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  1. Florida Politics

Seminole City Council | Know your candidates

Two incumbents, one experienced candidate and one newcomer are vying for two seats on the Seminole City Council. Voters can select up to two candidates in the citywide, nonpartisan election on Tuesday, Nov. 7. The top two vote-getters will take office. Also on the ballot is a countywide referendum for the renewal of the Penny for Pinellas sales tax.

About the job: City Council members serve three-year terms and are paid $8,200 a year. The seven-member council, which meets at least twice a month, is responsible for setting policy and passing an annual budget.

Tom Christy

About the candidate:

Christy, 66, is making his eighth run for a council seat. A semi-retired delivery driver for FedEx Ground in Tampa, he earned a bachelor's degree in management from Bryant and Stratton College in Buffalo, N.Y. He has been a Seminole resident since 2005. Christy served on the Tonawanda, N.Y., City Council from 1990-95 and was co-chair of Seminole's charter review commission in 2009-10. He is a member of Blessed Sacrament Church.

Christy, 66, is making his eighth run for a council seat. A semi-retired delivery driver for FedEx Ground in Tampa, he earned a bachelor's degree in management from Bryant and Stratton College in Buffalo, N.Y. He has been a Seminole resident since 2005. Christy served on the Tonawanda, N.Y., City Council from 1990-95 and was co-chair of Seminole's charter review commission in 2009-10. He is a member of Blessed Sacrament Church.

Why are you interested in serving on the council?

I think we need a little forward thinking on the council. We're growing all the time. I've been here almost 10 years and I'd like to bring a little foresight from my years of experience in public life.

I think we need a little forward thinking on the council. We're growing all the time. I've been here almost 10 years and I'd like to bring a little foresight from my years of experience in public life.

What especially qualifies you to be a council member?

I have experience as a council member in New York and a history of attending Seminole council meetings. I've also been a longtime community activist, championing for traffic lights and better traffic control.

I have experience as a council member in New York and a history of attending Seminole council meetings. I've also been a longtime community activist, championing for traffic lights and better traffic control.

What issues would you address as a council member?

I would work to keep the tax rate low by streamlining city services. I would improve cooperation between the city and the county. I would develop an annexation strategy and I would institute a study to examine the possibility of creating a city police department to combat rising crime.

I would work to keep the tax rate low by streamlining city services. I would improve cooperation between the city and the county. I would develop an annexation strategy and I would institute a study to examine the possibility of creating a city police department to combat rising crime.

What do you consider the city's primary strengths?

Seminole is financially sound. It has a strong fire department and is aesthetically pleasing.

Seminole is financially sound. It has a strong fire department and is aesthetically pleasing.

What do you view as the city's primary challenges?

We need to manage a strong balance sheet and be forward thinking as we continue to grow. We need to do a little work on policing and we have to make sure there's a formula that recommends a certain percentage of land is set aside for recreation.

We need to manage a strong balance sheet and be forward thinking as we continue to grow. We need to do a little work on policing and we have to make sure there's a formula that recommends a certain percentage of land is set aside for recreation.

What do you envision for the city in the next 25 to 50 years?

I see more development — more housing and shopping opportunities. I see annexation of all the unincorporated area adjacent to the city.

I see more development — more housing and shopping opportunities. I see annexation of all the unincorporated area adjacent to the city.

On the web:

http://tomchristyforseminole.yolasite.com

http://tomchristyforseminole.yolasite.com

Roger Edelman

About the candidate:

Edelman, 75, is seeking a second term on the council. He studied business at the University of Cincinnati and retired as a sales manager for a Fortune 500 printing, publishing and manufacturing company in Chicago. He has been a Seminole resident since 1985. Edelman is president of the Seminole Chamber of Commerce, a member of the board of directors of Heavendropt, a nonprofit for veterans and disabled persons; and a former board member of PARC.

Edelman, 75, is seeking a second term on the council. He studied business at the University of Cincinnati and retired as a sales manager for a Fortune 500 printing, publishing and manufacturing company in Chicago. He has been a Seminole resident since 1985. Edelman is president of the Seminole Chamber of Commerce, a member of the board of directors of Heavendropt, a nonprofit for veterans and disabled persons; and a former board member of PARC.

Why are you interested in serving on the council?

There are still things we need to do, such as completing the Seminole City Center and the waterfront park projects. We have work to do on Blossom Lake Park and we have issues with traffic control. I would like to see those things get finished.

