I'm Bob Hackworth and I want to serve as your Mayor again.
Let me tell you why I'm running. I have a proven record as an honest and capable leader. While mayor of Dunedin, I delivered better, faster, and cheaper government services. I cut taxes, balanced budgets in both good and bad economic times, and always looked beyond partisan politics to solve real problems.
In early 2009 after serving seven years on the City Commission, I voluntarily stepped aside, honoring my own self-imposed term limit. One of my last official acts in office was to receive, on behalf of our community, the 2008 City of Excellence award from the Florida League of Cities.
Today though, I'm concerned about the current mayor and commission's turn away from the transparency, inclusiveness and accountability to the public that I fought so hard to achieve. There is once again a need for a greater emphasis on practical problem solving and a commitment to a more forward-looking budget process and strong leadership with less reliance on narrow ideology.
I'm a leader who listens to all of the people I'm elected to represent, a leader with a record of fighting for fairness and transparency in government. I'm a citizen legislator, a small-business owner and a family man. Gwynne and I feel blessed to be raising our children here in Dunedin, in the same small town where I grew up, and I'm passionate about making sure that their future in our community will also be bright.
I'll work hard each day to restore the faith and confidence you deserve to have in your local government. I'll safeguard the vibrant, distinctive Dunedin community so many have worked so hard through the years to create.
That's the kind of leadership Dunedin city government needs and I'm the proven leader you can depend on to get the job done.
Date of birth: June 12, 1955
Place of birth: Ft. Ord, CA
Education: B.S., University of Florida, 1978
Married: 32 years to Gwynne Hackworth
Children: 15-year-old daughter Maddie, 12-year-old son Bobby
Occupation: Partner, H&H Publishing Co., Inc.
Former Political Office: Mayor, City of Dunedin
Bob Hackworth was elected to the Dunedin City Commission in 2002, won election to a second term resoundingly in 2005 and was elected mayor with 87% of the vote in 2006. In 2008 Mayor Hackworth was elected chairman of the Pinellas Planning Council, marking his fifth year of service there.
Mayor Hackworth's accomplishments in office include leading the way for greater openness, transparency and ethics in city government. He fought for legislation restricting gifts to public officials, won the effort to create single-seat districts for commissioners, increasing their accountability to constituents, and eliminated eminent domain as a city practice. He secured unanimous approval to increase efficiency and cut tax rates by more than 21% without cutting municipal services. He led the way in creating an Economic Development & Housing Department and a Neighborhood Enhancement Program. Under his leadership downtown Dunedin continued an outstanding redevelopment effort that is recognized nationally for its charm. The PBS Series, America's Walking, honored Dunedin as among the most walkable small cities in America. Dunedin was also recognized as one of the best Florida cities for providing residents of all ages with quality recreational facilities and programs. In addition, Dunedin currently has one of the lowest per capita costs for fire and police protection services and is often cited as a model for downtown revitalization and smart redevelopment of a coastal community. Mayor Hackworth was a leader in those efforts.
Mayor Hackworth also led the city's efforts to recognize and expand human and civil rights. He spearheaded the effort to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by promoting Dunedin's Inclusion Initiatives, resulting in both the local observance of the national holiday and in the renaming of a local street and recreation center for Dr. King. Under his leadership the city formed an Inclusion Committee, created a Diversity Week, took part in the National League of Cities Inclusion Partnership and updated Dunedin's employee rules and regulations and benefits to include gay and lesbian partners.
In his final years in office, it was Mayor Hackworth's vision and determination that resulted in the city's acquisition of the only remaining quarter-mile of open waterfront parkland that is now Dunedin's signature Weaver Park. Concerned that five acres between the Pinellas Trail and Dunedin's waterfront might be developed and its view of St. Joseph Sound closed off to the public forever, Hackworth pushed for the deal in the face of stiff opposition from some residents and commissioners who objected to the cost of the land. In the end, Hackworth persuaded the commission to pursue the purchase and a Florida Communities Trust grant and matching Pinellas County funds combined to preserve Dunedin's last stretch of waterfront for grateful residents and visitors.
Currently a partner in his family's educational publishing firm, Bob Hackworth began his professional career in sports marketing. A varsity cross country and track athlete and Recreation major at the University of Florida in the 1970s, he succeeded in combining his athletic abilities and entrepreneurial drive by founding the Colorado Conference Group, a sports marketing and publishing business that grew with the fitness boom of the '80s. With business booming, and his competitive fire still burning, Bob began bicycle racing again at the ripe old age of 35 and soon became known as one of the oldest professional bike racers in the country. This renewed commitment to athletic competition led to the expansion of his business overseas.
In 1995, Bob retired from racing and sports marketing and he and Gwynne settled permanently in Florida. He joined H&H Publishing Co., Inc., partnering with his father in the publishing of textbooks, testing instruments, and Internet courses for university and community college students. In 1997, after 17 years of marriage, Bob and Gwynne were blessed with the arrival of their daughter Maddie, now fifteen and a sophomore at Dunedin High School, and in 2000 with their son Bobby, now twelve and in the seventh grade at Dunedin Highlander Middle School.