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Seven residents to interview for San Antonio City Commission seat

SAN ANTONIO — Over at the post office one day, a retiree noticed an opening posted on the community bulletin board:

The City Commission, which meets once a month, needed to appoint someone to fill the seat of Commissioner Jeff Bauroth, who was moving outside the city limits.

The retiree, Robert Sumner, figured he had the time and the experience — he is, after all, the former Pasco County attorney.

"I just thought it sounded interesting," said Sumner.

He isn't the only one. Sumner is one of seven city residents asking to be appointed to the commission seat for the city of about 840 residents.

The others include Geoff Knight, a self-employed businessman; John McLoone, an ironworker; Tim Newlon, a financial planner; Mary Olaniel, an insurance agent; and two former city commissioners, Heiskell Christmas and Sharon Madden, according to City Clerk Barbara Sessa.

The four commissioners will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to interview the candidates for the fifth seat and are expected to make their decision at that meeting, said Sessa. The person picked will serve until April 2011, when Bauroth's term was up.

Bauroth announced in recent months that he would have to step down after he could not find a house for his growing family in the city limits.

Sessa said she was a little surprised at the number of residents interested in the empty seat. Much of the interest was generated in the last few weeks, but she thought the commission had good candidates.

"All of these people are bright and eligible," she said.

Sumner retired as county attorney in 2008 and has been serving as president of First National Bank of Pasco in Dade City. He said if he's picked, he would only serve out the term.

When he first started practicing law more than 45 years ago, he said, he was the city attorney for San Antonio. He made $25 a month. After a few years on the job, his salary doubled to $50 a month.

He said he has nothing too specific on his agenda these days. "I just have an interest in the community," he said.

"If they don't want me," he added, "that's fine, too."

Jodie Tillman can be reached at or (727) 869-6247.

Seven residents to interview for San Antonio City Commission seat 04/29/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 29, 2010 8:49pm]
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