Voters face a difficult choice between two fine candidates in the race for Pasco County Commission in District 2. Both candidates have been active in their communities. Both are intelligent and well prepared for the job they seek. But we believe that Republican Pat Mulieri is a better choice, primarily because through her activism, she has proved herself able to produce results in Pasco County.
Mulieri helped lead successful community opposition to a proposed medical waste incinerator at Gower's Corner. She helped prevent construction of a chlorine plant in the same neighborhood and contributed to the successful effort to reroute the Florida Gas pipeline away from U.S. 41. In each case, Mulieri demonstrated ample energy and intelligence.
Voters can expect similar results from Commissioner Mulieri. With master's and doctorate degrees in education and a career as a professor of English at Pasco-Hernando Community College, she is up to the job. She is as non-partisan as a political candidate can be and appears likely to remain that way as a commissioner. Her background suggests a particular talent for analyzing complicated issues. She can be counted on to do her own research, propose her own solutions to problems and occasionally make well-reasoned challenges to staff recommendations. Mulieri has all the makings of a commissioner who is an asset to fellow commissioners and constituents.
Democratic candidate Betty Thompson is no sluff either. She is a former member of the Pasco County School Board and the Pasco County Juvenile Justice Planning Council. She is a native of Pasco County. She raised a family and manages her own real estate business here. She is a member of the Calusa Business and Professional Women's Club and the Central Pasco Coalition. She also is a past president of the Pasco County League of Women Voters and the Land O'Lakes Board of Realtors.
Thompson, who ran unsuccessfully for the Florida Legislature and clerk of circuit court, is better qualified to serve as a county commissioner than many of this year's candidates, including both incumbents. In Mulieri, however, we believe that local voters have a rare opportunity to elect a commissioner who will bring exceptional ability and non-partisan objectivity to the service of Pasco County.
OPPORTUNITY TO REPLY
The candidate not recommended by the Times is invited to respond by 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Deliver to David Hackett, Editor of Editorials, Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668. The fax number is 869-6233 or (909) 521-0290 in Dade City.
District 2 covers part of West Pasco, generally east of U.S. 19, north of State Road 54, south of State Road 52 and west of Moon Lake Road. Commissioners must live in the district they represent, but they are elected to four-year terms from throughout the county. The salary is $47,141 a year.