John Doran still will be watching.
Whether it’s from home with his wife Stephanie, his brother-in-law’s house or from the back row seats at the Council Chambers at City Hall, just because Doran is off the dais does not mean he is done serving the city.
The self proclaimed “accidental” council member got involved with the Clearwater Beach Association and started watching City Council meetings in the early 1980s. Before long he was asked to run for council, so he did.
“It was better than anything else on Thursday night,” Doran said.
After serving on the City Council since 2005, Doran gives up his seat to Doreen DiPolito who along with Mayor-elect George Cretekos and Jay Polglaze take their seats as the new City Council for the work session meeting Monday. A special ceremony of the new and old city leaders is planned for the City Council meeting Thursday.
Doran said there is a learning curve. He was involved but not like what it takes once taking a seat on the dais. Doran went from representing one group and going to one meeting every other week to representing a diverse community of more than 100,000 and going to sometimes multiple meetings daily.
"It's like running into a brick wall," he said.
Although the decision could be reversed under the new council, Doran is proud of getting the passed. Doran spearheaded the effort after being involved in a red light accident. Cretekos voted against the measure and both .
Doran is proud of the work he did to add to the beach parking inventory, help get the boatslips project passed, efforts downtown including with the Capitol Theatre, Cleveland streetscaping plan and efforts to revitalize the East Gateway and North Greenwood neighborhoods.
Doran would like to see more happening downtown. He has talked about getting more events during weeknights and on Fridays other than the monthly Blast Friday event. Doran offered ideas like theme nights including a zydeco (one of his favorite styles of music) night, car shows or letting local bands perform.
The avid reader, he downs at least one book a week, Doran is proud of expanding the library system and recreation centers during his time, even with budget shortfalls. He would also like to see more book, poetry and art fairs.
A couple other ideas that Doran has talked about while on council, and he will continue bringing up, include creating community gardens, mail box art and sand ads.
Each morning level the sugary expanse on Clearwater Beach, a print wheel would come in stamping an advertisement onto the sand.
“You get money from that to rake the beach,” he said.
But Doran will give the new council some time and he will take some time too. Most likely watching city council meetings and reading a book.