Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Members split on Brooksville City Council swing vote vacancy

BROOKSVILLE —City Council member Lara Bradburn jokingly suggested using the rock-paper-scissors hand game. Joe Bernardini, her colleague at the other end of the dais, suggested drawing a name from a hat.

In any case, picking someone to fill a temporary council vacancy will take more than just a vote among the divided body.

Council members decided Monday to hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. next Monday to give finalists Robert "Butch" Battista and Kevin Hohn an opportunity to sway a majority vote.

Council members selected the two men from 10 applicants who were vying for the council seat left open by Emory Pierce, who resigned last month to accept a city manager position in north Florida. The person selected to fill the seat will serve until after the November 2012 general election.

Hohn, a resident of Southern Hills Plantation, is supported by Bradburn and Mayor Frankie Burnett while Battista, a former attorney for the city, is supported by Bernardini and Vice Mayor Joe Johnston. Neither candidate has been a public officeholder.

While philosophical differences aren't new among Bradburn and Bernardini, both agreed that the council won't likely address many upcoming issues without a swing vote.

Bradburn said she felt Hohn, who works as a public records product specialist and is a former criminal investigator with the Internal Revenue Service, represents progressive "new thinking" that she feels the city needs to meet the challenges of the future.

"He's level-headed and calm, and we need that on the council," Bradburn said. "We've made a lot of progress in the city the last few years. I want to see that continue."

Bernardini said that while he found Hohn's resume impressive, he has reservations about his grasp of the inner workings of the city and the numerous issues the council faces. Battista, he said, is ready-made for the job and with a strong legal background would be an asset to the city.

"Butch knows how a budget works and knows how we work," Bernardini said. "I don't think having him means we'd be going backwards."

Hohn and Battista will be given 10 minutes each to present their credentials at Monday's meeting. If a deadlock still remains, council members will likely have to rely on a measure suggested by city attorney Tom Hogan to break the tie.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or [email protected]

Members split on Brooksville City Council swing vote vacancy 08/17/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 7:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Experts have some theories on who's carrying out Seminole Heights killings


    The words serial killer tend to conjure an image of a middle-aged white man, likely a loner. He stabs or chokes or strangles, murdering up close for the thrill, straight out of central casting.

    A memorial was set up where Anthony Naiboa, 20, was found shot to death in Seminole Heights. Some experts who have reviewed information in the case say that whoever is behind the three Seminole Heights killings may live in the area. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  2. Late fumble, field goal send Florida State to another loss


    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's streak of 35 consecutive bowl appearances is in serious jeopardy after a last-second 31-28 home loss to Louisville on Saturday.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson gets past Florida State's Matthew Thomas to score in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Tallahassee Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC102
  3. Funeral starts for soldier at center of Trump fight


    COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102
  4. Seasoned cast scores an extra-base hit for St. Petersburg Opera with 'Faust'


    TAMPA — Charles Gounod's Faust sets the table early. The world-weary philosopher immortalized in a dramatic poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is in his study, lamenting his state of affairs. He's willing to give away everything he has to be young again, even his soul.

    The St. Petersburg Opera Company begins its season with Faust, in a production seemingly aligned with the original intent of French composer Charles Gounod and librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carre. [St. Petersburg Opera Company]
  5. Police plan community meeting as search for Seminole Heights killer continues


    TAMPA — With people in Seminole Heights on edge following three related shooting deaths on their streets, police have planned a community meeting for Monday.

    The three Seminole Heights victims, from left: Benjamin Edward Mitchell, 22; Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32; and Anthony Naiboa, 20. [Facebook, family photos]