Rudy Davis is, from all indications, doing a heckuva job as mayor of Belleair Beach. That is the good news.
The bad news is that the city’s residents are going to have this benefit for only another year. Davis intends to be a one-term mayor.
“I made a deal with myself when I ran for office that I would stay for one term only. And I intend to keep that promise to myself,” Davis says.
Not surprising that Davis would keep a promise – to himself or to anyone, for that matter. He is an honorable man.
What is surprising is that he did not – like so many – get infected. Infected, that is, with the bug of public office. So many run and then can’t seem to stay away. They need it. We see it all the time.
His predecessor as mayor was a candidate for the council a couple of weeks ago and was roundly and soundly beaten, running dead last among six candidates. Maybe the populace was sending a message.
Talk to Davis and it is clear he does not have political ambitions. The guy turns out to be exactly what he said he was. He wanted to contribute and serve his community and that done, he says he is ready to step down.
Okay, that makes him a lame duck, but lame ducks in places like Belleair Beach aren’t as crippled as the ones who are engaged in high stakes politics.
High stakes it is not (although some act to the contrary) in Belleair Beach. It really is service and Davis falls into that category.
He was on the scene going back a few years, speaking up at council meetings, working with coalitions of citizens to achieve certain aims. One of those aims was to bring some order to government in Belleair Beach.
Some would argue, why even have a municipal government in a tiny village like Belleair Beach? It would make more sense, some argue, were the area part of the county or, in another idea, if it were included in a city made up of Belleair, Belleair Bluffs and Belleair Shore.
These small communities really boil down to being homeowners associations that manage to get chartered and then collect dues in the form of legally imposed taxes.
But back to Davis.
This corner touted him for a bigger role when he was just Mr. Citizen chipping in with some ideas at citizen comment time. He still has all the demeanor Mr. Citizen, striving to do something for his community.
Davis began life in Tidewater Virginia, Newport News to be exact, and modest beginnings became a successful and prosperous life through attention to detail and hard work. He wound up as a very successful businessman and then turned his attention to bettering life in the little Florida town he settled in – Belleair Beach.
Davis was instrumental in the change of basic form of government in Belleair Beach from the council to the manager-council form that has been in place a little more than a year.
Much of the impetus for that change was brought about by what went on in City Hall under the aegis of Davis’s predecessor. Those things have changed. City Manager Reid Silverboard is running the city competently.
Just as importantly, Davis will be presiding over a council that promises to be workmanlike and orderly.
It will be almost a year yet before it can be said in fullness, but so far so good and for now –
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