Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Politics

Three remaining candidates for Oldsmar council will speak at forum tonight

OLDSMAR — Though the city election isn't until March 12, Oldsmar residents already know they will have a new mayor — current City Council member Doug Bevis — and that two council members, Linda Norris and Janice Miller, will serve new terms. All won those offices unopposed.

But the three-way race for Bevis' current council seat is about to kick into high gear, with a candidate forum scheduled for tonight.

Bevis will replace Mayor Jim Ronecker, who will be term-limited out of office. Miller and Norris will remain in seats 2 and 4, respectively.

Three newcomers are competing for the opportunity to complete the two years remaining in Bevis' current role in Seat 3. The public is invited to ask contenders questions at a televised candidate forum at 7 p.m. today in council chambers at 101 State St. W.

Bevis, first elected to the Oldsmar City Council in 2008, is a real estate broker for Coldwell Banker in Clearwater Beach and a country radio DJ on WFUS-FM 103.5 who prefers to play Luke Bryan and Tim McGraw.

He worked 25 years as a civil engineer around Tampa Bay.

"I have no agenda," Bevis said Wednesday. "I am not trying to push any one project. I want to continue with the vision the previous council had and make us a better city."

His goals: increase Oldsmar's population and residential properties, make the city more environmentally friendly and attract more businesses.

And, he joked, "world peace."

Bevis, a resident of the Bay Arbor neighborhood, plans to lead by listening closely to fellow council members and the community. He said Oldsmar residents are encouraged to call with suggestions and shake his hand at City Council meetings.

"We're there to serve the citizens," he said.

Ronecker considers Bevis "a good friend."

"We pretty much agree on 99.9 percent of issues," Ronecker said. "He's always well prepared, well spoken. I'm confident he'll do a good job."

Vice Mayor Jerry Beverland, who has served four terms as mayor over the last 25 years, gave Bevis his blessing to run last year.

"Doug has a good head on his shoulders," he said. "He's proven himself on the council. He's concerned, he doesn't go off on tangents, he'll keep Oldsmar in the forefront."

Bevis' only flaw, according to Beverland: "He goes on for paragraphs what I could say in two sentences."

Linda Norris, who has served about four years on the City Council, said that in her next term, she will continue to focus on maintaining the city's balanced budget, encouraging new business development and securing a "green city" designation, which the council applied for in 2011.

"I'm the tree hugger on the council," Norris said, laughing.

Council member Janice Miller, who has served for about 10 years, said she didn't want to discuss her future plans and goals before the candidate forum.

"I don't want to give away my answers," she said.

The candidates running for Seat 3 in the March 12 election are:

• Dan Saracki, 53, owns Impact Grafx Inc. in Oldsmar. He is president of the Eastlake Oaks Homeowners Association and has volunteered for Oldsmar Cares and the Organic Community Garden.

• Suda Yantiss-Colon, 50, owns Weddings by Suda and Sudagraphics Inc. in Oldsmar. She has worked for the Oldsmar Garden Club, the Leisure Services Board and the Cultural Arts Foundation.

• Gabby McGee, 26, a resident and historic home tour guide since 2007, works in sales, marketing and information technology. She said she creates site proposals to recruit businesses like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

Danielle Paquette can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4224.

Comments
Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

NEW PORT RICHEY — A seasoned historic hotel renovator and operator is going to take a crack at getting New Port Richey’s city-owned Hacienda Hotel back into action. New Port Richey City Council members, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, u...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis stepped into a growing controversy over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, criticizing the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexican border and saying that "populism" and "creating psychosis" are not t...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Well, that didn’t last long.U.S. Army veteran Michael Sean McCoy filed to run as the Republican candidate in the State House, District 57 race just hours after incumbent State Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, announced he was stepping down.McCoy, who live...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Published: 06/19/18
‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

SEATTLE — The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life. So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for t...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

WASHINGTON - As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration policy of se...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with...
Published: 06/19/18
Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another facility intended for detaining undocumented children is reportedly in the works for Houston as the number of children separated from their parents at the border continues to swell.Southwest Key Programs, the same contractor that operates the...
Published: 06/19/18
Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

ST. PETERSBURG — They appear to rise out of nowhere — two enormous, reclaimed-water tanks with an artist’s white clouds scudding across a blue background.A closer view reveals silhouettes of a lone coyote howling at the sky, mangrove islands, oak, cy...
Published: 06/19/18
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Published: 06/17/18