There are still things we need to do, such as completing the Seminole City Center and the waterfront park projects. We have work to do on Blossom Lake Park and we have issues with traffic control. I would like to see those things get finished.

What especially qualifies you to be a council member?

I have a lot of business experience. My association with the Chamber of Commerce has given me the chance to meet and get to know a lot of people. And, I've been in the community for 32 years.

I have a lot of business experience. My association with the Chamber of Commerce has given me the chance to meet and get to know a lot of people. And, I've been in the community for 32 years.

What issues would you address as a council member?

I want to continue to offer the citizens of Seminole the services they've had in the past, keep the tax rate as low as possible and maintain a balanced budget. I would like to see us manage our infrastructure better so we can move traffic more efficiently and expand our recreation services. I'd also like to make sure we have the ability to assist with evacuation from nursing homes in emergencies like the recent hurricane.

I want to continue to offer the citizens of Seminole the services they've had in the past, keep the tax rate as low as possible and maintain a balanced budget. I would like to see us manage our infrastructure better so we can move traffic more efficiently and expand our recreation services. I'd also like to make sure we have the ability to assist with evacuation from nursing homes in emergencies like the recent hurricane.

What do you consider the city's primary strengths?

We're an incredibly well managed city. Good city managers have kept us financially sound with robust reserves that have allowed us to do things other cities cannot do to the same degree, such as ensuring amenities like good schools and roads.

We're an incredibly well managed city. Good city managers have kept us financially sound with robust reserves that have allowed us to do things other cities cannot do to the same degree, such as ensuring amenities like good schools and roads.

What do you view as the city's primary challenges?

The city is built out, but people still want to move here; houses are sold as soon as they go on the market. As more people come into the city, I would like to see us work more closely with the county on traffic control. I'd also like to work with business owners along Seminole Boulevard to make some updates to their storefronts.

The city is built out, but people still want to move here; houses are sold as soon as they go on the market. As more people come into the city, I would like to see us work more closely with the county on traffic control. I'd also like to work with business owners along Seminole Boulevard to make some updates to their storefronts.

What do you envision for the city in the next 25 to 50 years?

I think we'll see huge changes in mass transit, in the ways we move people from one place to another. We'll also see changes in how we do business with one another in the face of increases in online retail.

I think we'll see huge changes in mass transit, in the ways we move people from one place to another. We'll also see changes in how we do business with one another in the face of increases in online retail.

On the web:

www.facebook.com/ EdelmanForCityCouncil

www.facebook.com/ EdelmanForCityCouncil

Bob Matthews

About the candidate:

Matthews, 73, has served on the council since 1990 with the exception of eight months in 2006. He studied electronics at Pinellas Technical Education Center and retired after 32 years as an instrument technician for Florida Power. He has been a Seminole resident since 1979 and owns and operates Seminole Garden Florist & Party Store. Matthews has served on the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council since 1995 and is a member of the Rotary Club of Seminole and Starkey Road Baptist Church.

Matthews, 73, has served on the council since 1990 with the exception of eight months in 2006. He studied electronics at Pinellas Technical Education Center and retired after 32 years as an instrument technician for Florida Power. He has been a Seminole resident since 1979 and owns and operates Seminole Garden Florist & Party Store. Matthews has served on the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council since 1995 and is a member of the Rotary Club of Seminole and Starkey Road Baptist Church.

Why are you interested in serving on the council?

The city is like family to me. I have a desire to be part of the community and to work to continue making it the place where I want to live.

The city is like family to me. I have a desire to be part of the community and to work to continue making it the place where I want to live.

What especially qualifies you to be a council member?

I'm not one to be wishy-washy; I stick to my guns. I've been here a long time, and my history of being on the council is valuable. I know what we've done in the past and how we've done it. I'm also qualified in money management.

I'm not one to be wishy-washy; I stick to my guns. I've been here a long time, and my history of being on the council is valuable. I know what we've done in the past and how we've done it. I'm also qualified in money management.

What issues would you address as a council member?

I have two main priorities: spending the taxpayers' money responsibly, as if it were my own, to get the best deal for the best price; and continuing to use Penny for Pinellas money wisely. Additionally, I'd like to look at further developing recreation opportunities like the waterfront park and continuing our partnerships with St. Petersburg College and the Seminole Chamber of Commerce.

