Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Zephyrhills may reschedule elections

ZEPHYRHILLS — A pitiful turnout for this year's municipal elections has prompted the Zephyrhills City Council to consider rescheduling its city elections.

In April, 8.5 percent of registered city voters ventured to the polls. It was the lowest municipal election turnout in the county, second to New Port Richey, where 12 percent of the electorate exercised their right to vote.

In Port Richey, by comparison, 32 percent of voters hit the polls.

Now, Zephyrhills is considering adding its municipal contenders to the general election ballot. City Manager Steve Spina, who was not present at Monday's meeting, suggested changing the election date at a Municipal Association of Pasco meeting earlier in the year.

Considering 49 percent of Pasco voters showed up for the November 2006 general election, the hope is that changing the date will bring more people to the polls.

"It seems like a pretty straightforward idea to increase voter turnout," said Todd Vande Berg, the city's director of development, before the meeting.

City Council members seemed lukewarm to the idea. Some said the few people who came to municipal elections were "quality voters" who cared about the city. They also worried that local candidates could get missed on the ballot among bigger names.

"I can see us getting lost in the shuffle," said council president Luis Lopez.

But council vice president Jodi Wilkeson liked the cost-saving measure of combining elections.

Zephyrhills will get a trial run of the plan this year. In November, city voters will choose who replaces former City Council member Daniel Burgess Jr. who left his seat in July to attend law school in Orlando.

Council members said they would discuss the idea further after the November election.

In other news:

• Wednesday, the city will hold its first public meeting on the proposed 2008-09 $42-million city budget, which is based on a 5.57 millage rate.

At 5.57 mills, a Zephyrhills resident whose property is assessed at $100,000 would pay about $279 in property taxes, after taking the $50,000 homestead exemption.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435-7312.

Zephyrhills may reschedule elections 09/08/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 8, 2008 8:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas votes 7-0 to help sue Legislature over new law favoring charter schools

    K12

    LARGO — They said they had no choice but to do it. They said they would rather reach a compromise.

    Gov. Rick Scott, right, kicks off the 2017 legislative session on March 7 in Tallahassee. Scott later signed a massive education bill that is being challenged by several school districts. On Tuesday, Pinellas became one of them. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. Deputies find 24 dogs, 2 birds, 2 cats, 1 child in Hernando home

    Public Safety

    SPRING HILL —A woman was arrested Monday on charges of animal cruelty after deputies said they found injured animals at her Spring Hill home.

  3. New Graham-Cassidy health care plan stumbles under opposition from governors

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The suddenly resurgent Republican effort to undo the Affordable Care Act was dealt a blow on Tuesday when a bipartisan group of governors came out against a proposal gaining steam in the Senate.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by, from left, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks to reporters as he pushes a last-ditch effort to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. To win, 50 of the 52 GOP senators must back it -- a margin they failed to reach when the chamber rejected the effort in July. [/J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press]
  4. Joe Maddon on being back at Trop, Cash, a new stadium

    Blogs

    More to come later, but a couple of quick early highlights from former Rays manager Joe Maddon's return to the Trop with the Cubs:

    Joe Maddon, right, speaks with Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey before Tuesday's game at Tropicana Field.
  5. Former Lightning forward Brian Boyle diagnosed with cancer, expects to keep playing

    Lightning Strikes

    New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor said can largely be treated with medication.

    Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor says can be treated with medication, the Devils announced Tuesday. [AP photo]