Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Candidates line up to run for Tarpon Springs mayor and two city commission seats

TARPON SPRINGS — Attorney Francis Matthew King believes he has the ability to lead the city to grow in a smart direction while focusing on its small businesses and historic character.

That's why King, known to most folks as "Matt," has entered the race to be Tarpon Springs' next mayor.

"Tarpon Springs needs to focus on preserving its character and uniqueness," said King, a 33-year-old father of two. "There's a lot to be gained for the city through tourism dollars. One of the things that makes the city unique is its culture and history."

Candidates are starting to line up, even though the election is nine months away. On March 10, Tarpon Springs voters will go to the polls to select a mayor and two commissioners.

King will be aiming to replace Mayor Beverley Billiris, who won't be running because of term limits after serving two three-year terms.

Commissioner Peter Dalacos also will be leaving because of term limits after two three-year stints as the Seat 3 commissioner. Jeff Larsen, who chairs the city's Planning and Zoning Board, has announced his candidacy for that seat.

Commissioner Chris Alahouzos has filed to remain in Seat 4 another term.

King is the chairman of the Tarpon Springs Board of Adjustments and a member of the Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society. This is his second attempt at elected office in the city. In 2005, he was defeated by David Archie for a commission seat.

Meanwhile, City Clerk Irene Jacobs will present options on July 8 to the charter review committee that could allow residents to change when the mayor and commissioners are elected.

Jacobs said electing officials on even years and at the same time as Pinellas County holds its general election would be a cost saver.

Currently, there is a city election every three years. The mayor and commission Seats 3 and 4 are on one election cycle. The next election, commission Seats 1 and 2 are up for grabs. The next election for those two seats is scheduled for March 2011.

In 2008, it cost Tarpon Springs $26,000 to hold its election. According to a cost analysis supplied by the county, if Tarpon Springs were to hold its election the same time the county does, it would cost $10,105 for 17,767 registered voters.

That figure does not include costs for legal advertisements, reprinting and mail-in ballots.

"With these tough budget times, all departments are looking at ways that cities can save money," Jacobs said.

The charter committee, which convenes every five years, will decide if an election cycle change makes the March 10 ballot. Tarpon Springs voters would then make the ultimate decision.

Demorris A. Lee can be reached at or (727) 445-4174.

Candidates line up to run for Tarpon Springs mayor and two city commission seats 06/30/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video shows giant humpback whale breaching right off side of boat


    A man filmed a whale breaching really close to his boat in a video that has gone viral.

    A giant whale breached right next to a boat in the waters off New Jersey last week. It was captured on video.
  2. Next up in Bucs renovations? A $20 million indoor practice facility


    Renderings of the Bucs' new indoor practice facility (Courtesy of the Bucs)
  3. Want to feel old? It's been 20 years since the first 'Harry Potter' was published


    He was so cute: Blond hair, blue eyes and a killer smile. He was dressed in a black robe with a fake scar on his forehead and regaling our fifth-grade class with his book report on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. As a 10-year-old with only the most sophisticated of tastes (give me a Baby-Sitters Club any day), …

    An auctioneer holds a first edition copy of the first Harry Potter book "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" containing annotations and illustrations by author J.K. Rowling. The tale has turned 20,  published in Britain on June 26, 1997. Since then, it has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 79 languages. (Associated Press [2013])
  4. Dunedin selects Jennifer Bramley as its next city manager

    Local Government

    DUNEDIN — In a unanimous vote Monday, the City Commission chose Jennifer Bramley as the next city manager.

    Jennifer Bramley, 52, was selected Monday as Dunedin's new city manager. She currently works as deputy city manager for the city of Coral Springs. [Photo courtesy of Jennifer Bramley]
  5. People leave the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, as justices issued their final rulings for the term. The high court is letting a limited version of the Trump administration ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries to take effect, a victory for President Donald Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency. [AP photo]