Incumbency shaken in some races
By JADE JACKSON LLOYD
Published March 9, 2005
From new commissioners in St. Pete Beach to annexation in Oldsmar, election night on Tuesday included just about everything on the political spectrum.
New faces appeared on councils and commissions in St. Pete Beach, Madeira Beach, Gulfport, Tarpon Springs and Belleair.
Incumbents in South Pasadena, Belleair and Treasure Island reclaimed their seats.
Seminole, Treasure Island, Gulfport, Madeira Beach and Tarpon Springs saw changes to their charters, while voters in Redington Beach voted to keep the mayor's and commissioners' pay the same and not to rename the city park.
West Oldsmar voters rejected an annexation proposal by nearly a 3-to-1 ratio Tuesday. It was the fourth time in 40 years that voters fended off such an attempt.
In Tarpon Springs, with an unofficial margin of 29 votes, newcomer Robin Saenger upset Frank DiDonato for Commission Seat 1. Also, incumbent David Archie prevailed over Matt King.
In Treasure Island, residents re-elected commission incumbents Richard Kraus of District 3 and Phil Collins of District 1.
Voters there also approved eight charter amendments. Now, a majority vote of the electorate means a majority of those who show up at the polls, rather than a majority of those registered to vote. Other amendments make it easier to get referendums on the ballot and increase the allowable height of residential and commercial buildings by 5 feet.
St. Pete Beach voters elected newcomer Nancy Markoe to the District 4 seat vacated by Lolly Kreider.
Madeira Beach voters re-elected Charles Parker as mayor and elected newcomer Art Thomas as District 3 commissioner.
They voted on seven charter amendments, the most notable of which reimburses commissioners for ordinary city-related travel and expenses and delineates the powers of mayor and vice mayor.
In Seminole, first-time candidate Dan Hester won a seat on the at-large City Council. Incumbents Patricia L. Hartstein and Jimmy Johnson were re-elected. Incumbent Pete Bengston lost.
Seminole voters also approved six changes to the city charter. The most far-reaching extended council members' terms from two to three years.
[Last modified March 9, 2005, 00:54:20]
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