INDIAN SHORES – Change is in the air at Indian Shores with the election of council members Michael Hackerson and Michael Petruccelli along with the pending retirement of Town Clerk Elaine Jackson and the hiring of her replacement, Stephanie Waters. These substantive shifts in personnel were officiated at the Feb. 14 town hall meeting.
Resolutions declaring Michael Hackerson and Michael Petruccelli as elected town councilors were approved as a result of both running unopposed. Each will serve a three-year term.
A second resolution authorizing credit cards to be issued to elected officials and department heads of the town, designating official signers on the SunTrust Bank account, and designating those authorized to initiate deposits and withdrawals relative to Florida Municipal Investment Trust also was approved.
Both Hackerson and Petruccelli applied for and were accepted to fill temporary council positions prior to the election.
Hackerson has served as a volunteer in Indian Shores in several capacities, including as community garden coordinator for the past five years, a member of the board of adjustment and appeals, and also as the alternate on the administrative and finance committees.
According to Hackerson’s resume, his professional experience entails in excess of 12 years as an executive in the aerospace and defense industry for companies including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Accenture, and IBM. Prior to that, Hackerson served 30 years in the U.S. Army’s aviation branch. His education includes a master’s degree from the University of Central Texas and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois.
Last fall Hackerson sent a letter of interest to the town stating, “I am retired, living in Indian Shores full time, and have the time, the energy, and, most importantly, the interest in giving back to (the) town of Indian Shores.”
Petruccelli had served previously on the Indian Shores Town Council before resigning last fall to pursue an unsuccessful bid for a seat on the Pinellas County School Board. Petruccelli is an insurance and real estate executive who has run his own company, Petruccelli Ltd., since 1974.
Town clerk to retire
After 30 years of service to the town, Elaine Jackson submitted her notice of intent to retire in a Feb. 1 letter to Town Council. The letter was “reluctantly” accepted by the mayor and councilors at the February meeting.
According to Jackson’s letter, she began working for the town in 1987 “as a receptionist in the front office of the old building, and advanced over the years to administrative assistant, deputy town clerk and to town clerk in 2014.”
Jackson’s retirement plans include traveling, antiquing, dancing, and writing a “NY Times best-selling” murder mystery novel.
“We wish you the best,” said Mayor Pat Soranno to Jackson.
Waters to fill position
Effective March 7, Stephanie Waters will fill the position of town clerk at an annual salary of $63,000 per year. Waters is currently working as deputy city clerk for the city of Largo where she moved up the ranks from grant writer to grant administrator to deputy city clerk in her tenure there since 2008.
Waters holds both bachelor’s and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary social science from Florida State University. Her graduate degree had an emphasis in public administration with minors in sociology and urban and regional planning. Her undergraduate degree has an emphasis in political science with a minor in history.