OLDSMAR — The City Council wasted no time filling the seat vacated by Eric Seidel.
Tuesday, a its first meeting since his resignation, the council appointed Ed Manny to complete the remaining four months of Seidel's term. The vote was unanimous.
"He was the first name that came to mind," said Mayor Jim Ronecker, who nominated Manny. "Every single person that I asked about Ed, nothing came back bad."
Manny, 81, has lived in Oldsmar for more than 45 years. He was elected to the council twice, in 1997 and 1999. He ran for mayor in 2001 against Jerry Beverland and lost. Though he has not held elected office since, he said Oldsmar is such a small town, he won't have trouble sliding back into his old role.
"I still have a lot of connections with the people who are on the council, code enforcement board, all the other boards," said Manny, who is vice president of the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas. "It's something I haven't let loose."
He acknowledged that four months won't give him time to tackle anything major but said he has much to offer.
"I have history," Manny said, "and that's very important."
Oldsmar will elect a permanent replacement, along with a mayor and another council member, in March. Manny will not seek office, which was key to his appointment. City leaders made it clear that they would not put someone with political aspirations in Seidel's seat.
So far, two people — former council member Loretta Wyandt and code enforcement board alternate Robert Brown — have picked up candidate packets for Seidel's seat. The qualifying period started Tuesday and ends at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 4.
Seidel, who had spinal surgery on Wednesday, announced his resignation Oct. 20. Doctors estimate his recovery time will last anywhere from three to six months.
After Seidel stepped down, Ronecker discussed his nomination with the outgoing council member.
"He thought it was an excellent choice," Ronecker said.
Reach Rodney Thrash at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4167.