St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

CRYSTAL RIVER CC 3

OPPOSED ON ANNEXATION: The two clash on the 500-plus acres, but both candidates share environmental concerns.

RAGHURAM VADAREVU
Published October 26, 2004

Over the past three years, Susan M. Kirk has at times been the lone voice of opposition on the City Council.

"That's part of being a policymaker," Kirk said, "that you're strong enough to venture out there even though sometimes you know you're going to stand alone."

In April, Kirk voted against the annexation of 500-plus acres of land at the southern end of the city limits, saying the council did not have enough information to make a reasoned decision.

"I make decisions based on facts," she said. "There were too many questions left unanswered."

Now, Kirk is facing opposition of her own. Phil Jannarone, a retired operating engineer, is challenging her for Seat 3 on the council, arguing the "annexation is the key ingredient to progress" for the city.

A member of various city committees who rarely misses a council meeting, Jannarone said he jumped into the race to show his support for the annexation and for City Manager Susan Boyer.

"I think the city manager is doing a fine job, and we should do everything to retain her," he said, adding that Kirk was among those who wanted to oust Boyer after the election. "She has been the shining light from the day she walked in the door."

Jannarone said the city has seen much improvement, such as increased staff professionalism, in the two years since Boyer arrived.

Kirk denied Jannarone's accusation.

"Unless he can read my mind, how would he know what my intentions are?" she said, adding that she has worked with Boyer since her arrival. "People have seen that I have the best interest of the city at heart."

They do manage to agree on a few issues.

They believe wetlands and the environment should be preserved and oppose development that would damage them, and both candidates are not averse to development at less environmentally sensitive areas. They also agree that the city should have a say in the development at its outskirts, and they support annexation generally.

Kirk said the council must continue developing the city's land development code - the regulations that govern how the city will grow - "so we will end up with a city that we want rather than one we are stuck with."

THE JOB

Crystal River City Council members are elected citywide and serve four-year terms. They set policy for the city and earn $5,428.44 per year.

THE CANDIDATES

SUSAN M. KIRK , 51, was first elected to the City Council in 2001. Born in Hartford, Conn., she graduated from Linton High School and later the Baltimore School of Massage. She also has an associate's degree in secretarial science from Central Virginia Community College. Currently a licensed massage therapist, she moved to Crystal River in 1984. At various times, she worked as an executive assistant in Washington, D.C., and Crystal River. She is a member of the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce, Kings Bay Rotary and the Crystal River Community Redevelopment Agency, among other groups. Kirk is married. ASSETS: property and investments. LIABILITIES: mortgage. SOURCES OF INCOME: self-employed massage therapy, and spouse's job.

PHIL JANNARONE , 69, moved to Crystal River in 1999. He was born in Newark, N.J., and graduated from Neptune High School and attended Brown University. He worked as an operating engineer at various constructions sites throughout New Jersey and was a home builder until 1999. He serves on the Crystal River parks, planning and zoning board and sits on the board of directors of the Kings Bay Association. He also is a member of Homosassa River Alliance and Keep Citrus Beautiful, among other groups. He is married and has three children and two stepsons. ASSETS: property and investments. LIABILITIES: none reported. SOURCES OF INCOME: pensions and Social Security.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.