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Tarpon Springs, Redington Beach head to polls

Tarpon Springs voters, who showed up at the polls in slightly larger numbers than expected, supported all five referendum questions put to them Tuesday.

And in Redington Beach, voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly defeated a referendum to build a new fire station and picked two new commissioners _ Laura Canniff and Brian Mathers.

The most narrowly approved item in Tarpon Springs was one that gives the city permission to buy a residential lot in the Trentwood Manor subdivision for not more than $100,000 and turn it into a minipark for children.

"It shows we're a community that raises its children, that loves its children, that provides for young people," Mayor Anita Protos said of the vote.

Other items approved:

The city can allow exceptions to a charter section requiring certain employees to live in the city limits.

The city can donate property in the Union Academy neighborhood to a non-profit agency for the development of low- to moderate-income housing.

The Tarpon Springs charter only allows five-year contracts, but voters agreed to let the city enter a 10-year contract with Variable Life Insurance Co. to administer the pension plan to city employees and another 10-year franchise agreement with GTE to provide cable service.

In a lopsided result, Redington Beach voters said they did not want to join with their fire service partners North Redington Beach and Redington Shores in building a new station in Redington Shores.

Canniff and Mathers will be sworn in as commissioners in December, as will Joanne DeSimone and Robert McQuaid who, because they were not opposed, were automatically elected to the commission for two-year terms.

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