ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman handpicked David Flintom to run the Mayor’s Action Center, making him the city’s new point person for residents’ complaints.
Turns out he’s already generated a few complaints of his own.
In May, Flintom abandoned his home on Bayside Drive South, leaving behind an unpaid utility bill and making no plans for anyone to maintain the yard. Since then, the city has twice had to clear his badly overgrown yard.
In all, the city has placed liens totaling $600 against his property to cover the costs of mowing his yard and to recoup unpaid utility bills.
Flintom, who will make $70,000 per year in his new position, said he thought the home would be foreclosed on since he stopped paying the mortgage after moving to Tampa in May. He said he did not receive standard city notices giving him 10 days to take care of his yard.
“I was having trouble paying the mortgage to Bank of America,” he said. “I’ve never gone through foreclosure so I didn’t know what the process was. Clearly I need to take corrective action to fix these issues.“
The city first cleared Flintom’s yard in August. Photos taken by code enforcement staff show wildly overgrown grass and weeds. Code enforcement staffers were back in October and reported that there was also debris in his yard.
Records show the second notice giving him 10 days to take care of his yard was sent to his Tampa address. Flintom said he never received it.
The utility account for the home was canceled in June, but the final bill of $196.49 was never paid, city records show. It has now risen to $231 because of lien fees.
He said he called the city’s code department Monday to find out what he needs to do clear the liens. He also visited the property to repair a downed fence, he said.
“There was some confusion on my part, but I’m going to get it resolved as quickly as possible,” he said.
Flintom is one of two former legislative aides to Kriseman given high-paying jobs in his new administration. He also worked in a customer service role for Continental Airlines, MCI Telecommunications and Amazon, according to a biography released by Kriseman’s team.
Flintom is expected to begin his new job soon after Kriseman is sworn in on Jan. 2. He said he plans to move back to Pinellas County, but is not sure if he will move back to his property on Bayside Drive South.
“I don’t want any mistakes I made to reflect on Mayor Elect Kriseman,” he said.