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PINELLAS COUNTY: COMMISSION SEAT 5

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................This contest pits incumbent Republican Karen Seel, a Commissioner since 1999, against Democrat Norm Roche, a self-proclaimed reformist in his third bid for a commission seat, and Jake Mullens, a Realtor and builder in his first run for office without a party affiliation.

Norm Roche, D-Clearwater Karen Seel, R-Clearwater Jake Mullens, No party-Clearwater
Experience Roche, 46, lost in the Democratic primary for an at-large seat in 2006 to Commissioner Calvin Harris. In 2004, he took 45 percent of the vote in a race for another at-large seat won by Ronnie Duncan. He spent 10 years doing community outreach for the county utilities department and now does business development for Williams Earth Sciences, Inc., in Largo. Seel, 50, was appointed to the commission in 1999 by Gov. Jeb Bush. Prior to that, she served on the Clearwater City Council. A Clearwater native, Seel has an extensive record of community involvement. Mullens, 55, is a Realtor and owner of Jake Mullens Building & Roofing in Clearwater. Though born in the United States, Mullens spent much of his life in Canada and served 13 years with the Metropolitan Toronto Police Department.
Education Graduate of Pinellas Park High. Has done coursework at St. Petersburg Junior College, Florida State University and Eckerd College. Graduate of University of Florida; masterÍs in business administration from American School of International Management in Glendale, Ariz. Graduated from Ontario Police College, Aylmer, Ont., Canada
On consolidation of services Sees opportunities to merge the county utilities and public works departments, as well as the constitutional offices of tax collector and property appraiser, to save taxpayer money. Supports consolidating the countyÍs emergency medical services with local fire operations. Sees efficiencies to be made in building and development review services. Wants to explore joint purchasing of health, property and liability insurance with other governments. Supports consolidation of local fire and county emergency medical services. Would seek to privatize as many functions of county government as possible.
Proposal to make county government more open Wants county to make maximum effort to comply with state open government laws. Supports keeping the countyÍs government channel part of basic cable service and would hold commission meetings outside Clearwater. Wants to create a public tracking list of ongoing issues and projects. Wants to hold commission meetings outside of Clearwater once a month.
Three biggest issues Affordable housing needs, restoring citizen control over county government and keeping infrastructure sound. Controlling spending, sustaining the local economy during tough times and improving transportation in Pinellas and throughout Tampa Bay Local business retention and development, coping with the countyÍs current budget squeeze by freezing or cutting spending as priorities are evaluated.
Assets Home. Home, IRA, stocks Home, vehicles
Liabilities Mortgage. Mortgage Mortgage
Net worth $125,000. $3,526,709 $712,000
Income Salary. Salary, investments Business income
Personal Married to Joy Roche; 1 adult and 2 minor children. Married to Ron Seel; 2 adult children Married to Sharon Mullens; two adult stepchildren
Web site vote4norm.com. None. jake4pinellas.com
E-mail vote4norm@yahoo.com. kseel@tampabay.rr.com jake@realtymart.net
About the job: This single-member district includes most of Clearwater, Largo and the beach from Sand Key to Indian Shores. Commissioners are elected to four-year terms. They oversee an annual budget of roughly $2-billion. They are paid $90,934 a year.

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