BELLEAIR BEACH.- Voters in Belleair Beach will decide two important issues on election day: 1) Election of a new mayor and, 2) Decision to move police services to the Sheriff's Department or retain the current police department.
Regarding the mayor's race, incumbent city Councilmember Lynn Rives is running for the open mayor's seat. He is opposed by former city Councilmember Donna Durante. Rives has work experience as a city government official (Oldsmar) while Durante is a local real estate agent. Both have served the city in elected office, Rives still an active city official.
Perhaps the major issue in the upcoming city election is the decision about police services. Currently Belleair Beach has its own police department which has been a topic of financial concern for the past years. Retaining a city-owned police department is both expensive and managerially time-consuming. Perhaps what has made the Belleair Beach police matter worse is the fact that most city police officers support a move to the Sheriff's Department. Thus, a move to the Sheriff's Department has support from the local police officers and, according to Sheriff Coats, the move would save Belleair Beach taxpayers considerable funds each year. Along with a likely office space savings at the current Belleair Beach city hall if a move occurred, any new city hall complex could be downsized and save citizens further tax funds. However, not everyone supports such a move of police services. There is a group of Belleair Beach citizens that wish to retain current police services, regardless of the costs. Their message? "We want our own police department." Citizens of Belleair Beach will decide the issue on election day.
Clouding the election is the recent resignation of the City Manager Reid Silverboard. However, and according to some citizens in Belleair beach, " If we change police services do we really need a fulltime city manager? Who will he/she manage?"