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City voices

By CHUCK MURPHY

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 28, 2001


West

Precinct 242

St. Vincent's Episcopal Church, Ninth Avenue N at 54th Street

Erin Warren, 27, accountant, voted for Ford.

"I think she'd actually do something as opposed to Baker, who would ignore it. I hear people complain she asks too many questions but I think that's a good thing. If there's something wrong, I think we should do something about it."

* * *

Kevin Clifford, 50, disabled veterans benefits counselor, voted for Baker.

"(Ford) doesn't have the support of other council members who have worked with her and that was a determining factor. The divisiveness that has gone on in the past and the bickering that has gone on in the past, there's no longer a need for it."

* * *

North

Precinct 155

St. Raphael's Catholic Church, Snell Isle Boulevard NE at Snell Isle Bridge

Art Halttunen, 50, dentist, voted for Baker.

"Kathleen Ford's got too many negative things against her. He'll probably run the city with less trouble, especially with the Police Department."

* * *

Don Hill, 64, retired accountant, voted for Ford.

"I thought she did a good job on the City Council, regardless of how much static she got."

* * *

Precinct 188

Pinewood Co-op Inc. Gandy Boulevard, across from Derby Lane

Dede Bohler, 48, legal secretary, voted for Ford.

"I felt Kathleen Ford would do a better job. She's outspoken, and she's not afraid to ruffle feathers or step on people's toes. ... In the questions printed in the newspaper she gave concise answers, where Baker's kind of danced around."

* * *

Ralph Waltman, 64, field director for mutual funds company.

"The gal's a little too controversial, and I found her a little anti-Devil Rays. It took too long to get that team."

* * *

South

Precinct 114

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 2120 19th St. S

Anetra Byrd, 42, cosmetologist, voted for Baker.

"Kathleen is just a trip. I didn't think she would be a good leader for our city. She's too controversial and disrespectful."

* * *

Walden Thomas, 39, lawn service owner, voted for Ford.

"The only person who I wanted, Larry Williams, didn't get it. I switched to Ford. I know a lot of people say she's very opinionated, but she takes stances and doesn't back off. People think she'll be rude, but I don't think it'll be a problem. As mayor, she won't get anything done if she is, so that'll take care of it. I was looking for a change."

* * *

Precinct 102

Lake Vista Recreation Center, 1401 62nd Ave. S

Ellen Staples, 56, telesales representative, voted for Baker.

"I didn't want (Ford) in there because she's all against Bayfront (Medical Center), and that's where my daughter works."

* * *

Frances Cato, 48, personnel director, voted for Baker.

"I think he'll do a good job. I like him. He's for economic development, more jobs, keeping the neighborhoods and the streets up -- and keeping the police chief."

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