Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Kenneth City council member abruptly resigns

KENNETH CITY — Ellen Dalbo unexpectedly resigned from the Town Council today after less than four months in office.

Dalbo, 56, notified officials of her immediate resignation by leaving a short note on Mayor Teresa Zemaitis' doorstep:

"I, Ellen Dalbo, have chosen to resign from the position of council member for the town of Kenneth City. I do not feel that I can perform the job for the residents of Kenneth City as I felt I could do. I sincerely appreciate your support, confidence and votes while I was campaigning for this position. I am not a political person. Just a concerned citizen that thought they could make a difference. I have realized in these past few months that I don't think I can accomplish what I intended to do. Again, thank you for your support and best wishes for the town of Kenneth City."

Dalbo sent the Tampa Bay Times an email declining to comment further.

Zemaitis said she was surprised when her husband, who found the document, handed it to her. Dalbo's keys to the Town Hall and the Community Hall were with it. The mayor said she tried to contact Dalbo and talk her out of her decision, but was unsuccessful.

"She's done," Zemaitis said. "She's finished."

Zemaitis said the council has 30 days to fill Dalbo's seat. Her replacement must have lived and been registered to vote in the town for at least two years. The person chosen will serve out the remainder of Dalbo's term, which will end in March 2016. The position is nonpartisan. Council members hold at least one meeting and one workshop a month. They earn $300 a month.

Kenneth City has a council-manager form of government, which was approved by voters last November. The transition is proving to be as tricky as expected for a town more known for its political infighting than its harmonious relationships. Among the controversies that have sprung up since the transition was completed in March are the firing of the police chief and a 3-2 council vote to hold a referendum to possibly do away with term limits for the mayor and council.

Next month, the council is scheduled to hold the first "visioning" session to begin creating a future for the town that would include improvements to buildings and landscaping along 54th Avenue N and 66th Street.

Although the issues are big and controversial, Zemaitis said, it's a perfect time to step in for someone who really wants to influence the future of the town.

"We're on the verge of doing big things in Kenneth City," Zemaitis said. "It's a good time ... a good opportunity for someone to get involved."

For information or to get an application for the council, go to the Town Hall, 6000 54th Ave. N.

Contact Anne Lindberg at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450. Follow @alindbergtimes.

Comments
Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

High school students from both sides of Tampa Bay will commemorate the anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings on Friday, although in very different ways.In St. Petersburg, students from several schools will gather at noon at City Hall for...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida continues to coast with relatively low unemployment and modest job gains. In March, for the sixth straight month, the state’s jobless rate was 3.9 percent. Florida added 13,800 jobs over the month.Tampa Bay’s unemployment rate was 3.6 percent...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. In preliminary findings of ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
A state trooper kept pulling women over to ask for dates

A state trooper kept pulling women over to ask for dates

TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey State Police trooper accused of repeatedly pulling over women to ask them out on dates has been indicted. The state attorney general’s office announced Thursday that 32-year-old Eric Richardson faces charges including off...
Updated: 1 hour ago
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pinellas detention deputy fired for using racial slur

Pinellas detention deputy fired for using racial slur

LARGO — Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri fired a detention deputy Friday after an internal investigation found he used a racial slur to describe black inmates.A fellow Pinellas County Jail deputy reported Jorge Lopez, 30, after he repeatedly used the s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

OCALA — Authorities say one student shot another in the ankle at a Florida high school and a suspect is in custody.The Ocala Star-Banner reports the shooting happened Friday morning at Forest High School which was on lockdown. The injured student was...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Former Ohio State, University of Tampa coach Earle Bruce dies

Former Ohio State, University of Tampa coach Earle Bruce dies

Former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce, whose nine-year tenure in Columbus came after one season as coach of the University of Tampa's now-defunct program, passed away earlier this morning at age 87.Mr. Bruce reportedly had been battling Alzhei...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Bucs have a tough start to their schedule

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Bucs have a tough start to their schedule

The NFL did the Bucs no favors with their 2018 schedule, Rick Stroud says, making them open at New Orleans, followed by home games against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Plus, linebacker Kendall Beckwith had surgery to repair a broken ankle, p...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Portion of I-75 reopens in Sarasota after smoke settles over road

Portion of I-75 reopens in Sarasota after smoke settles over road

SARASOTA — A 10-mile stretch of southbound Interstate 75 has reopened in Sarasota County, after it was shut down earlier Friday morning due to smoke in the road.According to broadcast reports, the smoke was caused by a a prescribed burn in the area ...
Updated: 2 hours ago