By ROBERT FARLEY
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 8, 2000
EAST LAKE -- With all votes counted, Dan Bobel narrowly defeated incumbent Chuck Schult for Seat 2 on the East Lake Tarpon Special Fire Control District board of commissioners, while former fire commissioner Chuck Dedman beat Rondi Hosking in the race for Seat 4.
Schult and Hosking had both championed the cause of independence for the East Lake fire district, which voters overwhelmingly approved in a September referendum. Yet each lost Tuesday.
Bobel defeated Schult 53 percent to 47 percent. Dedman beat Hosking 65 percent to 35 percent.
Bobel and Schult once were leaders of community groups -- East Lake 2000 and the Community Action League, respectively -- which opposed each other on several East Lake issues.
Bobel, 53, publisher of the East Lake Eagle, said he never publicly stated his position on independence, but he did question the idea, and the Eagle ran several front-page editorials in which fire commission president Jim Nobles criticized the plan.
Schult, 68, is semi-retired. He is self-employed as a manufacturer's representative.
Now retired, Dedman, 59, was a vocal critic of independence.
He promised to provide a skeptic's voice on the board to ensure costly mistakes are not made in the move to independence.
Candidates for the other three seats on the fire board ran unopposed.