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Look for 3 new faces on council

One incumbent won in a breeze while another lost by an equally wide margin. And a new member won by a whisker.

Voters put three new faces on the City Council in Tuesday's election and gave the Renaissance Vinoy Resort a go-ahead on plans to build a 15,000-square-foot conference center behind the downtown waterfront landmark.

Frank W. Peterman Jr., 34, one of the new faces, easily dispatched the 69-year-old incumbent, David Welch, ending the City Council service of one of the city's most recognized and respected names.

Another new face, Kathleen Ford, 39, won a squeaker in the District 4 race against Pat Fulton, 56, founder of the Downtown Core Group. Ford, a former president of the North Shore Neighborhood Association, topped Fulton by 510 votes.

The council's third new face belongs to John J. "Jay" Lasita, 45, an auto insurance claims adjuster. Lasita trounced Jimmy Joe Biggerstaff, 56, in District 8. Biggerstaff is president of the Disston Heights Neighborhood Association.

Beatrice Griswold, 64, struck a blow for incumbents in District 2, though, easily turning aside a challenge from Ronnie Beck, 43, a former president of the Riviera Bay Homeowners Association. Griswold, a retired school teacher, was elected to the council in 1993, succeeding her husband.

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