Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

As election qualifying ends, $10 million Madeira Beach complex likely to be main issue

MADEIRA BEACH — Voters will pick a mayor and fill one of two open commission seats in the city's March 11 municipal election.

District 1 Commissioner Terry Lister will automatically be returned to office since his seat drew no opposition.

Mayor Travis Palladeno, 49, who is seeking a second three-year term as mayor, is being challenged by Victor Cucaro, 77.

District 2 Commissioner Nancy Hodges, 64, who was automatically elected when she ran unopposed two years ago, does have an opponent this time: William Wright, 52.

One issue certain to arise during the election campaign is the $10 million municipal complex the current commission has approved, which will be under construction by the time voters go to the polls.

Palladeno and Hodges are both proud of the commission's decision to build a new City Hall, fire station and recreational complex.

Their opponents are split.

Wright is not opposed to the commission's decision, but criticizes the group for not "communicating" more effectively with voters. He thinks that officials must be frugal in the future to ensure the city remains solvent.

"My main concerns as a candidate would obviously focus on issues affecting District 2," Wright says.

Wright, who describes himself as "independently wealthy," has not previously served on any city boards and is senior vice commander of the VFW Post 4256 in Madeira Beach.

Hodges, who previously served on the city's Planning Board, says she is "excited" about the changes that have occurred in the city since her election in 2012.

"There are still some more changes that need to be made, a lot of projects to be completed. I hope to be a part of that," she said.

It is the mayoral race that could provide voters an opportunity to weigh in on the direction the current commission has taken the city.

Palladeno's challenger is vocal in his opposition to the commission's decision to spend millions of dollars on a new municipal complex.

Cucaro, a native of Argentina and long-time city resident, calls the project a "waste" that he would try to downsize if elected.

"With a very shaky economy, it is a really bad idea to put ourselves into a multimillion complex that we don't need," he said.

Cucaro owns and operates the Integrative Acupuncture Medical Clinic in Madeira Beach. He has never served on a city board.

In sharp contrast, Palladeno says he is "extremely proud" of his role in what he calls the "transformation of Madeira Beach."

In addition to a new municipal complex, Palladeno points to a long list of other accomplishments including acquiring $3.3 million for Gulf Boulevard beautification projects, stormwater rehabilitation and road resurfacing projects, reducing property taxes, raising parking revenues, reconstituting the city's building department, replacing seawalls and beach walkovers, and redeveloping Archibald Park.

Palladeno is owner and operator of Live Wire Fishing Charters, and previously served on the city's Planning Board and the Archibald Park Ad Hoc Committee.

As election qualifying ends, $10 million Madeira Beach complex likely to be main issue 01/14/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 4:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs-Bills report card: Grading the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Hard to believe, but this was only the second time in their history that the Bucs played a regular-season game in Buffalo. After Sunday loss, they wouldn't mind going another 40 years without playing here again.

    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, seen during the first half, had a heck of a day calling plays, Tom Jones writes. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Passing motorists pull three from burning home in Tampa


    TAMPA — Two men in a passing car rescued two children and a woman from a burning home late Sunday morning.

  3. Bucs-Bills: Social media reactions to the Bucs' 30-27 loss


    Here's a sampling of reactions from the media and fans to the Bucs' 30-27 loss Sunday at Buffalo:

    Buffalo Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka (4) is mobbed by teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Buccaneers-Bills: A by-the-numbers look at Tampa Bay's 30-27 loss


    Here's a by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo on Sunday:


    Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) screams in jubilation after running for a first down late in the fourth quarter. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. T.J. Ward 'at wits' end' about being part-time player


    Three-time Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward said he is at his "wits' end" about being used as a part-time player for the Bucs.

    Buffalo Bills tight end Logan Thomas (82) makes a touchdown catch over Bucs defensive back T.J. Ward (43) during the second half.