PINELLAS PARK - Mayor Bill Mischler said he will run for a fourth two-year term in March, marking 35 years in local politics and eight as mayor.
Mischler’s term and those of Councilwoman Sandra Bradbury and Councilman Ed Taylor are up for grabs.
City hall sources said there will be no discernible opposition against any of the three candidates, though Independent Randy “The Bulldog” Heine is expected to run against Mischler.
Mischler, a Republican, said he decided to run for re-election “because there are still many things that need to be accomplished.
“The people of Pinellas Park have entrusted me to represent them over the years and I will continue to serve them to the best of my ability,” Mischler said.
Mischler said there are no party lines on the City Council.
“We all work together as a team and will continue to do so,” he said. “We have a strong council and many good employees who do an outstanding job serving the taxpayers.”
Mischler said the growth and development of the city “has been phenomenal, especially during the last 10 years.” He attributed that to progressive leadership in all city divisions and team playing by management and rank-and-file employees.
“We have seen an influx of new businesses, housing developments and an increased quality of life,” Mischler said.
The mayor started his long government service run in 1971, about five years after moving here from New Jersey. He served on the planning and zoning board as both member and chairman. He was elected councilman and then seated as mayor after Cecil Bradbury resigned in 1998.
Bradbury held office for 17 years. His daughter, Sandra, is seeking another term on the city council.
Mischler retired after more than three decades with a Tampa housing development company, allowing him to dedicate most of his time to local government.
Under his watch the city’s business community grew while housing construction boomed dramatically. Some townhouses are selling for as much as $250,000 and single-family homes in some sections of the city have price tags of $500,000 and more.
“Pinellas Park once had a bad reputation,” Mischler said. “Today we are one of the most progressive cities in the county, if not the state.”
Mischler had praise for his peers and municipal employees.
“We work for the benefit of the city and its people, not for any one particular political party,” Mischler said. “That’s why Pinellas Park is what it is today and I’m proud to have played a role in that progress.”
Heine, who bills himself as the “taxpayer’s candidate,” has been a thorn in the side of administration officials for years. His latest battle is over the three-minute time limit for talking at city council meetings.
“The current administration has been in office too long and their ideas are stale,” Heine said. “It’s time for a change.”
Heine said the three-minute rule for talking is “probably unconstitutional.” He said he’s been in touch with the American Civil Liberties Union over that issue.
Heine said he has no campaign manager and no funding outside of the $10,000 he personally contributed to his own campaign.