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Longtime leader hopes to keep seat

(ran North, East editions)

Longtime City Commissioner Scott Black hopes to add another four years to his tenure.

Black filed paperwork to run Tuesday, the opening day for candidates to enter the race for April's election. So far, he's unopposed.

The onetime mayor said he sees growth as the city's main challenge.

"The role has changed so much for us in Dade City with government," said Black, 41. "In the past, we were starving for things to happen. It's definitely a time of transition. That's why I think some institutional memory comes in handy."

Redevelopment in the downtown core is a top priority, he said, as new development peppers the outskirts.

Black has served on the commission since he was first elected in 1990, and he was mayor from 2002 to 2004. He also serves on the county's historic preservation committee, the tourism development council and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. He said he uses those avenues to promote the city.

"I like to tell the Dade City story," he said.

Also up in April is the seat held by Commissioner Bill Dennis, who is seeking re-election. He has drawn one challenger, Camille Hernandez.

Commissioners serve four-year terms and are elected at large. They are paid $100 a month, and the mayor is paid $150 a month throughout the four-year term. To file, candidates must present the signatures of 20 qualified city voters plus $37 in fees.

Qualifying ends at noon Tuesday. The election is set for April 11.