Newcomers edge out Temple Terrace council incumbent

Published Nov. 7, 2012

TEMPLE TERRACE — Two newcomers Tuesday edged out incumbent Mary Jane Neale to take seats on the City Council.

And former City Council member Frank Chillura defeated former chamber of commerce official Cheri Donohue for the mayor's post in this city of nearly 25,000.

Community activist Grant Rimbey and credit union executive Eddie Vance each tallied more votes than Neale, thereby taking the seat Neale held for four years and another spot being vacated by Ronald A. Govin, who has reached his term limit, on the five-member council.

Rimbey, 49, and Vance, 46, both say the top priority is completing the stalled downtown Temple Terrace project, a $160 million residential, retail and cultural development on the east side of 56th Street, from Bullard Parkway to the Hillsborough River.

Neale, 75, said that being the most vocal backer of Vlass Temple Terrace, the project's developer, likely contributed to her defeat. She lost to Vance, her closest competitor, by 352 votes, garnering 4,508 votes. Rimbey drew 5,313 votes.

Chillura, 44, president of a property management firm, takes over as mayor. The mayor represents the city at events and presides at council meetings, but votes only to break a tie.

Chillura received 5,743 votes to 4,945 for Donohue, former executive director of the Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce.