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SAFETY HARBOR // Veteran, three newcomers seek two seats

The quiet campaign in this city, waged primarily with candidate signs and door-to-door visits, consists of three political newcomers and a commission veteran vying for two seats.

Vice Mayor Pam Corbino, who has five years of commission experience, is being challenged by newcomer D. Gregory Drescher for Seat 2 on the five-member commission.

Community volunteers Jerome Bierman and Nadine Spring Nickeson are making their first bids for public office competing for Seat 3, which is being vacated by Fran Barnhisel.

The election is Tuesday.

Corbino, 48, is completing her second term. She planned to give up the commission after she lost a bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Michael Bilirakis last year. But she decided there was more to do in Safety Harbor, she said.

Corbino wants to reach out to people in the community who have not been part of the governing process, she said.

Drescher, 45, is a nurse and a home health care manager. He is running, he said, because he doesn't want candidates to get into office unopposed, as happened in Safety Harbor last year.

He said that his background in emergency preparedness would help the city develop a more comprehensive hurricane plan. He also said that he can bring a new perspective to the commission.

Bierman, 71, is no stranger to City Hall, even though he has not run for office. He spent years serving on city boards and has been an active community volunteer. His late wife, Sissie, also volunteered in the community.

Bierman said he planned his campaign with his wife and has dedicated it to her memory. The men's clothing salesman said he wants to encourage residential development near downtown while keeping a close eye on growth management.

Nickeson, 46, also has a long history of volunteer work. She moved to Pinellas County about four years ago and has been a full-time homemaker since then. She formerly coordinated the statewide teen hot line service in Oklahoma.

She said she has a keen interest in planning and preservation and wants to work to maintain the city's charm.

The Races

Voters will elect two commissioners, one for Seat 2 and one for Seat 3. Both are voted for citywide. Commissioners earn $4,800 a year, plus $1,800 for expenses. They will serve three-year terms. New commissioners will take office March 17.

THE CANDIDATES

SEAT 2

Pam Corbino

AGE: 48

BACKGROUND: She was born in Ferriday, La. She is a computer teacher at Safety Harbor Middle School and is a member of several community organizations, including the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce, the middle school's Technology Committee, the Safety Harbor Kiwanis, the Safety Harbor Museum, Leadership Pinellas, the Safety Harbor Rotary and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority. She has been a council member for five years and is chairwoman of the city's 80th anniversary celebration. Last year, she ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Michael Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor. She and her husband, Gerard, live at 12 Fern Court and have two sons, ages 22 and 18. She has a bachelor's degree in business and office education from Northeast Louisiana University.

ASSETS: savings.

LIABILITIES: none listed

SOURCES OF INCOME: salary

D. Gregory Drescher

AGE: 45

BACKGROUND: He was born in Queens, N.Y. He is a nurse and works as a home care coordinator for Olsten Kimberly Quality Care. He is an American Red Cross volunteer, serving as a shelter nurse, a natural disaster nurse and a member of the Red Cross' hurricane shelter assessment committee. He is a board member of the La Forest at Green Springs homeowners association, a CPR instructor for the American Heart Association and a member of the Green Springs crime watch and Clearwater Elks Lodge 1525. He has never run for public office. He and his wife, Regina, live at 1406 Country Trails Drive. He has an associate's degree in nursing from Essex County (N.J.) College, a bachelor's degree in business from Nova University and a master's degree in business administration from Nova.

ASSETS: home, savings

LIABILITIES: mortgage

SOURCES OF INCOME: salary

SEAT 3

Jerome Bierman

AGE: 71

BACKGROUND: He was born in Newark, N.J. He works in men's clothing sales at Jacobson's at Northwood Plaza. He served on the city's planning and zoning board for 11 years and is a member of the code enforcement board. He and his late wife, Sissie, were active in local civic groups. He has never run for public office. Before moving to Florida more than 20 years ago, he was a property manager. He is a widower and lives at 1016 Knollwood Court. He has two sons, a daughter and a stepson, all grown. He graduated from Weequahic High School in Newark in 1943.

ASSETS: none listed

LIABILITIES: none listed

SOURCES OF INCOME: salary

Nadine Spring Nickeson

AGE: 46

BACKGROUND: She was born in Lufkin, Texas. She is a former public health specialist who has been caring for her family full-time since moving to Pinellas County four years ago. She is a member of the city's 80th anniversary committee and a former president of the Safety Harbor Elementary PTA. She has been a volunteer in schools and for the coastal cleanup and the fall street festival. She has never run for public office. In Oklahoma City, her previous residence, she worked as the Teenline counseling service coordinator at the University of Oklahoma and Children's Hospital. She and her husband, Robert, live at 211 Water View Court and have two sons, ages 14 and 10. She has a bachelor's degree in microbiology from the University of Houston and a master's degree in public health from the University of Texas School of Public Health.

ASSETS: none listed

LIABILITIES: mortgage

SOURCES OF INCOME: none

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