Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Leo election could determine town's future

ST. LEO — Incumbent Town Commissioner Sister Donna DeWitt believes the fate of St. Leo is very much on the line as she vies to keep her commission seat.

The election is April 8.

A sister at Holy Name Monastery, DeWitt, 70, faces a challenge from Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club resident Ray Davis, 77, a retired businessman who is running in order to bring more representation for his neighborhood.

That could have a major impact as turmoil continues over efforts by some Lake Jovita residents to de-annex from the city. Most of the homes in the gated community are in unincorporated Pasco County, leading St. Leo residents in Lake Jovita to complain over being double charged by the town on taxes.

Last year, the de-annexation effort gathered steam as two Lake Jovita residents, James Wells and Robert Inslee, won seats on the commission.

"I think we should have another voice," Davis said of his bid.

Meanwhile, a bill is working through the Florida legislature filed on behalf of the town that would allow Lake Jovita to de-annex. But with that still in limbo, Davis said he feels the need to continue his campaign.

DeWitt said she is upset that the town's money is being wasted by a Lake Jovita resident who is likely to be part of a de-annexation that she too supports. Her biggest fear is for the de-annexation efforts to fail and have Lake Jovita residents move forward with a threatened dissolution petition that could end the city entirely.

"I hope the bill passes. If they don't like it here, fine. We can live without you. But I don't want to see them take away the whole town," DeWitt said. "I personally believe they don't care what happens to the town. I'm running for all of the people in the town."

St. Leo election could determine town's future 04/01/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 5:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Good news: Tampa Bay no longer a major foreclosure capital of the country

    Real Estate

    Once in the top five nationally for foreclosure filings, the Tampa Bay area no longer ranks even in the top 25.

    A few short years ago, Tampa Bay was a national hub for foreclosures. Not any more. [Getty Images/iStockphoto]
  2. Largo promotes Joseph Pennino to deputy fire chief

    Public Safety

    LARGO — The city has a new deputy fire chief after Dave Mixson left the post to take a job as chief and director of public safety of the South Pasadena Fire Department.

    Largo Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Pennino
  3. State Attorney announces expansion of Hillsborough juvenile civil citation program


    TAMPA — Kids who, for the first time, commit certain minor crimes in Hillsborough County may now avoid a criminal conviction by completing a civil citation program.

    Thursday's announcement of civil citations for first-time juvenile offenders in Hillsborough County marked the fulfillment of a campaign promise by State Attorney Andrew Warren.
  4. Pinellas County approves settlement with Suncoast fire district

    Public Safety

    SEMINOLE — County commissioners on Tuesday approved a settlement with the Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue District, closing out a lawsuit filed last year by the district over millions of dollars of emergency medical services funding.

  5. Attorney general has no plans to resign despite Trump rebuke


    WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he has no immediate plans to resign a day after President Donald Trump excoriated the nation's top prosecutor for recusing himself from the probe of suspected Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign.

    In this July 12 file photo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks in Las Vegas. President Donald Trump says he never would have appointed Sessions as attorney general had he known Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation. Trump makes the extraordinary statement about Sessions in an interview with the New York Times Wednesday. [AP Photo/John Locher, File]