Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

Jim Ronecker will return to Oldsmar council

OLDSMAR — Last month, former Mayor Jim Ronecker said he didn't want to be considered to fill the vacant seat on the City Council created by the death of Janice Miller on Feb. 8.

But the City Council wouldn't take no for an answer.

So on March 18, Ronecker, 49, will be sworn in to serve until a special city election next March.

The council had considered two potential appointees: Ronecker and Eric Seidel, who was a council member from 2007 to 2009. In addition to being longtime city residents, both met two other requirements for the job: council experience and no aspirations to seek the seat in the special election. Both men volunteered their services.

City Council members discussed Ronecker and Seidel during their Feb. 18 meeting but didn't make a decision. Afterward, Ronecker told Mayor Doug Bevis to remove his name from consideration. He said the process was starting to seem too much like a political race.

Ronecker told the Tampa Bay Times: "I had told the mayor that if he needed my help, I'd help, but that was if I was the only person they were considering."

After that story appeared, Ronecker started getting calls from old friends and neighbors.

"I really didn't expect so many calls from people asking me to keep an open mind about City Council. I was overwhelmed, knowing so many people wanted me to do this," said Ronecker, 49.

At last week's meeting, council member Jerry Beverland said the appointment process had gotten muddied by all the talking.

"I would suggest, instead of going on like this, we put one of (the two men's) names up and if it doesn't work, we'll put up the other one,'' he said. "... I will make a motion that we accept Jim."

The motion carried 3-1 with Bevis voting no.

"But I am fine with this decision,'' Bevis said. "My vote wasn't a vote against Jim, but I was the one who originally reached out to Eric, so my vote was for the person I reached out to."

Ronecker served on the council from 2003 to 2013, the last six years as mayor. He owns a commercial printing and graphics business and has lived in Pinellas County more than 30 years.

Although he doesn't plan to run again for the City Council, he hasn't ruled out other political positions.

"I come back to the City Council with no hidden agenda. I'm only here for a short amount of time,'' he said. "But in the future, perhaps I'll seek a different office."

Piper Castillo can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4163. To write a letter to the editor, visit tampabay.com/letters.

Comments
Pack your bags: 107.3M Americans to set holiday traveling record

Pack your bags: 107.3M Americans to set holiday traveling record

A record-breaking number of Americans are expected to travel this holiday season.The American Automobile Association projects that 107.3 million Americans will pack their bags and travel more than 50 miles by planes, trains, automobiles and other mod...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Pinellas judge: U.S. Army major found incompetent to stand trial can leave Florida

Pinellas judge: U.S. Army major found incompetent to stand trial can leave Florida

LARGO — A Pinellas circuit judge ruled this week that Roman Izzo, a U.S. Army major charged with murder but found incompetent to stand trial after he was injured in a motorcycle crash, can move to Kansas with his family.Izzo was released on $1.5 mill...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bob’s Carpet and Flooring heir was source of family strife before arrest

Bob’s Carpet and Flooring heir was source of family strife before arrest

An heir to a local flooring company charged with failing to report the death of a young woman last year has a troubled criminal history and was a source of strife in his family business, according to court records.Robert Butler III, 52, was arrested ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Horrified friends watch screaming woman driven to her death in Plant City

Horrified friends watch screaming woman driven to her death in Plant City

PLANT CITY — Jonathon Adams heard a scream, "like a dog getting run over by a car," then saw a minivan come tearing around the corner with a woman he knew dangling out of the passenger side.It was the start of a deadly sequence of events Dec. 8 that ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Column: Tax reform is the right path forward for Florida

In Washington, the tax reform process continues to move steadily forward, increasing the likelihood that Floridians will be able to keep more of their own money next year. While it has been the subject of a great deal of criticism (and outright misle...
Updated: 2 hours ago
NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

What follows below is a ranking of all 32 NFL teams. To build this list, we consulted five objective measures of team strength: Pro Football Reference’s Simple Rating System, Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average ratings...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Dade City man turns himself in on warrants for Polk armed robbery

Dade City man turns himself in on warrants for Polk armed robbery

DADE CITY — A 25-year-old man wanted in connection with the attempted robbery of a taxi driver in Lakeland turned himself in late Wednesday night after being prompted by his mother, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Edner Dely of Dade Ci...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Local widowers say baby powder caused their wives’ cancer

Local widowers say baby powder caused their wives’ cancer

Two Tampa area widowers whose wives died of ovarian cancer are suing Johnson & Johnson, joining nearly 5,000 other plaintiffs across the country who blame their illness on the daily use of the pharmaceutical company’s talcum powder.Bryan Isa’s wife, ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lawsuit attempts to end conversion therapy ban in Tampa

Lawsuit attempts to end conversion therapy ban in Tampa

TAMPA — A conservative advocacy group is asking a federal court to overturn Tampa’s ban on conversion therapy for minors.The City Council approved an ordinance in March that bars the controversial practice, which tries to change a person’s sexual ori...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Jabil’s fiscal results top Wall Street expectations

Jabil’s fiscal results top Wall Street expectations

ST. PETERSBURG — Jabil Circuit Inc. beat Wall Street expectations for both profits and revenue Thursday.The St. Petersburg-based contract electronics manufacturer — one of Tampa Bay’s biggest public companies — posted fiscal first-quarter earnings of...
Updated: 4 hours ago