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Tarpon Springs | Seat 2

Three longtime Tarpon Springs residents, all heavily involved in their community, are running for one open City Commission seat in the March 11 municipal election. They are all seeking Seat 2, which is held by term-limited Commissioner Susan Slattery. The ballot also will include a referendum on the proposed sale of city-owned property at 501 S Walton Ave. Mike Brassfield, Times staff writer

Chris Hrabovsky, 44

Joe Muzio, 62

Rea Sieber, 61

Business owner
Experience An environmental and political activist who works as a hypnotist in private practice, Hrabovsky frequently comments at City Commission meetings. He is best known for successfully rallying opposition to a proposed Walmart Supercenter on the banks of the Anclote River. He has been a U.S. Army lieutenant and a vice president and general manager at HSN, formerly the Home Shopping Network. He ran for a City Commission seat in 2010. He's been on the board of the Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce. A Sponge Docks business owner and former Tarpon Springs High School guidance counselor, Sieber heads the Tarpon Springs Merchant Association and serves on the city's budget advisory committee and its tourism council.
EducationBayless Senior High School, St. Louis, Mo.; Florida certification as a consulting hypnotistAssociate's degree in business, Ulster County Community College, New YorkBachelor's and master's degrees from the University of South Florida
What would be your top priority in office?Outraged by Duke Energy charging Florida customers $1.5 billion for a nuclear plant it will never build, Hrabovsky wants Tarpon Springs to look into running its own electric utility or switching to TECO Energy."Economic development is going to build the future of Tarpon Springs. I can't say enough about how I feel about economic development because it just affects every entity. It affects revenue, it affects population, it affects businesses."Economic development, "smart growth," fixing up Tarpon's infrastructure, and streamlining government through better technology and random audits of city departments.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?Hrabovsky has been attending City Commission meetings for years, frequently getting involved in issues. "I've already been doing the job for eight years. I can do it more effectively from the other side of the dais."He says his business experience and military leadership set him apart. He talks of stimulating economic growth and says Tarpon hasn't always been welcoming to developers. "I want to rekindle relationships with developers and investors."Sieber tells voters that her experience in business and education, her listening skills and her work ethic make her the best choice. She also has been endorsed by the city's police union and firefighter union.
What do you think of the city's $1.3 million plan to enhance the Sponge Docks?"We have to keep a balance between our city's rich history and heritage, and also updating where we can. I believe that Mr. Hoffman (Ed Hoffman, the project's architect) has done a fairly good job at walking that fine line.""There's a reason why Walt Disney World adds a new attraction to their park every single year. If it was the same old park every year, people would not go.""As a business owner on the Docks, I am very excited about a facelift to the Sponge Docks. I agree that we need to keep our heritage and our culture. But at the same time, our customer base has changed and what our customers are looking for has changed."
What should happen to Walmart's 74-acre property on U.S. 19 along the Anclote River, which is vacant and up for sale?He believes the city should buy the tree-covered property for a park and he's been in touch with the Trust for Public Land about loaning the city the money. "That's the last piece of waterfront property. We need to preserve it."Muzio wants to see development there, possibly including retail. "We have parks here in the city. We need to increase revenue. Parks don't increase revenue." At one forum, he reminded the other candidates that Walmart still owns the property.She would prefer to see "either a park or maybe residential properties there. Protecting that property is very important."
AssetsHomeHome, bondsHome
IncomeHypnosis practiceRealtor incomeRetail sales
PersonalMarried. Has lived in Tarpon Springs for 14 years.Married with four adult children. Has lived in Tarpon Springs for 27 years.Single. Has a 21-year-old daughter. Has lived in Tarpon Springs for eight years.

About the job: The winner will serve a three-year term. Tarpon Springs city commissioners serve on a board of five and earn $8,000 annually.

Three candidates vie for Seat 2 on Tarpon Springs City Commission

Three candidates vie for Seat 2 on Tarpon Springs City Commission 02/21/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 21, 2014 2:17pm]
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