ZEPHYRHILLS — The Zephyrhills election is Tuesday, and, once the votes are counted, a new council will be making the decisions.
Carl Sullivan, a Temple Terrace firefighter will attempt to unseat incumbent Manny Funes, who is a local Realtor and former police officer.
Funes is using his involvement in civic organizations as a springboard for his campaign, including his 15 years as a Rotarian and his involvement with youth activities that led to the Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce recognizing him as a Leader for Youth of the Year.
"During this term, I will be working on getting the most qualified people to work for the city of Zephyrhills," Funes said.
Sullivan cited his commitment to family and community as an important factor in his life. To clarify a point made in a previous article in the Pasco Times, Sullivan said if elected he will work to preserve all city services, not just fire rescue.
Sullivan said if fire rescue and police services are cut, people will see higher response time which could lead to more crime and higher death rates. He said responsible spending is important to ensure the needs of Zephyrhills citizens are met.
"I'm going to have common sense, find out where the wasteful spending is coming from, and crunch the budget in these tough times," Sullivan said.
He also said he would work toward creating more activities for local youth, who he said need more ways to keep active and out of trouble.
Sullivan also mentioned a problem he saw with Funes' election signs, some of which were too large to be placed on residential property where they were located — and at least one that was placed on a local right of way.
Funes responded by saying he took down every sign that was in question, and before the complaint he did not realize there were problems with his sign placement or size.
City officials have confirmed the signs in question were taken down.
Attorney Kenneth Compton is unopposed for his current seat and will be retaining his position. Compton said he will focus on promoting new businesses and growth in the city.
"We've been very fortunate, I think, because we have a great location," Compton said. "We continue to enjoy these opportunities for planned growth."
Former Councilman Lance Smith is also running unopposed. He will be taking over retiring council member Clyde Bracknell's open seat and said he will bring business sense and logic to the council.
Smith said he will ease into the position gradually and will have an open door policy for city residents.
"I'm certainly approachable, and I'll listen to any concerns citizens might have about the city," Smith said.
Compton said to keep in mind that though the council may have one or two new faces, once the votes are counted, the council still votes as a collective body.