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A third candidate vies for Polson's seat

ST. PETERSBURG -- Monica Abbott, a self-described community activist, filed to run for the City Council seat of outgoing Herb Polson this week.

Abbott's entrance into the race brings the field of candidates to three. Earlier this week, attorney Charlie Gerdes filed. Former council member Bob Kersteen announced he was running last month.

According to her website,, Abbott is already proposing a series of initiatives. They include encouraging the development of a movie theater complex at Tyrone Square Mall; improve pedestrian cross walks; freeze salaries of upper management; rely more on part-time employees to reduce amount of overtime; encourage city employees to retire sooner; find services to consolidate with county, such as libraries, fire, police communications and SWAT teams; pressure banks to keep forclosed properties occupied or to sell them; and re-establish neighborhood crime watch groups.

She's the chair of the Council of Neighborhood Association's land development & historic resources committee. Her experience includes being a Guardian ad Litem; and stints as a legal administrative assistant; an enumerator for the U.S. Census; photographer for a series of northern New Jersey papers; special events coordinator for a Montclair, N.J. hospital; an advertising and marketing services supervisor for American Optical Corp. in Buffalo, New York.

Polson said he expects more people to file and run.

-- Michael Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer