Pinellas News

Outgoing Tarpon commissioner Alahouzos to remain active

TARPON SPRINGS - A longtime Rotarian, Chris Alahouzos pulled from a little service club wisdom to guide his work as a servant to the residents.
Similar to Rotary International's cornerstone “Four-Way Test” guiding principle, Alahouzos created his own personal three-way mantra to help him during his two terms-plus on the City Commission.
“Every person has their own way of judging things, and for every item on the agenda I use a three-way test,” he said following a public ceremony held this month at the city's Harry K. Singletary Jr. Public Safety Facility. “If it's good for the city, if it's for the people of Tarpon, and if it's good for the applicant, then it's a good thing.
“If it doesn't fit one of those criteria, then it isn't something we should do.”
At least for now, Alahouzos will step down April 2 and be replaced in Seat 4 by Commissioner-elect David Banther. Alahouzos was appointed to fill a vacancy in December 2006 and then was elected twice to continue serving, first in 2007 and then in 2010. He has been vice mayor the last two years.
As Alahouzos steps down, the longtime Tarpon Springs resident and community advocate said he is confident the city is headed in the right direction.
“Going out, I feel a lot of good things happened with the city. I keep track of all the projects that we finished, which are quite a bit.
“On a personal level, one of the accomplishments I am proud of is that we were able to bring professionalism to the commission and be respected by the people of Tarpon Springs.”
Beyond being a fiscal conservative who often spoke up to ask if projects could be done cheaper or more efficiently, of paramount importance to Alahouzos over the past six years was carrying out the simple mandate of serving city residents to the best of his ability, both young and old.
“I always like to serve the common person,” he said, “the person who doesn't actually have the time to come to City Hall to voice their opinion. I wanted to stay in touch with the people of Tarpon. You cannot see everything just by sitting in a commission meeting. You have to get there and get in touch with the people.”
One of Alahouzos' responsibilities while in office was being the Tarpon Springs representative on the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority Board of Directors. It's been a passion of his to represent the city's senior citizen community and improving transportation options continues to be a must, he said.
“Many elderly do not have the means to get out of the house and go to the grocery store or Walgreens or the pharmacy or the hospital. If you look at it from an economic standpoint, seniors and the elderly have an income coming every month and they would like to spend their money. By doing so that also helps our local economy.
“Taking care of your seniors and taking into consideration their wisdom and expertise and experience is such a valuable asset we can utilize in our community.”
Alahouzos, whose family moved to Tarpon Springs from the Greek island of Kalymnos in 1967 and later graduated from Tarpon Springs High School, plans to remain active in civic affairs. His passion for serving Tarpon Springs and its residents remains strong and he anticipates running for a city government position once again.
“I can't stress enough how much I love this city.”
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