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CRYSTAL RIVER — Keith Shewbart has a plan for bridging the city’s downtown core without physically constructing a span.
Shewbart, a candidate for Crystal River City Council, recently shared his proposal to seamlessly connect Citrus Avenue’s business corridor, which is divided by busy U.S. 19, and shared his thoughts on a variety of issues with the Chronicle Editorial Board.
Shewbart answered questions that ran the gamut from his opinion about the development of the Three Sisters Springs property to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s rules in King’s Bay. He supports the Three Sisters plan but thought USFWS failed to get adequate local input before developing the rules.
Shewbart, who is a Delta Airlines pilot, said becoming a city official is about getting a “more engaged city council and to get people excited” about the process and his vision for the city.
He wants to create ease of movement for foot traffic across U.S. 19 by sequencing the traffic signals on Third and Citrus avenues and incorporating the use of the crosstown trail.
Shewbart, who ran for mayor in 2010 and lost in a three-way race, would like to see Crystal River become an upscale bed-and-breakfast destination with old-Florida charm.
“I don’t want to stop development, but I don’t want us to look like Daytona Beach or Port Richey,” Shewbart said.
Because of U.S. 19’s multilane traffic, he would like to see strict speed limits imposed to allow for a more orderly traffic flow.
Shewbart, who was a civilian member of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), said he was disappointed when the City Council dissolved the board and became the CRA because he thought his group was passionate and committed to a lot of the issues, such as the boardwalk project, which are coming to fruition.
He said his 25-year experience in the U.S. Air Force, his current work with Delta and his many volunteer efforts with the Civil Air Patrol and the city Waterfronts Advisory Board make him a good candidate.
Shewbart wants to engage county officials so everyone is on the same page and to help implement a vision for the city.
He also expressed his support for the controversial sewer project under way in the Fort Island Trail area.
“We all know if we can’t improve water quality, we will not be a draw,” he said.
Chronicle reporter A.B. Sidibe can be reached at 352-564-2925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
* WHAT: Crystal River City Council, Seat 5.
* WHO: Robert Holmes and Keith Shewbart — nonpartisan.
* TERM: Four years.
* COVERS: Incorporated Crystal River, Precinct 105.
* PAY: $6,328
* ON THE BALLOT: Nov. 6 election.