PORT RICHEY — Incumbent Mayor Eloise Taylor and her opponent, political newcomer Kathy Todd, could not be further apart in their opinions on how the city is running.
City elections are April 8.
Taylor, 71, won a special election in 2012 after the resignation of former mayor Richard Rober and previously served as Port Richey's mayor from 2000 to 2005. She said the city has had an unprecedented run of stability that she wants to continue.
Taylor, an attorney, said the time of Port Richey suffering from a poor reputation of infighting and cronyism has been turned around and under her leadership that will continue.
"I've worked very hard to bring stability and common sense and I feel we've moved a long distance than in past years," Taylor said. "I'm proud of that record."
Taylor said, if elected, she would continue to focus on the city running an efficient water utility, a renewed effort at dredging and improving infrastructure. Recently, she led an effort that resulted in the city reducing new irrigation water rates in response to protests from some residents over high bills.
Todd, 47, as U.S. Navy reservist, said her campaign is what spurred the rate reduction and action on other issues that had voters increasingly unhappy. She said the council not only lowered water rates, but city staff addressed debris pickup and increased law enforcement presence as a result of complaints made by her and others at City Hall.
"They reduced the water rates, cleaned up some of the streets, and have mowed grass where they haven't before," Todd said. "It's too bad elections don't come around more often, because we've gotten a lot done. And I'm ready to continue that if I'm elected."