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Schiraldi seeks county seat

Declaring himself the conservative candidate, Crystal River City Council member Frank Schiraldi announced his candidacy for County Commission on Wednesday.

Quoting President Bush, the 44-year-old sports fishing guide told a group of supporters outside Crystal River City Hall that government is too big and spends too much.

"Our tax dollar can be made to go farther and to do more," he said in a prepared speech. "The quality of services our government provides its citizens can be streamlined and . . . governmental wastefulness can be eliminated and replaced with efficiency and professionalism."

Afterward, he told reporters that he didn't have any specific examples of government waste but expected to listen and learn from voters during his campaign.

Schiraldi, who was elected unopposed to the City Council in December 1990, attributed the improvement in the city's finances during his tenure to an attitude of efficiency, professionalism and accountability.

"For the first time in many years, the finances of the city are solid and . . . the citizens' confidence in their city government has been restored," he said.

Earlier Wednesday, Schiraldi filed papers to open a campaign account. He is running for the District 1 seat, which represents northwest Citrus County. The incumbent, Democrat Nick Bryant, has said he won't seek re-election.

The only other candidate who has filed campaign account papers for that seat is Democrat Allen Fort, who also is 44 and owns an auto parts store in Dunnellon.

To run for County Commission, Schiraldi will have to give up his City Council seat by Nov. 17, the day he would take office if he wins the commission election.

By law, he is required to make a formal decision to resign by July 3 by submitting an irrevocable letter of resignation. Schiraldi's City Council term expires Dec. 31.

Election facts

The race: County Commission District 1

Announced candidates: Allen Fort (Democrat), Frank Schiraldi (Republican)

Incumbent: Nick Bryant (Democrat)

Term: Four years

Salary: $28,428 annually

Primary election: Sept. 1

Second primary: Oct. 1

General election: Nov. 3