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City worker is 11th to join St. Petersburg mayor's race

Yet another man has joined the stampede of candidates hoping to win the mayor's job.

Dennis Homol, 37, a wastewater treatment plant mechanic for the city, became the 11th candidate for the post.

Homol, who has worked for the city for 10 years, also opened a video store two months ago that charges a monthly fee for unlimited use.

Mayor David Fischer's retirement after 10 years in office has generated a lot of interest from little-known candidates in the mayor's race _ all but one of them men.

"When I saw Mayor Fischer wasn't going to run, I knew it was up for grabs and it would be an equal race among candidates because no one person is an incumbent and I know I have good ideas," Homol said.

Homol, who spends his days making sure dozens of lift stations, pumps, generators and other equipment run properly in the city, does seem to have a lot of strong opinions about how the city should be run.

Code enforcement?

Homol thinks the city should require folks who complain about their neighbors to open up their own property for inspection.

Development?

Homol would like to stop all future development unless it brings jobs or advances the city's standard of living.

The water shortage? Homol said he'd work toward wresting control of St. Petersburg's water supply from Tampa Bay Water, the consortium of local governments that oversees the supply now.

Twice divorced and the father of three, Homol is three courses shy of a 2-year management degree from St. Petersburg Junior College. Before he came to the city, he worked in a textile factory in South Carolina as a loom fixer and mechanic.

Since joining the city, he has served as a union steward, a liaison between employees in the International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers. But he gave that up about four years ago because he didn't think the union was serving the needs of its members.

Two years ago, he was the public utility department's employee of the year.

Homol, who makes about $36,000 a year ($44,000 this year with overtime), said he would give up his job and let someone else run his video business if he won the $100,000-a-year mayor's job. He said he wasn't seeking a spot on the St. Petersburg City Council first because it doesn't pay enough.

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