Clearwater's new manager wants to meet with the Church of Scientology

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Clearwater's new manager wants to meet with the Church of Scientology.

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Tampa Bay Times: Clearwater’s new manager starts fast, aims to ‘get a lot of things done’

Jon Jennings begins with a to-do list that includes environmental steps, a new City Hall, meeting with Scientology and more.

Tracey McManus
Published 3 hours ago


Clearwater’s new manager starts fast, aims to ‘get a lot of things done’


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Another priority is to sit down with Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige to discuss the impacts of recent church-connected real estate acquisitions, Jennings said. Since 2017, limited liability companies managed or operated by members of Scientology have bought at least 145 properties in downtown and the North Marina Area district and have left most of them vacant.

Miscavige went years without talking to city officials. His minimal communication with the city over the past two years was through Horne, Mayor Frank Hibbard and former City Attorney Pam Akin, who retired last month after 27 years with the city.

With the shift in city leadership, including the hiring of City Attorney David Margolis on Oct. 25, Jennings said he asked Hibbard to arrange an introductory meeting to include himself, Miscavige, Hibbard and Margolis.

Hibbard said he has reached out to Scientology’s communications office to set up a meeting but, as of Thursday, has not heard back.

Jennings said he wants to see “if there is a partnership or a path forward” with the church.

“If they’re not interested in a partnership, we’re going to have to really look at what the future holds for the downtown,” Jennings said. “It’s not as if the city is toothless.”

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