Gulfport to swear in duo, welcome 10 pieces of public art, hold history hunt

Yolanda Roman went knocking and found her way to victory.

Yolanda Roman went knocking and found her way to victory.

GULFPORT — Yolanda Roman attributes her Ward 3 win in the March 11 election to a well-organized campaign and "dozens of feet on the street." Roman beat Paul Ray by pulling in 58.7 percent of the vote.

"My team and I knocked on doors all over the city," she said. "I think people appreciated that effort."

Roman's campaign manager, Barbara Banno — herself a former council member — thinks voters also enjoyed getting to know the candidate.

"From the time she announced, Yolanda attended every single city event, ate at the city's restaurants and shopped locally. Everywhere she went, she introduced herself, engaged with people and asked for their vote," Banno said.

Now that the campaign is over, Roman is ready to get to work.

"I heard from a lot of people, for instance, about the condition of our streets and alleyways," she said. "I'm hoping to really make a difference."

Roman will take the oath of office at the next meeting of the City Council, at 7 p.m. April 1. Dan Liedtke will also be sworn in as the returning representative from Ward 1. He ran unopposed.

Art in the Park: A man of metal that offers a place to sit, a larger-than-life ballerina, and a 10-foot chess piece are among the winning designs for the public art installation in Clymer Park. Ten sculptures created by five area artists will border the new walkway recently completed between 23rd and 26th avenues.

The winning designs include work by glass blower Owen Pach, metal forger Jonathan Schork, ceramicist Susanne Mays, ceramicist Tom Pitzen (whose previous work for the city includes the Gulfport Waterfront District ceramic sculpture at the northernmost end of the park) and metalworker Frank Strunk III.

Strunk suggested the council ask the people of Gulfport for help in naming the giant metal man with the red heart.

"He needs a name," the artist said. "I'd like to see the people who are paying for this have a voice in what he's called."

Each of the five artists will receive $11,000 to create two pieces of sculpture. The council approved the $55,000 expense as part of the city's 2013-14 budget.

How well do you know Gulfport? The Gulfport Historical Society is holding its first-ever "Race Through History" March 29. Teams will meet at 3 p.m. to compete for cash prizes as they attempt to answer riddles about the city's history on a scavenger hunt through the Waterfront District.

Learn more by calling (727) 327-0505 or visiting online at gulfporthistoricalsociety.org. The Gulfport Historical Society is at 5301 28th Ave. S.

Diane Craig can be reached at dmcraig@hotmail.com.

Gulfport to swear in duo, welcome 10 pieces of public art, hold history hunt 03/18/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 4:17pm]

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