TARPON SPRINGS — Less than a year removed from leaving the board, former Tarpon Springs City Commissioner Chris Alahouzos is ready to get back to work for the city.
A longtime resident and native of the Greek island of Kalymnos, Alahouzos officially announced his early mayoral candidacy at a gathering Saturday morning on the platform at Spring Bayou.
“It’s something I’ve been working toward for a long time, and I want to get back in there to serve the people of Tarpon Springs,” he said in an interview Monday.
Alahouzos occupied Seat 4 on the City Commission from December 2006 until stepping down because of term limits last April 2, replaced by Commissioner David Banther. He was vice mayor for his final two years.
The announcement comes two years prior to the municipal election in 2016, when David Archie will be barred by term limits from seeking a third consecutive term as mayor.
In the meantime, Alahouzos is already busy pinpointing programs and initiatives that he believes could benefit the city.
One of his key focuses will be on assisting the city’s sizeable senior-citizen population.
Implementing a “Staying Put” program is a goal to help seniors stay in their homes while assisting in their transportation around town. This would also serve as a benefit to the local economy, Alahouzos said.
“If you give them a means of transportation you give them the freedom to go to local business,” he said.
Other objectives Alahouzos touched on aim to foster better relationships with the business community. Those include lowering Tarpon Springs’ 5.45 mill property tax rate, streamlining the city’s permitting process and highlighting all areas of the city to attract a diversity of business and industry.
“We have to make Tarpon Springs more attractive to businesses and let them know we are open for business and are friendly to them,” he said.