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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

That fiery Lealman Fire Commission

John_frank_3Folks who like their political races flaming hot and their rhetoric searing need look no further than Lealman Fire Commission.

John Frank announced Wednesday that he's running for the Lealman Fire Commission. Frank is a former commissioner whose constant questioning of expenditures and other issues enraged his former colleagues so much they kicked him off the board because they said they did not believe he lives in the Lealman area, a requirement for serving.

Frank is as persistent as the critter in the Whack-a-Mole game, popping up time and again after being thwacked over the head. In his case, the thwacking has taken the form of complaints to the state Ethics Commission and county property tax authorities. The subsequent investigations have cleared Frank.

Given that history, whom does Frank pick to run against? One of the most enthusiastic thwackers of the group — Linda Campbell, who has served on the board for more than a decade.

Campbell reported Frank to county property officials last year, telling them she was “adamant” he should lose his homestead exemption, according to county records. When he was serving on the commission, the air sparked with electricity as the two snarked at and insulted each other.

The dynamic should make the campaign an entertaining spectacle as long as firefighters have their hoses ready.

And if Frank wins? What then? Wonder if any of the London bookies would care to offer odds on how long Frank’s term would be?

-- Anne Lindberg, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:28am]


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