INDIAN SHORES — Mayor Patrick C. Soranno will serve another three-year term starting in March as a result of running unopposed. A resolution declaring Soranno to have been elected mayor passed unanimously 5-0 at the Jan. 12 Town Council meeting.
Since no one ran against Soranno, and as the only qualified candidate for the mayor’s seat on the ballot, according to Florida law he automatically wins the election that would have taken place March 9. He will be sworn in for his next term in March.
With a background that includes six years in the U.S. Air Force, executive positions with The Travelers Insurance Co., founding partner of Paradigm Alliance Group, and founder of several small businesses, Soranno also served on boards such as the March of Dimes, U.S. Behavioral Health and the Center for Corporate Health. Soranno has an undergraduate degree in psychology from City University of New York and an MBA from Hofstra University.
Before being elected a Town Council member in March 2014, Soranno served as a citizen member of the Indian Shores Planning, Zoning and Building Committee for five years. He became vice mayor in 2015. Then the unexpected happened. Mayor James Lawrence died in December 2016, elevating Soranno from vice mayor into the position of mayor.
Soranno also serves as president of the Barrier Islands Governmental Council.
As his first full three-year term came to an end, he was not sure he wanted to run again.
“I didn’t expect to run another term,” he said.
The mayor said he then considered all the major projects started on his watch that still needed to be brought over the finish line, including nourishment of the beaches, the sidewalks project, and the monument project among others.
“I believe we have some unfinished business that needs attention,” said the mayor.
What swung him over in the end was duty. “We have a great town, we have decent people, and it is an honor to work for them,” he said.
One of those projects on the mayor’s to-do list, the town’s monument project, moved forward at the meeting. A contract agreement between the town and Sarah Mullins for the Gulf Boulevard art installation concept design services was unanimously approved by the council. Additionally, the final design version of the monument was unanimously accepted in a vote of 5-0.
In other matters
• The council agreed to accept the Pinellas County Combined Mutual Aid Agreement with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. This authorizes cooperation between local law enforcement agencies and the sheriff’s office.
• An Indian Shores Police Department request to expand the department’s maximum vacation accrual cap from 240 to 320 hours, and to authorize the police chief to approve buyouts of accrued vacation time as needed until the current state of emergency is lifted, passed unanimously by the council 5-0. According to Chief Richard Swann, “any payment of vacation time at current rates assists us in managing our payroll and employee accruals in (fiscal year) 2021-22, and reduces the cost of future financial liability the town carries forward.”