Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

KYC Election Guide

Pasco County Commission District 5: Jack Mariano vs. Bill Gunter

County Commission District 5

Commissioner Jack Mariano faces a tough race for a third term. Challenger Bill Gunter said he has the support of developers and other business owners, while Mariano questions if his opponent has enough experience. The winner will be decided in this primary, which is open to all voters. Lee Logan, Times Staff Writer

Bill Gunter, 42


Jack Mariano, 52

County commissioner

Republican Party Republican
Gunter has been the pastor of Redeemer Community Church, formerly known as River Ridge Presbyterian Church, for 10 years. Before that, he worked at a church near Dallas for two years and was an insurance claims adjuster. He grew up in Bradenton and played defensive end for the Florida Gators from 1989-93. Experience Mariano was first elected to the County Commission in 2004. He
is a former car salesman who now does community outreach for
Ed Morse Auto Plaza. He grew up in Concord, Mass. He is involved in civic groups such as Rotary and Take Stock in Children. As commissioner, he has been involved in the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.
Bachelor's degree from the University of Florida; master's of divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary. Education Bachelor's degree
in economics from Framingham State
Gunter said he would work with state legislators to redevelop West Pasco. He also wants to streamline regulation to make the county a more inviting place to open new businesses. How would you grow Pasco's economy beyond home building and
service industries?
Mariano points to the mobility fee program, which subsidizes office and industrial projects. He also voted to eliminate transportation studies for such projects.
Yes. Gunter said he wants to learn more about how the tax would be spent. Do you support extending the Penny for Pasco sales tax? Yes. Mariano said many citizens support the renewal because the county and School Board "have done what we said we're going
to do."
Yes. He supports the portion that lowers fees for office projects. But he said he is concerned "it directs growth away from undeveloped areas and toward urban
service areas."
Do you support the mobility fees that charge lower costs in urban areas to attract growth there? Yes. Mariano says the idea has been praised by planners across Florida. He notes that office and industrial projects in urban areas don't have to pay any fees. He calls the fees "the best economic development plan we have ever had."
Yes. Gunter said he would try to lower the fees or eliminate them if the economy improves and property values increase. He would oppose raising taxes to offset the fees. Do you support the new parking and youth sports fees at many of Pasco's parks? He has been a staunch critic of the fees since they were enacted in 2010. He said the fees break a promise from the 1980s when voters passed a bond to build parks. "I don't think you should be taxing the things you want to encourage."
Home, retirement, vehicles and a boat. Assets Two homes, checking and savings.
Mortgage, auto loans. Liabilities Mortgages, home equity loan, credit cards.
Income from church. Income Commission salary, Ed Morse salary, rental income.
Lives in New Port Richey with his wife, Heather. They have two children. Personal Lives in Hudson with his wife, Michelle. They have two daughters.

About the job: District 5 covers northwest Pasco, including Hudson, Shady Hills, the Embassy area and a slice of New Port Richey. Commissioners are elected countywide but must live in the district they represent. They set policy on spending, zoning and infrastructure improvements such as roads. Commissioners serve four-year terms and earn $81,141 a year.

Pasco County Commission District 5: Jack Mariano vs. Bill Gunter

Pasco County Commission District 5: Jack Mariano vs. Bill Gunter 07/28/12 [Last modified: Saturday, July 28, 2012 6:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. What you need to know for Thursday, Oct. 19


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today

    White nationalist Richard Spencer is scheduled to speak at the University of Florida tonight and the school is on high alert for tensions. [Associated Press]
  2. Bowen: Park land deal raises Penny for Pasco questions


    The Penny for Pasco is unambiguous.

    At least it is supposed to be.

    There was no equivocating in 2004 when Penny for Pasco supporters detailed how the sales tax proceeds would be spent: schools, transportation, public safety and environmental lands. No money for parks. No money for recreation.

    Pasco County is considering a loan from its Environmental Lands Acquisition and Mangement Program to buy land for a park in the Villages of Pasadena Hills in east-central Pasco. Shown here is the Jumping Gully Preserve in Spring Hil, acquired by ELAMP in 2009 and 2011.
[Douglas R. Clifford, Times]
  3. Another Tampa Bay agency loses tax credits worth millions in dispute over application error


    LARGO — Another Tampa Bay housing agency has lost out on a multi-million dollar tax credit award because of problems with its application.

    A duplex in Rainbow Village, a public housing complex in Largo. The Pinellas County Housing Authority is planning to build new affordable-housing in the complex but was recently disqualified from a state tax credit award because of an issue with its application.
  4. Live blog: Many unknowns as Richard Spencer speaks in Gainesville today


    GAINESVILLE — A small army of law enforcement officers, many of them from cities and counties around the state, have converged on the University of Florida in preparation for today's speaking appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

    Florida Highway Patrol cruisers jammed the parking lot Wednesday at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, part of a big show of force by law enforcement ahead of Thursday's appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer. [KATHRYN VARN | Times]
  5. As Clearwater Marine Aquarium expands, it asks the city for help


    CLEARWATER — When Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates saw an architect's initial design for the facility's massive expansion project, he told them to start all over.

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium Veterinarian Shelly Marquardt (left), Brian Eversole, Senior Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biologist (middle) and Devon Francke, Supervisor of Sea Turtle Rehab, are about to give a rescued juvenile green sea turtle, suffering from a lot of the Fibropapillomatosis tumors, fluids at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Wednesday afternoon. Eventually when the turtle is healthy enough the tumors will be removed with a laser and after it is rehabilitated it will be released back into the wild.  -  The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is launching a $66 million renovation to expand its facilities to take in injured animals and space to host visitors. The aquarium is asking the city for a $5 million grant Thursday to help in the project. American attitudes toward captive animals are changing. Sea World is slipping after scrutiny on the ethics of captive marine life. But CEO David Yates says CMA is different, continuing its mission of rehab and release, it's goal is to promote education, not exploitation. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times