Candidate for Oldsmar
City Council, Seat 3
I can understand the Times' reasoning in choosing Mr. (Tom) Pinta. It surprised me that as a vanguard of innovation and courage the Times would choose the easy approach in making its recommendation.
The experience issue is well-debated and documented. The city charter framers included term limits, which Mr. Pinta has attained once, inferring that the experience a career politician receives is not as valuable if the potential for complacency, crystallization of thought, viewing and deciding issues in the same predictable manner and basing decisions and vote on future re-election prospects is an intrinsic problem of unlimited and successive terms in office.
This issue was debated and decided again on March 8, 1988. The City Council proposed an amended city charter to include Article III Section 3.03: "There shall be no limitation as to the number of consecutive terms an elected official may serve." Mayor Pinta was in office at the time. In a referendum, the Oldsmar voters soundly defeated this by a vote of 1,262 to 297.
The issue of term limits and political experience was debated and decided again on Nov. 6, 1990. The City Council proposed an amendment to the charter again. This time as a compromise it proposed to increase the term to three years and increase the term limitations to three consecutive years as a council member and three additional consecutive years as mayor. Mayor Pinta was in office at that time also. The voters turned out again to soundly defeat this amendment 1,497 to 786.
The city voters don't agree with the Times that experience in politics is the most valuable asset a candidate can offer. My life experiences are diverse and are needed for a city government official because of the wide range of issues and problems the city faces every day. Those experiences will enable me to vote with confidence on the issues.
My degree in chemistry from the University of South Florida will be received on Aug. 9. This degree will enable me to understand complicated consultant studies.
I have been in real estate for 10 years. I have the ability to unite people of different ideas to achieve a common goal. I also have had successful experience in housing developments, rezoning, marketing and attracting business and have seen the problems of poorly guided growth firsthand.
My construction experience will give me the valuable insight of assessing bids, workmanship and contractor problems without having to depend on committees and consultants to make my decisions.
I need to state with clarity a vague statement made by the Times concerning my past residency. I left Miami in 1970 and moved to Hillsborough County. I lived there continuously before residing in Oldsmar in 1992.
The Times called my ideas interesting. I say they are fresh ideas and needed. I don't want to move the council meetings, as you reported. I plan to have town meetings in the outlying areas such as Gull-Aire and Forest Lakes. I plan to walk in the neighborhoods that are facing a development issue and inform the residents of the immediate plans and get their input.
The Times did not mention my plans for a volunteer youth liaison to guide the youth council and make presentations for the youth council to the City Council. The Times did not mention my plan to hire a staff member without raising taxes to supervise the community center. This staff member is essential to the center to supervise, schedule, settle disputes, create new activities and to serve the best interest of the community center and its patrons. The Times did not state that I support the arts and the building of an art center.
The Times said that I was naive as to the time needed to be in city government _ an assumption on its part. I am very active: baby, construction in Miami, real estate in Hillsborough County, education at USF. I travel to Miami for construction for the extra money. The extra money from council income will curtail my travels to Miami greatly if not altogether. I will receive my degree from USF on Aug. 9 and will no longer attend that school.
I need the voters to return to the polls again and vote for the candidate of the '90s, Richard Schauseil. It's a good thing for all of us that George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson didn't all agree that they didn't have the experience to start a new country called the United States of America.
TO OUR READERS
Last Sunday the Times published an editorial recommending Tom Pinta for Seat 3 in Tuesday's Oldsmar City Council election. Today we give Pinta's opponent, Richard Schauseil, the opportunity to reply to that recommendation.