For a while, it looked like no one was going to run for the Pasco County School Board seat that chairwoman Marge Whaley is leaving after four terms. One candidate, Land O'Lakes High teacher Kenny Blankenship, briefly filed his intent. But he's already backed out, citing changing family commitments.
Now comes Wesley Chapel retiree Peter Hanzel, who lately has started showing up at board meetings, most recently convincing the board to name a new elementary school in honor of military veterans (Hanzel himself is one). Veterans Elementary is set to open in the fall. He also has served on the district's vision committee for the past several months.
Hanzel also is getting involved in other ways, speaking out to the county about transportation issues and serving on the Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
Hanzel says he's learned quite a bit about the district since joining the vision committee, and he wants to tackle some of the issues he has seen emerge. One would be to seek resolution with the county government over which entity pays for road improvements outside schools. "Ultimately, the taxpayer is going to pay for the roads, whether it comes out of my left pocket or my right pocket," Hanzel says.
He plans a low-key campaign - no web site, for instance - so he can keep costs down and "try to listen to the folks and what they say about the system." The election comes next fall. To read Hanzel's resume and statement, click here.