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Brian Aungst Sr. is named Clearwater's interim mayor

A group of people sit at a dais. A man in a purple shirt stands to the far right, next to a woman sitting at a table with a blue tablecloth and other objects on it. An American flag and a Florida flag are behind the people at far left.
City of Clearwater
The Clearwater City Council named former Mayor Brian Aungst Sr. interim mayor at a special meeting Monday. It came one week after former Mayor Frank Hibbard stepped down in the middle of a meeting.

Aungst previously served as Clearwater's mayor from 1999-2005. He will hold the position until March 2024 following the resignation of Frank Hibbard.

Former Clearwater Mayor Brian Aungst Sr. has been named interim mayor of the city.

Council members unanimously voted Monday to name Aungst to fill the seat vacated last week by Frank Hibbard, who unexpectedly stepped down in the middle of a budget workshop last week over questions about the funding of city construction projects.

Aungst previously served as Clearwater's mayor from 1999-2005 for the maximum two consecutive terms. He will hold the position until March 2024, as Hibbard had about a year left in his term.

Aungst, 69, had worked for 30 years for Charter Communications before retiring as the company's director of state government affairs in 2018.

His son, Brian Aungst Jr., was recently named by Gov. Ron DeSantis to the board of the new Walt Disney World special taxing district.

As the younger Aungst is also an attorney who regularly represents clients in relation to city land use and development issues, the Tampa Bay Times reports his father agreed to recuse himself from any matters involving his son or his law firm, Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen, P.A., that come before the council.

While some who spoke at Monday's special council meeting favored naming a current city council member — with most supporting Vice Mayor Kathleen Beckman — to the seat, others spoke in favor of appointing someone who has no future plans to run for Mayor, like Aungst.

Hibbard had suggested last week that the council should appoint former City Council member Hoyt Hamilton to finish his term.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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