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    Nora Cloney, former mayor, dies at 92

    By CRAIG BASSE

    © St. Petersburg Times, published May 16, 2001


    REDINGTON SHORES -- Nora T. Cloney, the embattled mayor of this beach community during months of political tumult in the late 1970s, has died at 92.

    Mrs. Cloney, mayor from 1975 to 1979, died Monday (May 14, 2001) at Clearwater Centre nursing home, where she had been a resident since August.

    She left public office after her defeat by miniature golf course owner James R. "Dick" Feimster, ending months of controversy and verbal battles.

    For a year, the former Maryland real estate executive was pitted against a commission majority opposed to her rule. A County Court jury also found her guilty of interfering with a 1978 election and violating the state's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law in doing so.

    She was fined $500.

    Her firm grip on the town's politics was first threatened in December 1978 when Feimster and two other candidates who opposed her won election to the Town Commission. The divided commission frequently wrangled late into the night at crowded meetings marked by acrimony and name-calling.

    The new commission majority accused Mrs. Cloney of mishandling town affairs and tried to impeach her. A circuit judge stopped that effort.

    Born in Maryland, she moved to Redington Shores in 1970. Mrs. Cloney, who retired as the head of a Baltimore real estate business with more than 25 sales people, turned to politics in her new hometown.

    Her husband, John, 72, an accountant who also worked in real estate in Maryland, died Aug. 29, 1979. Survivors include two nieces, Lucille Buerkle, Avon Park, and Helen Meushaw, Catonsville, Md.; and a nephew, Nelson Crocken, Pasadena, Md.

    Abbey Parklawn Funeral Home, Palm Harbor, is in charge.

    - Information from Times files was used in this obituary.

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