Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kenneth City candidate puts focus on spending

Ellen Dalbo, 55, has lived in Kenneth City for 23 years. She is a graduate of Gibbs High School.

Ellen Dalbo, 55, has lived in Kenneth City for 23 years. She is a graduate of Gibbs High School.

KENNETH CITY — One woman running for the Town Council says she wants to make sure tax money is being spent wisely.

"I'm running for the residents of Kenneth City," said Ellen Dalbo. "I believe that the residents' tax dollars are not being spent in the right way for our city."

Dalbo is one of three candidates running for the two open seats on the Kenneth City council. The others are Barbara Roberts, who, like Dalbo, is a first-time candidate, and incumbent Phil Redisch. Neither Roberts nor Redisch could be reached for comment.

Dalbo has become a familiar face at Town Council meetings over the past few months, speaking to issues that include questioning expenditures for the Police Department. Those expenditures include ballistic shields, heavy-duty weapons and SUVs rather than cars. She has also opposed a proposal to add a canine unit to the department's 12-officer force.

Although she has spoken to other issues, such as lighting in the parks, Dalbo said much of her focus has been on the Police Department "because of the way council is approving what I feel are unnecessary items."

Dalbo noted that Kenneth City Mayor Teresa Zemaitis has consistently been the lone voice on the council to speak against such expenditures. But Zemaitis has not been able to sway most of the other council members and has frequently found herself on the losing end of 4-1 votes. Dalbo said she believes the council needs at least two other members who are more willing to evaluate purchases and the reasons for them. With two more votes, some of the unnecessary expenditures, she said, could have been blocked.

Dalbo, 55, is a native of St. Petersburg who moved to Kenneth City 23 years ago. She is a graduate of Gibbs High School and attended St. Petersburg Junior College, now St. Petersburg College. She worked in the electrical data industry for 30 years, in the distribution of electrical products, data cable and connectors. Six years ago, she began working for the Pinellas County School District at 74th Street Elementary School in St. Petersburg as an exceptional education assistant working with autistic children. She has served as president of the Blanton Elementary School PTA and served on the board of Fossil Park Youth Baseball and Softball.

She is married, has two children, two dogs and a cat.

Kenneth City is located in the center of south Pinellas County between St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park. It divides the unincorporated Lealman area into two pieces. It had 4,980 residents in the 2010 census.

This year, residents voted to change their style of government to a council-manager format in which a professional manager oversees the daily running of the town. A council consisting of a mayor and four members set policy, pass a budget and hire the manager and a town attorney. The transition to the new format is scheduled to be complete before the March 11 election, meaning those who are elected will be the first to operate under the new form.

Council members serve two-year terms. They hold at least one meeting and one workshop a month and earn $300 a month. They run at-large and the two top vote-getters will take office.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at or (727) 893-8450. Or follow her on Twitter @alindbergtimes.

Kenneth City candidate puts focus on spending 12/27/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 27, 2013 2:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Power struggle: Latvala targets Putnam's large donations from electric utilities


    TALLAHASSEE — The 2018 race for Florida governor will be about power — not just political power, but electric power.

    Scott Crellin, a trouble man for Duke Energy, works to cut tree limbs from a Tarpon Springs power line after Hurricane Irma. The utility's problems with getting power restored after the storm, and it's contributions to Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam's campaign for governor, have become an issue in the governor's race. [CHRIS URSO  |   Times]

  2. Authors R.L. Stine, Neil DeGrasse Tyson coming to Tampa Bay this week


    AUTHORS: Neil deGrasse Tyson, R. L. Stine, Finn Murphy

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 12:  Author R.L. Stine attends “Goosebumps” New York premiere at AMC Empire 25 theater on October 12, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
  3. Brothers' fatal shootout at Plant City ranch draws lawsuit from survivor


    TAMPA — George "Terry" Long escaped with his life last spring when his wife's ex-husband tried to gun him down at Plant City's Rocking V Ranch.

    This Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office photo shows part of the scene at the Rocking V ranch in Plant City where two brothers were shot dead April 15 during a family confrontation. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Florida Gators' Jordan Sherit out for the year after hip surgery


    Florida Gators defensive lineman Jordan Sherit will miss the rest of the season after undergoing hip surgery earlier this week, coach Jim McElwain said Wednesday morning.

    "It's a bad deal, man," McElwain said.

  5. 5 things to do under $5: Wiener dog racing, Streetcar Festival, Clearwater chalk art, Dia De Los Muertos


    1Wienerfest: They had us at wiener dog racing. This day devoted to dachshunds features racing, a dog costume contest, food trucks, photo booth and raffles at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Saturday. Leashed dogs of all breeds welcome. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. Free admission. (407) …

    An entry in the costume contest from 2015's annual Dia de los Muertos Fiesta, or Day of the Dead Festival, hosted by Casa Tina's Mexican Restaurant.
photo courtesy Mikell Herrick