and 2012. When I look around Dunedin, I see boat loads of potential, but the leaders seem to lack vision and action. In Mayor Eggers time, I have seen no improvements made to the sw side of the city, but instead it is getting worse. Take a drive over by the Dunedin grade school or Middle School on Patricia and look for yourself. That area is a prime example of the failures of this current administration and I have seen no evidence that they have any plans to improve that area. I supported Eggers last time, but although I did not live here when Hackworth was in office, I am voting for Hackworth in order to bring about change.
Bill McElligott September 12, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Tim no axe to grind i am simply a resident and taxpayer of Dunedin . I was recruited and spent a great deal of money to come to Dunedin and fell in love with this great town .I Have worked with the kiwanis and other community organizations and given unselfishly to this community .and recieved statewide accolades for my work as well as excellent evaluations and respect from the community. Dunedin employees deserve better treatment and are not being rewarded for their dedication.Thats called leadership.
Bad Choices September 12, 2012 at 08:09 PM
It may well be that "AWB" is a current city employee. City employees who make a critical comment in a public forum do so at their own risk.
Tina White September 13, 2012 at 06:53 PM
I feel our Mayor Dave Eggers has done a wonderful job guiding through these troubled times. GO DAVE you have my vote. Tina
Anti-Westboro Baptist September 15, 2012 at 12:51 AM
WOW, My response to the comments above are simply, Sorry you can't handle the truth. As for my name, Claire Dunagans. Don't wear it out! lol If you like Mayor Eggers, great! good for you. I personally don't not like him I just don't think he's done a good enough job to be Mayor again. Attacking me and asking my name just shows the level at which you think. When Mayor Eggers voted against Fluoride he sealed the deal with me, everything since has just been further proof of reasons to vote for someone else, but that's just me. At least I'm not posting a sign in my window across from the library telling the Mayor to kiss my grits!
Tim Shepherd September 15, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Claire, flouride? You've got to be kidding. It was a $15,000 budget item out of a $30 million budget. To each his own, I guess.
Cecilia September 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Hey Ms ABW, You might want to reconsider that sign....... think of the free publicity your business would receive, hahah. However, you would too would probably have to stoop to using profatnity to actually get that level of free publicity : ( Isn't that unfortunate?
Anti-Westboro Baptist September 15, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Sorry Tim it's Fluoride, No, I'm not kidding. It was by far proof the Mayor was either willing to disregard 60 years of time tested proven scientific evidence or he was just pandering to a hand full of crazy people. Either way it was a clear example. I guess there's a third option of pure incompetency but I choose to believe he is a very smart man.
Tim Shepherd September 15, 2012 at 04:33 PM
There is a high probablility you also disagree with most people who think birthers, truthers (911 conspiracy folks), chem trail and illuminati (shadow government) devotees are nutballs. But, again, to each his own. By the way, some of my best friends are dentists.
Bad Choices September 15, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Claire I agree with you 100%! Except as far as Mayor Eggers goes I feel he is similar to the new weather vane I am developing. It is called the Romney vane it turns whichever way the wind blows.
Tim Shepherd September 15, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Hey Bad, The other day I was looking at the Bob Hackworth's list of supporters. It seems like his list is a clone of the Pinellas County voters for B. Hussein Obama. In fact, that makes sense. When Bob was Mayor, city government had 401 employees record taxes. Under Mayor Egger's leadership that number of employees has been reduced by 62 headcount or 15.6%, tax collections were cut and he reduced the city's bonded debt significantly, If we go back to the Hackworth/Obama model, we would be growing government wildly and taxing more while adding about $49,000 per capita to the total debt of the city. I say Dave Eggers is the right choice for Mayor.
Anti-Westboro Baptist September 15, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Tim, I don't take you for one of those types of people, just wanted to clarify that and while I don't agree with some of your views I do respect your views.
Anti-Westboro Baptist September 15, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Tim do you live in a different town? Under Bob Dunedin was thriving and under Dave everything is falling apart. You might want to talk with City employees off the record, they will tell you what Dave and Dave have been doing and just how they have been treated. People here want services, they are not cheap and people here know you get what you pay for so when you constantly have the lowest bidder thinking you get the lowest bidder result . I'm sorry I don't agree with you. You seem like a smart guy I'm just not seeing the same things you are.
Bad Choices September 15, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Well, Tim, as one of the 62, I have to say I have a much different opinion on whether eliminating jobs is something to be proud of. Clearly you are on the "public employees are the enemy" bandwagon. Every economic recovery over the past several decades has been led by growth in the public sector. This time, as the private sector adds jobs, it's the loss in public jobs that is acting as an anchor. Yeah, I know your response... "Get another job." Its not so easy in this economy when you're on the far side of 50 and find yourself having to start from scratch. The loss of income and loss of health insurance is devastating. I'll tell you what, though. It will be a lot easier to stand in line at the food pantry to help feed the family, with the knowledge that you were able to save a few bucks on your property taxes.
Anti-Westboro Baptist September 16, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Wow just heard the news about the job cuts for the city, again. Dave, your not going to be happy until you and Dave cut every city job, maybe we should just unincorp' and go back to horses!
Cecilia September 16, 2012 at 02:27 PM
BFF of the Mayor, Hired Publicist or Campaign Manager? Either way you are a great cheerleader for him and doing a stellar job as such, Tim. Congrats!
Bill McElligott September 16, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Tim lives in another county

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