OLDSMAR — Some were skeptical when Mayor Jerry Beverland said his time at City Hall was over. And they were right.
Beverland, 73, was the only candidate to qualify for Oldsmar Council Seat 1 in the March elections, so he will be sworn in on March 17.
Or maybe sooner.
The seat has been vacant since Greg Rublee resigned Dec. 31 to move to New Zealand. The council plans to discuss the vacancy tonight and could ask Beverland to start early.
Two candidates have qualified to run for Seat 3, which Janice Miller will be leaving because of term limits, giving Oldsmar voters a choice in the March 10 elections.
Sara Normandeau, 40, is in marketing and recruiting for a medical staffing company, and previously was a mortgage banker and in residential construction and development. On the city's Planning Board and chairwoman of the city's Charter Review Committee, she is married with two children.
Doug Bevis, 45, is a civil engineer and country music personality on WFUS-FM 103.5. President of the Bay Arbor Homeowner's Association, he's married with three children. He says he admires Beverland's passion for making Oldsmar a better place.
Beverland was on the City Council in the 1970s and 1990s. He was mayor in the 1990s and from 2001 until his term limit was up in 2007.
When he left city government, he planned to write a book about Oldsmar history. He finished the book, but was getting restless. So the woman Beverland calls "my beautiful wife Wanda" had a suggestion.
"You need to go back on council …," she said. "You're getting in my way."
Beverland said he will be happy to be back on the council.
"Being on council is productive," he said. "And I miss helping people."
But it's more than that. He and his wife have seen the city evolve over 43 years. When they first got there, he remembers, you could stand in the middle of Tampa Road and not see a car for an hour.
"I love Oldsmar," he said. "I do love this city."
When his next three-year term is completed, Beverland will have been in office for 20 years.
"Somebody is going to figure that out someday," he said. "And they are going to say, 'How in the hell did we put up with him?' "
Theresa Blackwell can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 445-4170.