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    Former official reclaims his seat

    David Archie will rejoin the City Commission, thanks to no opposition. Four candidates are battling for the other open seat.

    By KATHERINE GAZELLA, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published January 25, 2002


    TARPON SPRINGS -- Nobody entered the race to run against him, so this week former City Commissioner David Archie automatically won a spot on the commission.

    Archie, 48, will take over the seat currently held by Cindy Sanner after the March election. Sanner decided last year she would not run for re-election.

    Archie is the executive director of the nonprofit Citizens Alliance for Progress in the city's Union Academy neighborhood and serves on the boards of several organizations. He previously was on the City Commission from 1996 to 2001, then left because of term limits. The city's charter allows commissioners to serve two consecutive terms; they can run again a year after leaving office.

    For Archie, this is a new experience. He has never run for office without opposition.

    "I look at it as the citizens liking the things I've done," he said. "I'm very humbled."

    In the other commission seat up for election, four candidates will compete: incumbent Jim Archer, 69, a part-time fleet salesman at Karl Flammer Ford in Tarpon Springs and a former professional baseball pitcher; Norm Augustinus, 41, a writer and inventor; Peter Nehr, 49, who owns the American Spirit flag store along with his wife; and Joseph Pisani, 38, who owns Trendsetters Hair Salon.

    The election is March 19. Qualifying for the two races ended Wednesday.

    Also on the ballot will be six referendum items. Voters will decide whether to eliminate the two-term limit for commissioners; whether to require at least a 4-1 vote to fire a city manager; whether to allow people who are not city residents but who are active in the community to serve on some city boards; and whether to allow the City Commission, by a vote of at least 4-1, to approve leases of more than five years and contracts without going to a referendum.

    The other referendum items deal with land purchases: whether to allow the city to buy a vacant lot at Spring Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive for about $5,000 so it can remain undeveloped, and whether the City Commission can approve the sale or purchase of property by a 4-1 vote instead of going to a referendum.

    -- Katherine Gazella can be reached at (727) 445-4182 or gazella@sptimes.com.

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