And now there are only four _ two candidates running for each of two City Council seats after incumbent Daryl Landis dropped out of the campaign Tuesday.
The four remaining candidates, Ed Manny, Dale Renbjor, Ed Richards and Jerry Walters, are to appear tonight at a candidates' forum sponsored by the Oldsmar Chamber of Commerce. It is the only time before Tuesday's election when the candidates are scheduled to appear together.
The 7 p.m. forum at the City Council chambers, 100 E State St., begins with a social at 6:30 p.m. The public may submit written questions to be asked at the forum. Drop them off today at the chamber's office at 163 E State St., fax them to the chamber at 854-1237 or hand them in during the social.
Richards, 56, a letter carrier, and Walters, 61, an electrician and former member of the City Council, are vying for council Seat 2, now held by Mike Rockwell. Rockwell cannot run again because of term limits.
Manny, 68, who owns a Tampa real estate business, and Renbjor, 46, a telecommunications network analyst for Florida Power, are going for Landis' Seat 4 on the five-member council.
Mayor Jerry Beverland was automatically re-elected when no one filed to run against him. The other two council members, Linda Macdonald and Jeffrey Sandler, have one more year on their two-year terms.
In outlining his platform, Walters called for road and utility repairs and improvements where needed all over the city; continued updating of code enforcement provisions and proper enforcement of the code; upgrading of recreation for senior citizens and more involvement of young people in recreation; and making sure that residents get prompt answers to their questions to city departments.
Walters also favors extension of the Penny for Pinellas sales tax, would like to see a city cultural center built but not at the expense of infrastructure improvements, and sees "no reason to consider raising taxes."
Richards favors lower city taxes, replacement of old water lines, upgrading of all city parks, and improving the water billing system, especially by using computers to read meters. He also said the underused sewage treatment plant should be expanded to allow the city to earn more revenue by treating wastewater from other jurisdictions.
Richards strongly supports extension of the Penny for Pinellas tax and construction of a cultural center, but only if much of the cost of the building can be covered with grants and donations.
In the Seat 4 race, Manny said he will "work in the best interest of the city overall (and) enter the office and council meetings without preconceived ideas and decisions." He also said he wants to develop "dialogue between the council and citizens to accomplish goals that are good for the city."
Manny wants to properly manage the growth that is occurring and will occur in the city because "we can't hide our heads in the sand." He wants improvements in R. E. Olds Park, favors a cultural center and is "highly in favor" of extending the Penny for Pinellas another decade.
Renbjor wants to develop a plan to improve water lines, to have a "consistent road and sidewalk maintenance policy," and to improve maintenance of existing parks. He also wants to add some smaller parks on vacant lots. He said he wants an "aggressive tree replacement program" and to "ensure a balance is maintained between residential and commercial development."
Renbjor is the only one of the four candidates who is opposed to extension of the Penny for Pinellas. He favors holding city tax rates unchanged but wants to increase the city's tax base with more industrial development. He opposes using city taxes to build a cultural center and instead wants to finance it with donations, grants or possibly Penny for Pinellas revenue.
The two new council members will join three current members of the City Council. They will serve two-year terms and will be paid $400 a month. All candidates are elected citywide.
Edward A. Manny
BACKGROUND: He has been chairman of the Oldsmar Code Enforcement Board since it was established eight years ago. He has lived in Oldsmar for 33 years. He was president of the Oldsmar Chamber of Commerce for five years (1967-72) and was given the city's Distinguished Service Award in 1990 and an Oldsmar City Council/City Manager Award in 1995. Manny was born in Canton, Ill., and has been married to Alice E. for 45 years. They have two adult sons. He has been a real estate broker for 20 years and owns a Tampa real estate business, Land Ho of Tampa Bay Inc. Previously, he worked in the air-conditioning and refrigeration business. He was active in the Oldsmar Little League from 1964 to 1980. He is a member of the Masons and has held offices in Community United Methodist Church. He plays the piano at city functions.
ASSETS: home and office and industrial building in Tampa, mutual fund shares and certificates of deposit
LIABILITIES: an $80,000 loan on the business property in Tampa
SOURCE OF INCOME: Land Ho of Tampa Bay Inc., Social Security pension, U.S. Navy pension
Dale A. Renbjor
BACKGROUND: He moved to Oldsmar three years ago. For the past four years he has worked as a telecommunications network analyst for Florida Power in St. Petersburg. He was born in Uniondale, N.Y., and his family moved to Orlando in 1954 before he started school. He has been married to Virginia Cash-Renbjor for 10 years and has two children. He has an associate of arts degree in journalism from Valencia Community College in Orlando and is continuing work on a bachelor's degree from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He has worked for Florida Power Corp. for eight years and has been in communications engineering since 1978. Previously, he worked in the cable TV and satellite transmission industries. He is a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.
LIABILITIES: home mortgage
SOURCE OF INCOME: salary from Florida Power Corp.
Edward L. Richards
BACKGROUND: He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Oldsmar City Council two years ago. He is chairman of the Oldsmar Ordinance Review Committee and a member of the Oldsmar Planning Board, and he is past chairman of the city's Charter Review Committee. Richards has been a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier in St. Petersburg for 12 years. Before that, he spent 25 years in the Army and was wounded in combat in Vietnam before retiring as a first sergeant. He has a 40 percent disability and is a member of Disabled American Veterans. He was born in McKeesport, Pa., and moved to Florida in 1967 and to Oldsmar in 1992. He has been married to Lilli Renate Geissert Richards for 35 years, and they have one adult son.
LIABILITIES: home mortgage
SOURCE OF INCOME: salary from U.S. Postal Service, an Army pension
Jerome "Jerry" H. Walters
BACKGROUND: He served one term on the Oldsmar City Council in 1986-88 and was defeated for re-election by Loretta Wyandt. He also served on the city's Board of Adjustment and Appeals in 1983 and in 1995-96, on the Oldsmar Board of Planning and Zoning in 1984-85 and on the city's Charter Review Committee in 1984. He was a member of the city's Veterans Memorial Committee last year. He was an officer in the Oldsmar Little League in 1982-85 and of an Oldsmar Boy Scout Troop in 1988-89. He was born in Cleveland and moved to Oldsmar in 1981. He has been married to Barbara for 31 years, and they have three adult children. He graduated from the Max S. Hayes Trade School in Cleveland in 1964. He has been a construction electrician and estimator for 36 years. He served two years in the U.S. Army in 1957-59 in France.
LIABILITIES: home mortgage
SOURCE OF INCOME: wages from electrician jobs