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Meet the candidates for Kenneth City Town Council

Kenneth City Town Council race

The job: The Kenneth City Town Council consists of a mayor and four council members. It is a council-as-manager form of government. Each council member is responsible for day-to-day operation of one town department. Members serve two-year terms. Council members are paid $300 a month. The two top vote-getters in the March 9 election will go into office.

Candidate Why you? Three biggest issues Annexation Consolidation of fire/EMS Consolidation of police
Albert L. Carrier, 74

Background: He was born in Mexico, Maine, and moved to Kenneth City in 1995. He attended electronics schools with the U.S. Air Force, Northwest University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is retired. He is a member of the Elks and the Knights of Columbus.

He has been vice president of the Kenneth City Homeowners Association. He is a widower and has one son and three grandchildren.

Qualifications: He has served on the Kenneth City Board of Adjustment. He served on the council from 1999-2003 when he lost a bid for re-election. He was elected again in 2006.

Source of income: Social Security, council salary

Assets: Home Debts: None Amount raised so far: $0

Did not answer.

Keeping taxes low, staying within the budget, not spending needlessly

"Annexation is fine for the cities and towns doing the annexing. The people left behind will have to pick up the monies lost. The county can't absorb the monies lost. They have to get the money from the people still living in the county." "I do not have enough information on this subject so I pass."

He is against it. "The towns and cities will lose a lot of protection that they are now getting with their own police departments."

Joanne DeSimone, 66

Background: She was born in New York and raised in Valley Stream, Long Island, N.Y. She worked in the fashion industry as a buyer representing retail clothing stores across the U.S. She moved to Florida in 1979 and moved to Kenneth City in 2003. She works for Home Depot. She is single.

Qualifications: She is a former Redington Beach city commissioner in charge of the finance and building departments. She served on that town's planning board. She also served on the board of directors of the Gulf Beaches Public Library.

Source of income: Salary

Assets: Condominium Debts: None

Amount raised so far: $550

Experience and proven leadership. "I would like to see the town come together. My main concern will always be the residents of my community." Budget shortfall because of current economic conditions. Resolving residents' complaints about code enforcement and public works projects not being completed correctly. Resolving disputes between home­owners and companies hired by Kenneth City to perform work in the town. "I welcome all property owners who wish to become part of our community. Both parties gain a tax savings." "One must study these issues very carefully. People can tout cost effectiveness. It is impossible to replace what you disband (because it would be) cost prohibitive. I would study this very carefully." Same answer as fire/EMS.
Wanda Dudley, 52

Background: She was born in Montrose, Pa., and moved to Kenneth City in June 1983. She has a B.A. in education and is enrolled in the Reading Masters pro- gram at the University of South Florida. She will graduate this summer. She teaches at Westgate Elementary School

in St. Petersburg. She is a clinical educator. She has been president and secretary of Northwest Youth Baseball. She is married and has four children.

Qualifications: She has served on the Kenneth City Town Council since 2006.

Sources of income: Salary, tutoring, council salary

Assets: Home

Debts: Mortgage


Amount raised so far: $0

"I try to be a conduit for public concern. I listen and try to find a balance of what is best for all involved. I strive for fairness, diplomacy and strong communication." Budget, code enforcement, public safety "Tread lightly and keep in mind what you gain for your city is a loss for another." "Consolidation of fire/EMS services has possible benefits, lower cost, uniform training, and constant level of service, but the possible shortcomings could be loss of control (priorities), lower response times and loss of jobs. I would want to ensure that the same level of safety would be upheld with efficiency and effectiveness before entertaining this idea of 'consolidation.' " "Consolidation of police services is very similar to fire/EMS services. The level of safety and service must be ensured as a first priority. The majority of our citizens are in favor of our own police force. I represent the people and their safety."
Candidate Why you? Three biggest issues Annexation Consolidation of fire/EMS Consolidation of police
Ron Neuberger, 41

Background: The St. Petersburg native graduated from St. Petersburg High School. He moved to Kenneth City in 2007. He started as a firefighter with the Kenneth City Volunteer Fire Department and now works for Lealman Fire Rescue. He has also worked for Pinellas County

Emergency Management as a hazardous materials analyst. He also works for the Baycare event medicine team, meaning he is on duty at such venues as Tampa Bay Rays games in case someone needs medical care. He is divorced and has two children.

Qualifications: He has a "vast knowledge of disaster preparedness" and expertise in emergency management.

Source of income: Salary

Assets: House in Pinellas Park

Debts: Achieva Credit Union


Amount raised so far: $600

"Fresh new ideas. Not bringing ideas from other cities that didn't work there." He says his new ideas will help bring Kenneth City to a better place and move it forward. Taxes, declining business base/the need to attract new businesses, infrastructure "I support the annexation 100 percent. How can the city survive if we don't? I believe we need to do it slowly" to make sure the town is able to serve the new residents while not neglecting those already in the town. The town's limits need to be squared off to make it easier for police and other workers to know what is within the Kenneth City limits. "That should have been done many years ago. The consolidation of fire and EMS would benefit Pinellas County, from a firefighter's standpoint, in manpower, buying equipment, training." Consolidation might also boost the number of firefighters on emergency vehicles and would give more control over the location of fire stations for greater efficiency and cost control. "I think that it's something that should be looked at, but when you have your own police department … you have a lot more control over it." Sheriff has a larger array of services, but when a town has its own police department, there's more hometown service. If it came down to a budget issue, he would likely support it because "you have to do what's best for the city." A countywide police service might be good.

Meet the candidates for Kenneth City Town Council 02/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 9:55am]
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