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Four vie for 2 seats on Temple Terrace City Council

On Nov. 4, Temple Terrace residents will cast their ballots for national and state races and one particularly close to home. • Four candidates are out to prove they're best qualified to fill two of five City Council seats for a term ending in 2012. • Council members Frank Chillura and Ron Govin are at the end of their four-year terms. Term limits allow only Govin to run for re-election. • With major issues such as the environment and downtown redevelopment weighing on city officials, the three political newcomers and one incumbent may have to make some major decisions if elected. • Here are the prospects:

Ron Govin, 68, CEO of Mark Master Inc.

Govin is finishing his first term on the council, where he has been a leader with the community redevelopment agency that oversees downtown redevelopment. His family business, Mark Master Inc., makes rubber stamps and signs for businesses and cities. "I don't own very much of the business anymore," Govin said. "I'm preparing for retirement."

Years in Temple Terrace: 15

Family: Married with two adult sons

Experience: Current City Council member, Hillsborough City-County Commission, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Board chairman, community redevelopment agency member

Education: Bachelor's in business administration, University of Tampa

What are your concerns for the city in the coming years? "I would love to see the recycled-water project come to life between the city of Tampa and Temple Terrace. It just doesn't make sense to be pumping all that water out into the bay."

Why are you running for City Council? "I've been working really hard on the redevelopment project and I'd like to get back in there and make more progress."

Ted Grevencamp, 63, retired Army employee

Grevencamp said he's ready to serve, as he was able to retire from the military at an early age. He and his wife chose to settle in Temple Terrace because he said it was a nice community that they could "get their arms around." Now he wants to join the city leadership and offer his ear to Temple Terrace residents.

Years in Temple Terrace: 15

Family: Married with three adult daughters

Experience: Former president and current treasurer of the Friends of the Temple Terrace Library, Temple Terrace Library Board, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative Council, Temple Terrace Civitan Club, career military officer

Education: Bachelor's in business administration from Ohio State University and attended U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and National Defense University's Industrial College

What are your concerns for the city in the coming years? City services like Spring Clean-up, which was cut from the 2008-2009 annual budget. Usually scheduled in February, Spring Clean-up had trash collectors gather all bulk items that city residents wanted to put out free of charge. "Spring Clean-up was one of those services that people relied on and ... made Temple Terrace great."

Why are you running for City Council? "I was asked over the past three election cycles to run by people who know me," Grevencamp said. "I got the chance to retire early so I promised myself that wherever I moved to, I would give back to the community. And I thought this would be an opportunity to contribute more to Temple Terrace because I bring a different background and sensibility to the council."

Mary Jane Neale, 71, lifelong volunteer

Though she has been volunteering at every level since she graduated from college, Neale said that does not make her "a pussycat."

"When something is going wrong, I'm not just going to roll over," she mused. "I can fight."

Years in Temple Terrace: 17

Family: Married with two adult daughters

Experience: President of the Temple Terrace Arts Council, former president of Temple Terrace Women's Club and the Masque Theater, worked for 10 years as director of field services for the Girl Scouts Council of Tropical Florida, former budget administrator for the Jewish Endowment Fund

Education: Bachelor's in education, University of Miami

What's your take on the redevelopment project? "Honestly, it's slow going. People are always talking about how long it's taking, and I would do everything I could to help it come together."

What are your concerns for the city in the coming years? "Redevelopment is the No. 1 issue on everybody's mind. I think it's just a matter of making it happen."

Why are you running for City Council? "I'm committed and I'll bring a commitment to the job. I think that Temple Terrace is a wonderful place to live and I want to help maintain that level of service."

David Penoyer, 35, engineer for SCS Engineering

Penoyer is the youngest candidate, and it's showing in his campaign philosophy.

In light of the economic slump, Penoyer is using a Web site with his complete platform on it to promote events in place of leaflets and road signs.

"I'm not really trying to raise that much money," he said. "I just think there are much better ways to spend money than to see who can put the most signs in your yard."

Years in Temple Terrace: 12

Family: Married with two elementary school-age daughters

Experience: Citizens Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Mayor's Redevelopment Task Force

Education: Bachelor's in environmental engineering, University of Florida

What's your take on the redevelopment project? "The project currently proposed is a long way from where we started when we were first looking into the concept of new urbanism. If the city doesn't go forward with Ram Pinnacle, I think we can find a middle ground between the reality and the pie-in-the-sky proposal from Torti Gallas."

What are your concerns for the city in the coming years? Penoyer commends the city for fostering a relationship with the University of South Florida but said that more can be done to improve Temple Terrace and bolster university research.

"I would want the city to offer tax breaks to homeowners and businesses who would put solar panels on their roofs so that university researchers can study the technology," Penoyer said.

"If we showed that kind of commitment, we could possibly bring solar panel manufacturing companies to Temple Terrace and create more jobs."

Robbyn Mitchell can be reached at (813) 269-5313 or rmitchell@sptimes.com.

Four vie for 2 seats on Temple Terrace City Council 09/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 25, 2008 4:30am]

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