As with many races this election season, the campaign for Seat 5 on the Inverness City Council focuses on growth.
Thomas Johnson, a member of the city's planning and zoning board, said he thinks the city needs to stay ahead of growth to maintain its lifestyle.
"We have ... a peaceful, safe and relaxing community, and we need to keep it that way," he wrote in a candidate questionnaire.
His opponent, Michael T. Kovach Sr., wants to find solutions to issues that growth creates, such as alleviating downtown parking problems and controlling the city's expenditures. Also, he wants to consider growth in another way: by exploring an expansion of city borders.
The seat is held by Marc Wigmore, who is serving in the ceremonial role as council president. He announced in August that he would step down after one term to focus more on his accounting business.
The candidates vying for the seat have different leadership backgrounds. Johnson promotes his public relations skills and highlights his more than 25 years in the customer service industry, noting several commendations he has received. This is his first bid for public office.
Kovach has run two losing campaigns, one for county judge and one for Inverness mayor.
He touts his 10 years in the government sector as Inverness' city attorney, five years as the fire tax district attorney and two years as city manager in Andrews, N.C., a small town in the western mountains.
He wrote in a candidate questionnaire that he has a "clear understanding of the duties and responsibilities of city government."
Johnson, 43, is a native of Rockford, Ill. He works in the business office at Citrus Memorial Hospital and is a member of the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce and the city's planning and zoning board. He attended Central Florida Community College and holds certificates in pest management and sanitation. Johnson likes to travel, particularly to Guatemala for mission work. He is married with one daughter. Assets: Home. Liabilities: Loans. Source of income: Salary.
Michael T. Kovach Sr.
Kovach, 68, was born in St. Louis. He graduated from the University of Tampa in 1963 and Stetson University College of Law in 1973. Kovach practices law in Inverness and has served as city attorney. He served as city manager in Andrews, N.C. Kovach lost campaigns for county judge and Inverness mayor. He is remarried with two grown children. Assets: Home, rental property, cash. Liabilities: Mortgage. Sources of income: Law firm, Social Security.
City Council member, Seat 5
A panel of five nonpartisan council members debates policy and approves city ordinances for implementation by the city manager. Members are elected at large. They serve four-year terms and are paid $12,725 per year, which includes health insurance and retirement benefits.
[Last modified November 3, 2006, 10:28:27]
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