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  1. Florida Politics

Candidates line up for Temple Terrace council seats

TEMPLE TERRACE — Six candidates have applied for two open seats on the Temple Terrace City Council, including the current mayor, Frank Chillura.

And former City Manager Kim Leinbach will be the new mayor following the Nov. 8 elections, since he is running unopposed. Former council member Alison Fernandez had considered running for mayor — whose powers are limited — but decided not to.

Incumbent council member Eddie Vance did not file for re-election. He joins incumbent Grant Rimbey in deciding not to seek another term.

"It's really a time challenge,'' Vance said, noting that his responsibilities as an executive at Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union have almost doubled since he took office.

Rimbey, an architect, said job demands are part of the reason he's not running, but he also said he was "disillusioned with the future of the city,'' complaining that it's controlled by a "good-old-boy network'' that fights tax increases to the town's detriment.

Chillura said he wasn't planning to seek a council post, but many of his supporters urged him to run.

"They know what to expect of me,'' said Chillura, a vocal opponent of increased taxes or adding new fees.

In the role of mayor, he could not vote on issues unless it was to break a tie.

Other residents seeking a council post are Phil Armiger, a retired Temple Terrace firefighter; Wael S. Odeh, a professional engineer; Andy Ross, a retired law enforcement officer and member of two municipal boards; Gil Schisler, a retired chief financial officer; and Duane Zolnoski, a retired telecommunications director.

The two candidates with the most votes in the nonpartisan race will fill the open seats.

Leinbach said he looks forward to serving the city. Although Temple Terrace faces challenges, he said he's optimistic about its future.

"It's a great city,'' he said. "It's resilient.''

Contact Philip Morgan at pmorgan@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3435.

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