Linda Norris announces intention to run for Oldsmar City Council in March 2019

Former Oldsmar City Council member Linda Norris recently announced her intention to run for Seat 1 in the March 2019 municipal election.

When Linda Norris left the Oldsmar City Council in March 2016 due to term limits, she didn’t rule out a return to office.

“I plan to run for mayor, so who knows, in a few years I could be sitting in Doug’s (Bevis) seat!” she said upon receiving the Council/Manager Award in February of that year.

As it turns out, her prediction was half right.

Last week Norris announced she is running for Seat 1 in the March 2019 municipal election, joining a crowded field that already has two candidates vying for Eric Seidel’s soon-to-be vacated seat.

“I always planned to run again because I love serving the city of Oldsmar and all the citizens,” Norris said by phone late last week, adding, “Now that I’m semi-retired, I will have more time to dedicate to the city and moving Oldsmar forward.”

Norris has been busy during her time away from public life.

Linda Norris and Noelle Stillman pose atop “Native Balance,” the mural Stillman painted at Oldsmar’s Sheffield Park in spring 2018.

As chair of the North Pinellas Cultural Alliance, the devoted art lover has overseen the installation of several NPCA projects, including the butterfly mural at Sheffield Park and the recent unveiling of a crosswalk mural at Largo Central Park.

Norris said should she be elected, she would keep her role with the NPCA while continuing to bring more public art and culture to Oldsmar.

“Of course I want to continue to promote art and public art,” she said. “Art is always going to be one of my top priorities, whether I’m in office or not.”

Another priority of Norris’ is to protect Oldsmar’s small-town charm.

Linda Norris poses with Oldsmar Cares official David Wallace during one of the organization’s fundraising galas. Norris has pledged to donate the majority of her council salary to the nonprofit should she be elected in March 2019. (Credit: Linda Norris)

“I want to keep that small-town feel.” she said. “I don’t want to overdevelop. I want to focus on our parks and bike trails and eco-tourism, all the things that make Oldsmar a great place to raise a family or to retire.”

“Oldsmar has an ideal and it’s that we care about parks and nature and open spaces. I want to make sure we’re not giving the farm to developers and make sure the development is fair for the citizens of Oldsmar.”

Norris said her three-year hiatus from office, combined with semi-retirement from her paint contracting business, has given her the renewed energy she’ll need to campaign against Seat 1 opponents Matt Clarke and Andrew Knapp.

“Everybody should be afforded the opportunity to run for office, and I look forward to the challenge,” she said, noting she would once again donate the majority of her council salary to Oldsmar Cares should she get elected.

“I think this is exactly what our democracy is all about.”

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