Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

Seminole council member Counts decides not to run again

SEMINOLE — John Counts says he will not run for re-election to the City Council.

"I'm not going to run again. I have spent over 10 years on council. I believe it's time for someone else to have that opportunity," Counts said Monday.

Counts said his decision came in part because his job as a regional sales manager for BB&T bank prevents him from devoting as much time to council business as he felt he should.

"It's not fair to the citizens for me to not dedicate as much effort as it deserves," Counts said. "I'm definitely going to miss it."

Counts' decision guarantees Seminole residents at least one new face on the council after the Nov. 4 election. Bob Matthews, who holds the other seat that's up for grabs, has said he will run. Qualification for the election opens at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

"I love my city and I think I can be of some help," Matthews said. "I've done a good job for the benefit of my citizens."

Matthews, 69, was born in Alvarado, Texas, and moved to Seminole in 1979. With the exception of eight months in 2006-07, he has served on the Seminole council since 1990.

Matthews agreed that whoever wins the election will face some tough challenges. The council itself is split — mostly over the performance of City Manager Frank Edmunds, who is retiring in January after almost 20 years in the position. If a replacement has not been selected by election time, the two who win will help choose Edmunds' successor.

Also on the horizon is the potential redevelopment of Seminole Mall. The mall, considered the city's downtown, is vitally important to residents and other businesses not only in the city but in that area of Pinellas County. The next city manager and council will likely oversee that project.

Seminole has about 18,000 people and has a council-manager form of government. The mayor and six council members are responsible for passing a budget and setting policy for the city. Council members serve three-year terms. They generally meet at least twice a month and earn $5,562 a year.

They are elected at large and the two top vote-getters will take office.

Qualification runs from 9 a.m. Tuesday through 4 p.m. Aug. 11. Candidates must have been a resident and registered voter in Seminole for at least one year before qualifying. For information or to pick up a packet, contact Seminole City Clerk Rose Benoit, (727) 391-0204, ext. 102, or [email protected]

Contact Anne Lindberg at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450. Follow @alindbergtimes.

Comments
Police: Teen, 17, shoots Pinellas Park man who confronted him after car break-in

Police: Teen, 17, shoots Pinellas Park man who confronted him after car break-in

PINELLAS PARK — A Pinellas Park teen faces a charge of attempted murder after police say he stole a gun from an unlocked vehicle and shot the owner as he tried to give chase.Police say Brandon Paul Roman, 17, faces charges including attempted murder,...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pedestrian killed by hit-and-run driver in Tampa

Pedestrian killed by hit-and-run driver in Tampa

TAMPA — A pedestrian was fatally struck by a hit-and-run vehicle early Wednesday morning.Police say the pedestrian died at the scene after being struck in the 6900 block of E Adamo Drive.Eastbound lanes are closed at S Maydell Drive, according to the...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Student protestors reach Tallahassee; Kucherov gets it in gear; St. Petersburg’s black pioneers get their own documentary; fallout over the Souza trade

The Daystarter: Student protestors reach Tallahassee; Kucherov gets it in gear; St. Petersburg’s black pioneers get their own documentary; fallout over the Souza trade

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• For the latest legislative coverage from Tallahassee, keep checking The Buzz, which is updated throughout the day by the reporters of the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau.• Re...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Documentary pays homage to St. Pete’s black pioneers (w/video)

Documentary pays homage to St. Pete’s black pioneers (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — In the 1940s, David and Archie Boston grew up together in the Gas Plant neighborhood and hung out together on 22nd Street S, where black residents created their own main street, their own haven, in the midst of a segregated city.The ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Today’s WriteLane podcast: Narratives off the news

Today’s WriteLane podcast: Narratives off the news

Today’s WriteLane is about finding narratives off the news.The weekly podcast features Lane DeGregory, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, discussing her stories and answering questions. The focus is on craft.In this week’s epis...
Published: 02/21/18
Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors

Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors

It bubbled up from the darkest online corners then began to take off: conspiracy theories about Parkland students who’ve spent the past week on TV demanding action on the gun violence that killed 17 and reawakened a national debate.By late Tuesday af...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Updated: 7 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Feb. 20

Tuesday’s scoreboardSoftballAdmiral Farragut 17, St. Petersburg Cath. 0BaseballGulf Coast HEAT 9, Canterbury 4Calvary Chr. 6, Lakeland Chr. 1
Updated: 8 hours ago
Officers: When an active shooter attacks, survive by taking action

Officers: When an active shooter attacks, survive by taking action

LARGO — An Illinois teacher used confrontation. A campus safety monitor in Seattle attacked with pepper spray and physical force. An assistant football coach in Indiana shouted as he chased him into the woods.All were civilians who took down an activ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Under a new law, some public schools will be managed by companies. Pinellas is getting ready

Under a new law, some public schools will be managed by companies. Pinellas is getting ready

LARGO — Pinellas County School Board members are not happy about the prospect of having to hand over academic control at three struggling schools to a private company, and paying the firm up to $2 million on top of it. But that’s the course they must...
Updated: 9 hours ago