NEW PORT RICHEY
Open council seats attract two candidates
A former council member and a downtown business owner have filed to run for two open City Council seats. Former longtime council member Ginny Miller — who opted not to seek reelection last April — has put her hat in the ring to get back on the board. Miller previously served on the council for nine years until resigning in 2008 to run unsuccessfully for Pasco County Commission. In 2009, she again ran for City Council and won a three-year term. Miller is a longtime teacher at Gulf Middle School, where she has taught math and is listed on the school's website as being part of its student support team. Also filing to run is Rose Mohr, an owner of the Market Off Main, a produce market and deli. Mohr is also volunteer co-chair of the city's environmental committee. Miller and Mohr join Michael Malterer, a Penske Truck Leasing operations manager, who filed to run in January. The seats of Deputy Mayor Rob Marlowe and Bob Langford are up for grabs April 9. Both have announced they will not seek new terms. The qualifying period opened at noon Tuesday and potential candidates can file to run until noon Feb. 19.
Voters will decide council terms
The City Council gave final approval Monday evening to adding a referendum to the April election that asks voters to extend the mayor and City Council terms from two to three years. A public hearing on the issue drew no response. Council president Kenneth Compton voted against the measure, saying he prefers leaving the term lengths as they are. The referendum will also ask if voters want the council vice president to preside over meetings when the president is absent. Council members believe extending and staggering the terms will avoid the possibility of losing a majority of members in one election. Three incumbents — Compton, Lance Smith and Charles Proctor — are all running for reelection in April. To initiate the staggering of terms, only one of the three elected council members would serve a three-year term; the other two would serve two years. The top three vote-getters would draw straws to determine who gets the three-year term.
• The man sought in a SWAT team raid last week on a Moon Lake home is arrested in Hudson. Story, Page 3.
• Anti-Valentine's Dance for teens promises to be a bash. As in, actual smashing. Story, Page 3.
• Get out the hose: The Mud Endeavor race returns to the Withlacoochee State Forest on March 23. Story, Page 10.
Tickets for the Suncoast Harmony Chorus' Feb. 17 show, "A Barbershop Bouquet," may be purchased by calling Richey Suncoast Theatre at (727) 842-6777. An article on Friday's Diversions page gave an incorrect phone number.
Detailed obituaries are published in Section B.