LARGO — Despite criticism from some city residents about overspending, the people have spoken at the polls — that they are happy with the current administration's efforts to make budget cuts while still maintaining parks and other amenities.
With all precincts in Tuesday, voters returned incumbents Harriet Crozier and Woody Brown to their City Commission seats.
Crozier captured 41 percent of the vote, with challengers Robert Hunsicker and Robert Avery trailing at 32 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
Brown, vice mayor, won re-election with 46 percent of the vote, with challengers Doug Lardner earning 34 percent and John Atanasio 20 percent.
"I think they're pleased with the way we're managing the city's monies," Crozier said of voters as she watched poll returns from the supervisor of elections office in Largo. "I think that we're getting a lot of positives from people who use the recreation services."
In a time of economic strife, it appears, low-cost city activities such as a community play or day in the park are attractive, she said.
Even campaign spending, it seems, couldn't sway voters in the Seat 5 race. Hunsicker raised $9,285 in cash compared with Crozier's $5,419.
"I did everything I could have done," Hunsicker said. "That would be the voice of the people, I guess."
At a gathering of friends and family at Big Mike's Pizza in Largo, Brown said he was pleased that he was re-elected, but said the city does need to change some of its habits.
"If people were absolutely happy, it wouldn't be as close as it was," Brown said of the race. "They have concerns that are probably valid, and we need to address them."
Crozier, a 17-year Largo commissioner, and Brown, who just completed his first term, can prepare for not just another three years in office, but four.
Voters also approved on Tuesday night a city charter amendment extending commission terms from three years to four, with 57 percent favoring the change.
Dominick Tao can be reached at (727) 580-2951 or firstname.lastname@example.org.