Forum could help voters thin the herd in crowded Seminole council race
SEMINOLE - With seven candidates - many of them political newbies - voters here might be wondering who are the best to serve on the City Council.
Not to worry. The city is sponsoring a candidates forum from 7-8 p.m. on Feb. 10 at City Hall, 9199 113th St. N. Residents can submit questions until 4 p.m. that day by calling Seminole City Clerk Rose Benoit, (727) 391-0204, ext. 102, or e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The forum will be run by the League of Women Voters.
Residents can come down to City Hall to watch the forum in person, live on cable Channel 615, or on the city's website at www.myseminole.com. If you miss it or just can't believe what you heard, the tape will be archived on the city website for viewing at any time.
Seven candidates are running for the two council seats that are up for grabs: Incumbent Thom Barnhorn 53; Christopher Burke, 45, a Largo police officer; Thomas J. Christy, 58, a regular at City Council meetings; Arden Ford, 70, a businessman who briefly ran for the council once before but withdrew because of family issues; Randall Hendricks, 62, a political newcomer to city politics; James Joseph Quinn, 70, who is back for a second attempt at a council seat; and Bill Smith, 42, an employee of Progress Energy.
The two top vote-getters will take office.
Seminole has a council-manager form of government that provides for daily management by a council-appointed city manager. The seven-member council, which includes the mayor, is responsible for policy issues and passing the budget. The six council members serve three-year terms and are paid $5,562 each year. Members meet twice a month and hold workshop meetings as necessary. Seminole has about 18,700 people. Residents have until Feb. 8 to register to vote in the March 9 election.
-- Anne Lindberg, Times Staff Writer