tampabay.com

As deadline arrives, mayor has 2 rivals

By TIMES WIRES
Published January 20, 2007


TAMPA

The qualifying deadline for city elections passed with no last-minute surprises for incumbent Mayor Pam Iorio.

She'll face police captain Marion Lewis and former fire Chief Aria Green in March.

Green, 55, said he thinks his chances are good against Iorio.

"There are a lot of people who are not happy with her as the mayor," Green said.

Rising property valuations have created a windfall for city coffers, he said.

"Just because we have the money doesn't mean you need to spend it all," he said.

Lewis is battling with city officials over whether he needs to resign to run for office.

If elected, Lewis said he would stand up for the poor and middle class in Tampa.

ODESSA

Ranch family to end Flatwoods Adventures

Bad news for fans of J.B. Starkey's Flatwoods Adventures: The buggy tour, horseback riding and petting zoo options offered at the Starkey family's 2,500-acre cattle ranch will end Feb. 20.

The Starkey family says liability insurance rates are to blame. The good news is, special events will continue to be held at the ranch. For more information, call Laura Starkey at (813) 205-5713 or visit www.flatwoodsadventures.com.

NEW PORT RICHEY

Pasco home permits hit low since 2002

Pasco's residential market wrapped the year with the lowest number of single-family home permits issued since 2002.

The county sent out 4,723 permits in the benchmark category in 2006, compared with 7,252 the previous year, according to figures released this week by the county's central permitting division.

The pace of development has brought Pasco to a level that preceded the boom years from 2002 to 2005, and most don't expect Pasco to come out of the woods this year.

"Everything I'm hearing is that for the rest of the year, and maybe more than that, things will be slow," said County Administrator John Gallagher. "Then it will pick up."