Meet the Mayor Event Brings Out the Stars of Safety Harbor
City commissioners, civic leaders, state senators and of course former Mayor Steingold and current Mayor Ayoub all turned up at Friday night's gala at the Spa.
The night was dubbed "Meet the Mayor, a celebration of Safety Harbor."
So it was fitting that nearly every major player in town, from city commissioners to civic leaders, showed up at the Safety Harbor Spa and Resort on Friday to say thanks to former mayor Andy Steingold while simultaneously welcoming new mayor Joe Ayoub to the community.
The event was hosted by Destination Tampa Bay magazine, and publisher Bonnie Walters summed up the evening when she took the stage about an hour into the event.
"We started as Destination Safety Harbor ... and tonight we are returning to our roots," Walters told the assembled crowd.
"One of our first articles was on Mayor Steingold ... so it's fitting we are honoring him tonight as well as new Mayor Joe Ayoub. Tonight is a celebration of Safety Harbor."
It was a star-studded affair to be sure, as State Sen. Jack Latvala mingled with Mattie Williams director Janet Hooper, and city manager Matt Spoor chatted with community activist Joe Caisse.
In addition, all four city commissioners — Nancy Besore, Cliff Merz, Nina Bandoni and Rick Blake — were present, as well as a number of local leaders, including Rotary Club president Bob McClure; 2012 Treasure of the Harbor winner Bobbie Wheeler; planning & zoning board chair Chris Logan; library director Lisa Kothe; and Garden Club president Carol Zieres.
But the night belonged to the two mayors.
"I really enjoyed my time serving the city of Safety Harbor," Steingold said. "Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve, and thank you to my wife for allowing me the opportunity to be able to serve all this time."
He then gave the mic to Ayoub, who thanked his predecessor and all the people who make the city run.
"Tonight is a celebration of our community and the people who make the city what it is," he said as he went on to thank volunteers, city employees, teachers, military officers, emergency responders and all the employees of Safety Harbor.
"As the city's new mayor ... my top priority is keeping the spirit of cooperation and teamwork. We may not always agree, but as long as we keep community above self, we'll keep this community being the best it can be."
He also mentioned his desire to get the new waterfront park opened an operational as soon as possible.
As the event wrapped up Steingold, who came straight from court for a trial he is working on, said he is glad to see the city in the position it is in as he transitions back to private life — for now.
"It was great to see the community come out and support the new commission and hear Joe comment on some of his goals," he told Patch.
"I would anticipate in the next year I would be back," he added. "If my wife lets me run, I'll run. I'm not going anywhere."
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