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Kenneth City council to fill vacant seat

Five candidates offer the council a wide choice in replacing Chuck Webber, who resigned.


© St. Petersburg Times, published June 21, 2000

KENNETH CITY -- Council members seeking a replacement for Chuck Webber have a wide range to choose from this morning: a former council member, a former candidate, two community activists and a political newcomer.

Webber resigned his seat to take a job annexing property for Pinellas Park. The remaining members of the Kenneth City council will appoint his replacement, who will serve until next March when the term expires. The applicants are, in alphabetical order:

Russ Dumont, 64, likes the way things are going and wants to maintain that trend. He ran unsuccessfully for the Kenneth City Council in 1996 and 1997 and has served as head of the Make Kenneth City Safer Committee. That committee campaigned last spring to abolish the police department in favor of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Dumont is a Massachusetts native and moved here in 1964.

Art Mason, 69, is a North Carolina native who moved to Kenneth City in 1963. He served on the council from 1967 to 1969. He also served as parliamentarian during Harold Paxton's mayoral term. Most recently, he was a member of the Make Kenneth City Safer Committee. Mason wants the council to issue a newsletter to keep all Kenneth City residents abreast of the news. He also wants to keep an eye on taxes to keep them low and make sure the town's money is spent wisely.

Political newcomer Christopher Taylor, 36, was born in Columbus, Ohio. He has lived in Kenneth City for about five years. He served on the Kenneth City recreational board. He also acts as a weather watcher for WTSP-Channel 10. Taylor says he would bring a different perspective to the town government because he's younger than most members of the council.

Dolores Urso, 63, is president of the Homeowners Association. She campaigned to retain the police department. Born in the Bronx, N.Y., she moved to Florida about 20 years ago. Urso wants to beautify Kenneth City and improve the town's parks.

Teresa Zemaitis, 32, is also a regular at council meetings and has served on town boards. She sees annexation as the most important issue facing the council and wants to make sure Kenneth City is able to expand. She is a native of Queens, N.Y., who moved to Florida about four years ago. Since coming to Kenneth City, she covered town government for the Sentinel, a community newspaper that no longer publishes.

Political newcomer Ted Wiesner, 35, was disqualified because he had not been a registered voter in Kenneth City for two years, said Town Clerk Nancy Beelman.

If you go

The Kenneth City Town Council will choose a new member during a special meeting this morning. The meeting will be at 10 in the Community Hall, 4600 58th St. N. For information, call Town Clerk Nancy Beelman, 544-6655.

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