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Oldsmar leaders reelected automatically

OLDSMAR — Due to an unusual turn of events, Oldsmar will have no City Council election on March 13.

Both candidates, incumbents Jerry Beverland and Doug Bevis, have qualified and will be sworn in next year.

And while it's not uncommon for some candidates to run unopposed in the city, it is unusual for all candidates to do so.

"If it's happened before, I would say it was quite a while ago," said City Clerk Ann Stephan.

Bevis thinks it shows that residents are satisfied with city leaders.

"We've kept taxes down and were continuing to show progress in the city, so hopefully everybody is happy with that," said Bevis, 47, who serves as vice mayor.

Beverland hopes that's the case, too. But he's not so sure.

"It could be nobody wants to get involved," he said.

With the tough economy, Beverland said, maybe no one wants to put the time into serving on the council.

Whatever the reason, Beverland, who calls himself "a terrible campaigner," is relieved.

"I've always supported my own campaigns because I can't ask people for money," said Beverland, who has a reputation for speaking his mind on the dais.

Council members serve three-year terms and have an annual salary of $8,400. They're limited to two consecutive terms.

Beverland, 76, has served on the council for about two decades, including 10 years as mayor. He first served in the 1970s and served four years as council member and four years as mayor in the 1990s. He was elected as mayor in 2001 and served until his term limit was up in 2007. He has been serving in his current seat since 2009.

Beverland began his non-political career as a bagger at Winn-Dixie, where he later became a manager. He then started his own roofing and landscaping companies. Today Beverland says he's "mostly retired." A historian, Beverland still deals in antiques.

Bevis, a real estate agent and country music disc jockey, has been serving on the council since he was elected in 2009. He's lived in Oldsmar for 12 years and served six years as president of the Bay Arbor homeowners' association.

Beverland is the one who inspired him to run for office, Bevis said.

"His passion for the city made me want to get involved," he said.

Lorri Helfand can be reached at lorri@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4155.

Oldsmar leaders reelected automatically 10/21/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 21, 2011 6:07pm]
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