Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Temple Terrace voters oust vocal Vlass supporter, elect 3 newcomers

TEMPLE TERRACE — By a narrow margin, residents on Tuesday voted out the City Council member who most visibly supported the developer of the stalled downtown project.

Mary Jane Neale said her support of Vlass Temple Terrace probably cost her re-election to a second four-year term to Eddie Vance, 46, regional vice president of Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union. Vance and community activist Grant Rimbey each had more votes than Neale in the race for two spots on the five-member council. Neale received 4,590 votes to Vance's 4,942. Rimbey drew 5,394 votes.

"I gave them a good fight, and I'm proud of what I did,'' Neale, 75, said. "Temple Terrace can't lose. They're all good guys."

Residents also elected former two-term City Council member Frank Chillura as mayor. Chillura, 44, who owns MC Management, a property management firm, defeated civic activist Cheri Donohue, former executive director of the Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce. He received 5,839 votes to Donohue's 5,028. Chillura replaces Joe Affronti, who finishes his second and final term as mayor.

"I'm very humbled,'' Chillura said.

The mayor acts as the voice of Temple Terrace, representing the city at events and conducting council meetings. But the mayor can vote only to break a tie.

"The fun part's over; now the real work begins,'' said Rimbey, 49, project manager for Elements Architects.

Rimbey, Vance and Chillura all say they want to work with Vlass to complete the $160 million Downtown Temple Terrace project, an office, retail, residential and cultural complex on the east side of 56th Street from Bullard Parkway to the Hillsborough River.

Chillura said that now that the election is over and the same people will be in place for the next couple of years, "Now we can get in gear.''

The newly elected officials have said they want the residential buildings on the north section of the project to closely conform to the vision the city incorporated into the 2009 contract. Vlass has said such a plan — buildings with residences above stores — will be hard to make succeed, especially since the developer has had trouble drawing high-quality retailers.

"Everyone wants to see us move forward but move forward in the right direction,'' Vance said.

During their campaigns, the new mayor and council members also stressed the need to improve schools in the community in order to attract permanent residents to a city where the renter population is estimated at 47 percent.

The Hillsborough County School Board makes those decisions, of course, but the new city representatives say a fervent lobbying effort may help make changes. A main complaint among Temple Terrace parents is that many of their children are bused to schools outside the city instead of attending schools in their own community.

Philip Morgan can be reached at pmorgan@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3435.

Temple Terrace voters oust vocal Vlass supporter, elect 3 newcomers 11/08/12 [Last modified: Thursday, November 8, 2012 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fennelly: Bucs' Roberto Aguayo has his backers, no matter how many kicks he misses

    Bucs

    He was perfect Friday, and not just because he didn't have to kick.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) takes a photo with fans following the first day of training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, July 28, 2017.
  2. Starbucks to close all Teavana locations, including five in Tampa Bay

    Retail

    Local Teavana locations include Tyrone Square in St. Petersburg, International Plaza and Westfield Citrus Park in Tampa, Brandon and Clearwater.

    Starbucks announced Thursday plans to shut down all 379 Teavana stores, citing "underperformance." Starbucks acquired the mall-based tea chain for $620 million in 2012. [ CANDICE CHOI | AP file photo]
  3. What to watch this weekend: 'The Last Tycoon,' 'Room 104,' 'Rick and Morty'

    Blogs

    Checking in: Room 104

    Listen up, fans of Hitchcock and American Horror Story. Room 104 might be your next obsession. With a premise that feels experimental, Room 104 explores one of film's most traditional styles - telling a story from the inside of just one room. The HBO series is from …

    Rick and Morty returns on Sunday for a third season.
  4. Rubio: I intend to keep campaign promises on Obamacare

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio says he remains committed to overturning Obamacare following the collapse of the latest attempt.

  5. Family spokeswoman: British baby Charlie Gard has died

    World

    LONDON — Charlie Gard, the critically ill British baby at the center of a legal battle that attracted the attention of Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump, has died. He would have turned 1 next week.

    This is an undated photo of sick baby Charlie Gard provided by his family, taken at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. [Family of Charlie Gard via AP]