I have two main priorities: spending the taxpayers' money responsibly, as if it were my own, to get the best deal for the best price; and continuing to use Penny for Pinellas money wisely. Additionally, I'd like to look at further developing recreation opportunities like the waterfront park and continuing our partnerships with St. Petersburg College and the Seminole Chamber of Commerce.

What do you consider the city's primary strengths?

Seminole is unique. People come together here, with no lines of distinction. Our strength is family.

Seminole is unique. People come together here, with no lines of distinction. Our strength is family.

What do you view as the city's primary challenges?

We dodged a bullet recently, but we need to know how to prepare better for the next storm. We don't have much open land for development, so redevelopment of existing property will be important. We have to manage money and keep taxes low, and we need to continue to look at expanding fire services.

We dodged a bullet recently, but we need to know how to prepare better for the next storm. We don't have much open land for development, so redevelopment of existing property will be important. We have to manage money and keep taxes low, and we need to continue to look at expanding fire services.

What do you envision for the city in the next 25 to 50 years?

I'd like to see a trolley coming off the beaches to the City Center. I'd like to see more voluntary annexation. I'd also like to see expansion of vocational education opportunities for students through Career Academies of Seminole.

I'd like to see a trolley coming off the beaches to the City Center. I'd like to see more voluntary annexation. I'd also like to see expansion of vocational education opportunities for students through Career Academies of Seminole.

On the web:

facebook.com/bob. matthews.50552

facebook.com/bob. matthews.50552

Joseph E. Pacelli

About the candidate:

Pacelli, 55, (no photo available) is making his first run for City Council. He earned bachelor's degrees in international relations from Syracuse University and film studies from the University of Central Florida and attended American International Medical University. Pacelli served for eight years in the U.S. Navy and is a member of American Legion Post 252. A licensed general contractor, he has been a Seminole resident since 2012.

Pacelli, 55, (no photo available) is making his first run for City Council. He earned bachelor's degrees in international relations from Syracuse University and film studies from the University of Central Florida and attended American International Medical University. Pacelli served for eight years in the U.S. Navy and is a member of American Legion Post 252. A licensed general contractor, he has been a Seminole resident since 2012.

Why are you interested in serving on the council?

After recovering from surgery for a brain tumor in July 2016, I decided I wanted to do something that would be of service, and this seemed like a good opportunity to get involved.

After recovering from surgery for a brain tumor in July 2016, I decided I wanted to do something that would be of service, and this seemed like a good opportunity to get involved.

What especially qualifies you to be a council member?

I have experience with financial management and I'm knowledgeable about business regulation issues. I also have held real estate licenses in Florida and North Carolina. Additionally, I have experience working with various constituencies as a result of working as an aide for a New York state assembly member.

I have experience with financial management and I'm knowledgeable about business regulation issues. I also have held real estate licenses in Florida and North Carolina. Additionally, I have experience working with various constituencies as a result of working as an aide for a New York state assembly member.

What issues would you address as a council member?

I think Seminole is well run, but there are some things that could be done a little better. One thing I found lacking in the aftermath of the recent storm was a shortage of adequate shelter for people with special needs. We need to find a way to identify those people ahead of time and then check to make sure they're being taken care of.

I think Seminole is well run, but there are some things that could be done a little better. One thing I found lacking in the aftermath of the recent storm was a shortage of adequate shelter for people with special needs. We need to find a way to identify those people ahead of time and then check to make sure they're being taken care of.

What do you consider the city's primary strengths?

The city is financially sound. Everything is extremely well planned.

The city is financially sound. Everything is extremely well planned.

What do you view as the city's primary challenges?

Before long, the city needs to begin looking at highest and best use of land now occupied by mobile home parks. We also need to look at traffic flow, especially in the Bay Pines area.

Before long, the city needs to begin looking at highest and best use of land now occupied by mobile home parks. We also need to look at traffic flow, especially in the Bay Pines area.

What do you envision for the city in the next 25 to 50 years?

I see major infrastructure changes that will be needed to meet the demands of a continued influx of people into the area, especially in the winter months. I also see a rise in remodeling as the city continues to be built out.

I see major infrastructure changes that will be needed to meet the demands of a continued influx of people into the area, especially in the winter months. I also see a rise in remodeling as the city continues to be built out.

On the web:

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