KENNETH CITY — Qualifying opened last week for two open seats on the Town Council in the March 9 election. Closing is noon Friday. Up for grabs are the seats held by Al Carrier and Wanda Dudley. It is unclear if they plan to run for re-election.
The Kenneth City Town Council consists of a mayor and four council members. It is a council-as-manager form of government, meaning each council member is responsible for the day-to-day operation of one town department. Each council member serves a two-year term. The council holds at least one meeting and, generally, one workshop a month. Council members are paid $300 a month.
The March election will also give voters a chance to change the town charter, or constitution. One item on the ballot will concern the mayor.
The proposed change would allow those who are employed by public entities other than the town itself to serve as mayor. Currently, the charter forces mayoral candidates who work for public agencies to chose between their job and the mayor's seat.
Teresa Zemaitis, who won last year's mayoral election in a landslide, is a public school teacher. If the amendment passes, she would become mayor for the remainder of her three-year term. If the amendment does not pass, she would either have to step down or pursue an appeal through the court system questioning the validity of the ban. She is currently serving as mayor pro tem.
Kenneth City is a town of about 2 square miles along 54th Avenue N with a population of about 4,500. It has its own police department but contracts out most of its other services. The Lealman Fire District provides its fire/EMS coverage. Pinellas Park provides building inspection services. It gets its water and sewer service from Pinellas County.
Election packets can be picked up from Town Hall, 6000 54th Ave. N. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information, call (727) 498-8948.