rocker of boats will leave Treasure Island
By KATHY SAUNDERS
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 3, 2003
ISLAND - George Makrauer, one of the city's most public personas
who is not a public official, is moving to Celebration.
that some of his critics may be celebrating, Makrauer described
his decision to move as "an undeniable disappointment."
Makrauer and his wife, Taaron, decided they could not ignore
the opportunity to move their real estate and Internet consulting
business to Central Florida.
area is not at all built out. Pinellas County is all built
out," Makrauer said. And because all of the residents have
lived in Celebration for less than 10 years, "there is no
good ol' boys or good ol' gals network, which is very refreshing."
a community developed by Disney, was suggested as a model
for blending residential and commercial development during
Treasure Island's heated debates about new land development
discussions last year prompted Makrauer to run for mayor in
March. Although he lost the race - his third run at elected
office - Makrauer said he raised awareness of the city's inability
to support commercial redevelopment.
Celebration, "they have businesses there that are very much
supported by the local residents," he said. "There, it's as
though there is a welcome wagon on every corner looking for
out-of-state license plates."
said he will probably move in January. The couple bought a
home with enough room for two offices and a guest house over
the garage. In the meantime, he will sell his waterfront home
on the Isle of Capri, his business office across the street
from City Hall, a condominium on Sunset Beach, and a house
and apartment property in the Historic Kenwood neighborhood
of St. Petersburg.
and their backyard, open-water view will be the two most difficult
things to leave behind, the Makrauers said.
of those friends say that Makrauer, a former city commissioner,
will never be completely absent from Treasure Island politics
because of his passion for the community.
his involvement and dedication to this city, he'll still continue
to be a behind-the-scenes player, in my opinion," said Jim
Dobyns, who co-founded a voters watchdog group with Makrauer.
the spring elections, Mayor Mary Maloof's predecessor, Leon
Atkinson, moved to Istachatta, near the Hernando/Citrus County
line. His predecessor, Walter Stubbs, who had been mayor for
20 years, moved to Largo. Now Makrauer, Maloof's main opponent
and most verbal critic, will be gone as well.
you believe that?' Maloof said Tuesday. "I wrote him a nice
e-mail, but then I didn't send it in case it might be a joke."
said she is kind of sorry to see Makrauer go.
feel like he's kept everybody on their toes," she said. "I
haven't always agreed with him, but I think he got people
in this community thinking like they had never thought before
and like they may never think again."