Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Incumbent Zephyrhills council member faces challenge

ZEPHYRHILLS — After six years in office, City Council member Jodi Wilkeson is facing a challenge in the April 8 city election from retired school administrator and football coach Alan Knight.

Wilkeson, 53, an architect and owner of the firm WDA Design Group, said her institutional knowledge will be a continued asset to the city as it develops into a hub for commerce. She said it will take experience on council to manage the growth that comes with major corporations looking to develop in Zephyrhills.

"We're sort of getting to critical mass," she said of growing development. "Very shortly, we are going to have the rooftops to attract those types of businesses."

Wilkeson's platform not only focuses on economic issues but social as well, with her desire to provide more services to the homeless in the community.

"If we don't address it, it's going to be addressed for us," she said.

Knight, 68, a lifelong resident who at one time served as principal and football coach at Zephyrhills High School, agreed that major development is on the way and needs to be managed. He also wants the city to construct a top-notch community park.

"I want it to stay that small-town atmosphere," he said. "We're growing by leaps and bounds and that growth and development has got to be controlled."

Knight said he is running to bring a fresh perspective. During his time as an administrator, Knight said he always appreciated the new teachers who would come in hungry to present new ideas.

"I want to be the new teacher. I want to bring in the fresh ideas," he said.

Knight and his wife, Karen, have two children and six grandchildren. (One of their sons is Tampa Bay Times sports reporter Joey Knight.)

Gene Whitfield, who with his wife owns and operates Whitfield Funeral Home and Cremation Services, will go in unopposed as mayor. Incumbent council member Kenneth Burgess also did not draw an opponent for Seat 4 and will begin another term.

Incumbent Zephyrhills council member faces challenge 04/01/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 5:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Interview: Felicia Day talks internet geekdom, her path to 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' before Megacon Orlando


    Felicia Day said her entire career path was influenced by the pre-internet role-playing game series Ultima.

    Felicia Day as Kinga Forrester in the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix.
  2. Brian Ballard's lobbying shop in Washington get a big contract


    Ballard Partners, the Florida lobbying firm led by Brian Ballard, is quickly ramping up in Washington and just landed a high-profile contract: the government of Turkey.

  3. Tampa teenager gets rescued by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson in 'Baywatch'


    For child actor L.J. Ruth, meeting his idol was easy as falling off a pier.

    L.J. Ruth, 13, was born and raised in Tampa. He is a child actor/model/voice artist and is currently in the movie Baywatch alongside Dwayne Johnson. Photo via Instagram.
  4. Report: CEOs got biggest raise since 2013 with Charter Communications CEO on top


    NEW YORK — The typical CEO at the biggest U.S. companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year, raking in $11.5 million in salary, stock and other compensation last year, according to a study by executive data firm Equilar for The Associated Press. That's the biggest raise in three years.

    Charter Communications CEO Thomas Rutledge -- whose company took over Bright House Networks last year -- was the highest paid CEO in 2016, according to a study carried out by executive compensation data firm Equilar and The Associated Press. 
[Associated Press file photo]
  5. World reacts to horror, disbelief to deadly Manchester arena bombing

    Public Safety

    The world is reacting in horror and disbelief after an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, ended in bloodshed and chaos Monday night.

    Crowds of people wait outside after police avacuated the Arndale Centre on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England.  An explosion occurred at Manchester Arena as concert goers were leaving the venue after Ariana Grande had performed. [Christopher Furlong | Getty Images]