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Three beach communities set for elections

St. Pete Beach, South Pasadena and Gulfport will hold elections. Four others were canceled due to lack of opposition.

By SHEILA ESTRADA and AMY WIMMER

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 7, 2001


ST. PETE BEACH -- Only voters in the city's southernmost neighborhoods will elect a new commissioner.

District 2 Commissioner Jim Myers, 72, is unopposed and will serve a third two-year term, but District 4, which includes Pass-a-Grille and Vina del Mar, has three candidates for the commission seat to be vacated by Rachel Crepeau. They are:

Augie D'Alessio, 74, lives in Vina Del Mar and is making his second bid for the District 4 seat (he ran unsuccessfully against Crepeau two years ago). He is a New York retiree who is active in several community boards, including the Vina Del Mar Island Association, the Presidents Council of Neighborhood Civic Associations, the St. Pete Beach Sister Cities Association and the Pass-a-Grille Shuffleboard Club.

Laura "Lolly" Kreider, 48, lives in Pass-a-Grille. She is a 17-year city resident. She is a graduate of St. Petersburg High School, St. Petersburg Junior College, and Florida State University.

Kreider recently retired after 12 years as a teacher at Montessori by the Sea. She has served on the city's planning and zoning board for the past two years, is immediate past president of the Pass-a-Grille Community Association, is an active volunteer at Gulf Beaches Historic Museum, and is a Pass-a-Grille Woman's Club board member.

Sherry Travis, 42, owns a home on Vina Del Mar and a condominium on Pass-a-Grille. She has lived in St. Pete Beach for 10 years and is a newcomer to beach politics.

Travis works in real estate and is a member of the Vina Del Mar Island Association, the Pass-a-Grille Community Association, the Bay Area Apartment Association and Friends of Gulf Beaches Historical Museum.

Myers, a retired engineer, has lived in St. Pete Beach for 11 years at the Silver Sands Beach & Racquet Club and represents St. Pete Beach on the Barrier Islands Governmental Council.

St. Pete Beach is one of only three south Pinellas communities (the others are South Pasadena and Gulfport) able to attract competing candidates.

North Redington Beach has joined three other beach communities in canceling this year's municipal election. Mayor Harold Radcliffe and Commissioners Jeff Busch and Gary Curtis are unopposed and will serve another term in office.

Treasure Island, Madeira Beach and Redington Beach also canceled their elections.

Redington Shores voters will go to the polls March 13, but only to vote on referendum questions. Only two candidates filed for the two seats open there.

In South Pasadena, longtime politician Fred Held is running for another term as mayor, though his candidacy has drawn attention from critics who say the city charter prevents him from seeking another term.

The South Pasadena City Commission will consider those complaints at a meeting next week. Running against Held are Lou Ippolito, a former commissioner, and Ray Christensen, a Held supporter who said he filed to run in case Held is disqualified.

If Held is allowed to run, Christensen said, he might bow out of the race. South Pasadena's election is March 6.

Gulfport has a full slate of candidates this year for its March 6 election. Mayor Michael Yakes, first elected to the Gulfport City Council in 1986 and mayor in 1991, is running against Lawrence Tosi Jr., a recently retired Gulfport police lieutenant, and John Freiberger, who previously has run against the mayor.

In Gulfport's Ward 2, two-term Council member Jack Olsen faces John Hamilton and Dawn Fisher. In Ward 4, incumbent Larry Cooper again faces a challenge from Ernest Stone.

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