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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kenneth City council member hijacks Pinellas Park mayor's golf cart



KENNETH CITY  -- Parades are known for fun and spectacle but sometimes the more interesting show is the one behind the scenes. That was true of Kenneth City's Fourth of July parade where pre-parade mischief highlighted the deep political divide on the Town Council, engulfed the Pinellas Park mayor and prompted two Kenneth City council members to apologize for the highjinks.

At the center was Pinellas Park's golf cart, which that municipality shipped over to Kenneth City for Mayor Bill Mischlerand his council members to ride in while tossing beads to the crowd. But when Mischler went to look for the cart, it was gone.

Kenneth City council member Al Carrier had taken it to pick up former Mayor Muriel Whitman who was soundly defeated in last March's election by Teresa Zemaitis as part of a sweep that removed the old guard from office. Carrier, who supported Whitman, is the last remaining member of the old guard on the Kenneth City council.

Mischler hitched a ride to the parade's start and found Carrier and Whitman in the cart. The two didn't budge, but they did generously offer to let Mischler ride with them in Mischler's cart. Mischler declined and watched the parade from the sidelines.

It's unclear if any paradegoers wondered why Carrier and Whitman were perched in a vehicle that proclaimed them to be Pinellas Park officials. Two Kenneth City council members - Zemaitis and Wanda Dudley- were upset enough about the happenings to call Mischler and apologize.

Mischler declined to comment, saying only that he is not angry, has no hard feelings and loves Kenneth City.

Anne Lindberg, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:58am]


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