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INDIAN SHORES // Newcomer faces two veterans on council

Two incumbents and a newcomer who say no major changes are needed in town government equal a low-key race with few issues for residents to ponder before Tuesday's election.

Trying to retain their Town Council seats are incumbents Carol Kareska, 49, who manages a condominium complex, and Bob Balazs, a 66-year-old who works in real estate. Newcomer Steve Sutch, a 63-year-old retired manager for A.

J. Heinz Co., is trying to take one of the seats.

The candidates have maintained that they are, for the most part, pleased with the council's work in recent years. The quiet air that surrounds this campaign season reflects officials' achievements, they say.

"Everything is running pretty fair," Balazs said. "There hasn't been any animosity or anything; we're pretty much running on our own record."

Balazs said he would push for a pedestrian crossing at Indian Pass Apartments, where he lives, and support beautification, beach renourishment and the ongoing effort to widen Gulf Boulevard.

Kareska agreed that it has been a low-key campaign.

"It's still pretty quiet around here," she said. "Probably because we don't have a lot of controversial issues."

She said she will strive to help strengthen the town's beautification program and to see that Indian Shores continues to attract a balanced mix of tourists and residents.

Although Sutch said current council members are doing a good job, he added that business could be conducted more efficiently with teamwork.

"They spend a lot of time getting very little done," Sutch said.

Sutch said his business sense could help meetings run more smoothly. He hopes to boost the town's beautification program and the effort to widen Gulf Boulevard.

The race

Council members run at-large and are currently paid $125 a month. The pay will be increased to $225 monthly in coming weeks. Terms are two years.

THE CANDIDATES

Bob Balazs

AGE: 66

He is seeking his second term on the Town Council. He attended John Carroll University in Ohio, where he studied political science and history. Balazs has been a resident almost six years and works for Beach Place One Real Estate. Balazs and his wife, Marietta DeBattha, live at 19417 Gulf Blvd. Balazs has four children, four stepchildren and eight grandchildren.

ASSETS: none listed

LIABILITIES: none listed

SOURCE OF INCOME: Beach Place One Real Estate

Carol Kareska

AGE: 49

She is seeking her second term on the Town Council. Kareska has been a resident about five years. She attended Murray State University in Kentucky, where she took classes in accounting. Kareska and her husband, Robert, live at 19610 Gulf Blvd. and manage Holiday Villas II Condominiums. They have two children and three grandchildren.

ASSETS: individual retirement account

LIABILITIES: none listed

SOURCE OF INCOME: Holiday Villas II

Steve Sutch

AGE: 63

He is new to the political scene. A retired manager for A.

J. Heinz Co., he took courses in business administration at Duquesne University in Pennsylvania. He has been a resident for about two years. He and his wife, Mary, live at 19616 Gulf Blvd. They have a daughter.

ASSETS: his home, stocks.

LIABILITIES: none listed.

SOURCE OF INCOME: Social Security, investments.

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