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Oldsmar candidates make their last rounds

City Council candidates Janice Miller and Tony Ringelspaugh have spent the last few days trying to corral every vote possible.

"I went over every neighborhood that I thought I hadn't covered well enough," said a leg-weary Miller, 60. "I did about as much as I could physically do."

Ringelspaugh, 34, took time off from his job as a data engineer to spend Monday going door to door in Emerald Bay. "I'm off for the rest of the week," he said. "I'm out there."

Today the waiting begins as Oldsmar voters elect a new representative for City Council Seat 3, David Tilki's seat.

Jim Ronecker, the manager of On Demand Printing, automatically won Seat 1 when incumbent Brian Michaels decided not to run for re-election and no one else filed to run.

City Clerk Lisa Lene predicted a 10 percent to 15 percent turnout today, primarily because the election is the only thing on the ballot. In 2001, 24.2 percent of the city's voters cast ballots. Turnout was 14.6 percent in 1998 and 21.1 percent in 2000.

There are 7,196 registered voters in Oldsmar, according to the Pinellas County supervisor of elections.

"There's only that one seat, and that's really the only thing you're going to vote for," said former Mayor Jeff Sandler. "The candidate who wins is the one who is going to get supporters out."

Miller said she had decided to run because she wanted voters to have a choice.

Ringelspaugh said he was running because he thought he "can be a big contribution to the city of Oldsmar."

The campaign has been fairly quiet and has consisted largely of door-to-door campaigning. Only one public candidate forum was held.

"It's been a very subdued campaign, which I think is the result of really having one contested seat," Sandler said. "Both candidates have strong backing from different people and different areas."

Miller, who lives at 309 Exeter St., has been a harsh critic of the city's downtown redevelopment plan.

Ringelspaugh lives at 1908 Cutty Bay Court in Bayside Meadows. His platform is reclaimed water for every citizen and reduced traffic on Tampa Road.

"We got pretty much a clear-cut choice," said Jerry Provenzano, a former mayor and council member. "Neither one of them has elected official experience. But I don't have a clue (about who will win). There's no burning issue here that I've seen."

Both candidates said Monday that they felt good about their chances.

"I just hope they make an informed choice," Miller said.

"I'm not saying I've won it," Ringelspaugh said. "But I'm saying I feel confident, and I will believe it tomorrow night."

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The city's three polling places are:

+ Oldsmar Fire Station, 225 Pine Ave., precincts 629 and 647.

+ Oldsmar City Council Chambers, 100 State St. W., precinct 630.

+ Gull Aire Village Clubhouse, 151B Gull Aire Blvd., precincts 626 and 631.

_ Megan Scott can be reached at (727) 445-4183 or mscottsptimes.com.

The job

Council members pass ordinances, adopt resolutions and appoint the city's charter officials: the city manager, city clerk and city attorney. They serve three-year terms and are paid $600 a month.

The candidates

Janice Miller, 60, is a former horse trainer who moved to Oldsmar 33 years ago for horse racing seasons at Tampa Bay Downs. She is a semiretired real estate agent. Miller has served on the Oldsmar Planning Board for six years. She is married and has one son. Assets: home. Liabilities: mortgage. Source of income: real estate business.

Tony Ringelspaugh, 34, is a data engineer for AG Communications. An Oldsmar resident for 13 years, he volunteered for eight years at Oldsmar Elementary School and has been active in the Oldsmar Falcons Youth Football League. He is married with two children. Assets: home. Liabilities: mortgage. Source of income: AG Communications.

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