By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 8, 2000
WESLEY CHAPEL -- In the first ever electoral battle in Wesley Chapel's Meadow Pointe neighborhood, Air Force beat Army.
Carlton Johnson, a 51-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran, handily knocked off opponent Dennis Smith, a 53-year-old U.S. Army veteran, to win seat 4 on the Meadow Pointe Community Development District.
Similar to a homeowners association, the community development district spends the assessments paid by 1,458 property owners on things such as roads, sidewalks and parks.
Johnson's seat, combined with two other uncontested seats picked up by Patty Asklar and Scott Todd, assures homeowners will assume control of the CDD for the first time from developer Devco Development Co. Devco retains two seats on the board until 2002.
Length of residency appeared to play a role in Johnson's victory: Johnson has lived in Meadow Pointe for 4 years, Smith less than 2.
"The voters know the person I am. I get the job accomplished," Johnson said Tuesday night.
Although both men served together on the Meadow Pointe Community Council, the largely powerless body that passes recommendations to the CDD, they are barely on speaking terms.
One of the biggest arguments concerned access to ponds, with Johnson favoring limiting access to waterfront property owners, Smith wanting to provide limited common access.
Johnson vowed not to take any money for serving on the board. The job pays $200 per meeting, to a maximum of $4,800 per year.