Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Familiar faces returned to New Port Richey City Council

NEW PORT RICHEY — Judy DeBella Thomas kept her seat on the New Port Richey City Council and will be joined by businessman Bill Phillips, who returns to the council after nearly 20 years, voters decided Tuesday.

DeBella Thomas, Phillips, and longtime government consultant Eric Rhodes vied for two open seats on the council, as council member Ginny Miller decided not to run.

Phillips received 39.84 percent of the vote, getting the most at 349, with DeBella Thomas getting 32.88 percent at 288, and Rhodes coming in third with 27.28 percent at 239.

With the city facing serious economic woes, Phillips said he is looking to hit the ground running to tackle the city's budget problems. Phillips, a national account manager for a Lakeland-based roofing company, is no stranger to the council. He served one term between 1992 and 1994, before running an unsuccessful campaign for the Florida House of Representatives.

Phillips, who has lived in New Port Richey for 24 years, not only served on the council, but also several committees, including the Pasco County Impact Review Committee, the Penny for Pasco Committee as co-chairman, and the Pasco Citizens Committee.

"I look forward to getting on council and having an opportunity to make a difference again," Phillips said. "It's really nice to see a lot of the same faces come back to vote."

DeBella Thomas, 60, a marketing liaison for Advanced Research Institute, a company that conducts pharmaceutical clinical trials, secured her third term on council since first being elected in 2008, and re-elected in 2009.

DeBella Thomas has lived in New Port Richey since 1972. She is former executive director of Greater New Port Richey Main Street, and currently sits on the Pasco Tourist Development Council, as well as the Sixth Circuit Court Judicial Nominating Committee.

DeBella Thomas didn't talk issues with her win Tuesday night, but thanked voters for another term on the council.

"It's an affirmation voters are pleased with my performance and I'm ready to get back on track. We're just going to hit the ground running," she said.

Port Richey voters approve referendum

Meanwhile, in Port Richey, voters passed a referendum 50-27 that will settle confusion over term lengths of incumbents Steve O'Neill, Nancy Britton, and Terry Rowe, who all won seats unopposed.

On qualifying day, city officials scrambled when they realized there was no measure outlined in the city's charter to decide who among the three will serve a one-year term. If there had been an election, the candidate who received the least amount of votes would have received the one-year term.

When all three won unopposed, a referendum had to be drawn up to ask voters to amend the charter to allow for a volunteer among O'Neill, Britton, and Rowe to take the one-year term. Or if there is no volunteer, the three will draw straws. With the measure passing Tuesday, straws will likely be drawn at the council's swearing in and organizational meeting April 16, unless there is a volunteer, according to City Clerk Tammy Schuck.

Familiar faces returned to New Port Richey City Council 04/10/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 9:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum

    Hurricanes

    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  3. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar

    Blogs

    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.
  4. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

    Blogs

    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  5. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.