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Businessman files for at-large fire commission seat

Thomas Marasciullo also applies to fill the seat left vacant by Dennis Andrews.

By JENNIFER FARRELL, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 26, 2002


Thomas Marasciullo also applies to fill the seat left vacant by Dennis Andrews.

SPRING HILL -- A local business owner, who also fronts the doo-wop band Tommy and the Saints, has filed to seek election to the Spring Hill Fire Rescue District Commission.

Thomas Marasciullo, better known to friends and fans as Tommy Mara, will seek one of two at-large openings on the nonpaid five-member board. Incumbent Gene Panozzo will seek one of the seats as well.

Marasciullo, 47, 11440 Hyde Park Way, also submitted an application to fill an opening left vacant when Dennis Andrews gave up his seat after applying to become the district's next assistant chief. County Commissioners are expected to select a replacement Tuesday for the term that expires in Nov. 2004.

If he is not selected, Marasciullo said, he will run for election in November. He said he wants to give something back to the community where he has lived for 15 years.

"People have told me that I would make a good fire commissioner," Marasciullo said. "I wouldn't let the people down in Spring Hill because they didn't let me down."

Marasciullo, who got his start working as a cheese grinder in Italian restaurants owned by his parents in New York, owns Buddies Painting Inc. and M&M Recording Studio, both based in Spring Hill, and Doowop Auto Sales in Hudson.

Before moving to Spring Hill from Long Island, he worked as a driver and manager for trucking companies, including Plainview-based Yellow Freight Systems.

Marasciullo said his business background would be an asset to the fire district.

"I'm a good watchdog," he said. "Sixty-five employees. I don't let one of them get past me."

One of Marasciullo's employees is John Ferriero, president of the Spring Hill firefighters union.

Marasciullo said Ferriero and another firefighter work part time for his painting business.

Like Ferriero and Panozzo, Marasciullo backs the district's push to seek independence from Hernando County.

"I see what's going on out there. The money that we have in Spring Hill Fire Rescue, as opposed to the other county facility, is a big difference," he said, adding later: "I think the service and quality of service is what I feel should be kept."

-- Jennifer Farrell covers Spring Hill and can be reached at 848-1432. Send e-mail to farrell@sptimes.com.

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