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Seven apply for appointments to two vacant Tampa City Council seats

TAMPA — Just three days after applications for two open City Council seats became available, at least seven people have turned in paperwork seeking the appointments.

They include two former City Council members and current and former council candidates.

The council is seeking replacements for John Dingfelder, who represented South Tampa, and Linda Saul-Sena, who held a citywide seat. They resigned abruptly last week to run for the Hillsborough County Commission.

Joseph Greco — no relation to former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco —- is among those who have applied for Dingfelder's seat. Greco, 74, served on the council from 1988 to 1998, during the time the city finalized plans for the Florida Aquarium and the Marriott Waterside Hotel, which serves the convention center.

"I know things are difficult because of the economy right now, and I think I could be valuable as an interim person," he said.

Now semiretired, Greco worked 30 years for Hillsborough County schools as a teacher, guidance counselor and, finally, supervisor of counselors.

Former assistant city attorney Julie Brown has also applied for Dingfelder's seat. Brown, who in 2007 ran unsuccessfully for the council against Dingfelder, had previously said she would run again in 2011. Now she says she won't be seeking election.

Applicants for Saul-Sena's seat include Mary Alvarez, who represented West Tampa on the council from 1999 to 2007, and Guido Maniscalco, who is running for the at-large District 1 seat in the city's March elections.

"I am eager to serve my community," said Maniscalco. "I'm young. I'm energetic. I'm a Tampa native."

Maniscalco, 25, works in his family's jewelry store in West Tampa.

"I figure either I get elected in March, or I can get appointed now," he said. "If not, I have a job. I just want to give back to the community and serve Tampa."

The deadline to apply for the two openings, which pay about $750 a week, is July 12. The remaining council members will select the interim members July 19, who will be sworn in July 22.

In 2006, more than 50 people submitted applications to fill seats vacated by Kevin White and Rose Ferlita when they ran for the County Commission. Interim council members will serve until after city elections in March.

Janet Zink can be reached at jzink@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3401.

Seven apply for appointments to two vacant Tampa City Council seats 07/01/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 1, 2010 10:24pm]
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