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Commissioner aims for county-wide office

A Safety Harbor official announces plans to run for the Pinellas County Commission in 2004.

By LEON M. TUCKER
Published June 12, 2003

SAFETY HARBOR - City Commissioner Neil Brickfield said this week that he plans to run for the Pinellas County Commission next year.

He has his eye on the at-large seat expected to be vacated by Commissioner Barbara Sheen Todd.

"Looking around at what I was able to achieve as part of the team in Safety Harbor," Brickfield said, "I decided I wanted to make positive contributions on a county level."

The election will be in November 2004.

Brickfield intends to run for District 1, which runs from the northeast corner of the county through Pinellas Park, then cuts west through Seminole to the beaches.

The 40-year-old janitorial business owner said he will file paperwork and open a campaign account Oct. 1.

He won't be alone.

Last week Redington Shores Mayor J.J. Beyrouti announced plans to run for the same seat.

Brickfield was a vocal critic of city policies and priorities when he soundly defeated two-term City Commission incumbent Don Fletcher in a three-way election in 2000.

In March, he was elected without opposition to a second term, which expires in 2006.

"I have a track record of fiscal responsibility in our city and I've been able to serve on county boards, so I have a good understanding of how the county operates," Brickfield said.

He has served on the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority.

To run for the county seat, Brickfield is required to submit an irrevocable resignation 10 days before qualifying for the county race next year. The resignation must be effective no later than the day he would take office if elected.

The city charter also calls for remaining commissioners to nominate a replacement for Brickfield within 30 days of his resignation. If the commission fails to do so, the governor makes the appointment.

Because there is more than a year left on Brickfield's term, the interim commissioner will serve for one year or until a special election is held.

- Leon M. Tucker can be reached at 727 445-4167 or tucker@sptimes.com

[Last modified June 12, 2003, 01:48:14]


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