PORT RICHEY – The Port Richey City Council finally is whole again after the arrests and resignations of the city's mayor and vice mayor months ago.
City Council members on Tuesday nominated Angel Nally to temporarily fill the seat of Vice Mayor Terry Rowe until a special election is held on Sept. 10 to fill his seat, bringing the council to a full five members.
Rowe resigned on June 28. Authorities arrested him in March on conspiracy charges stemming from his recorded jail phone conversation with former Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad. The mayor was jailed in February after the Pasco Sheriff's Office said he fired a gun at deputies serving a warrant at Massad's home. Authorities say Massad and Rowe discussed a Port Richey police officer during their call, who was involved in an investigation that led to a charge against Massad of practicing medicine without a license.
Nally, who manages her husband's Port Richey salon and is a member of the city's Citizens Advisory Committee, spoke to council members Tuesday, seeking nomination to Rowe's seat. Two other residents -- David Mueller and Thomas Brown – also sought the nomination.
"As one who is completely invested in this city as my home, I will take the position of making decisions on merit, fact and not emotion," Nally said.
Nally, 52, received a nomination from City Council member Jennie Sorrell, who said Nally's small business experience would be of value to the council.
City Council member Todd Maklary nominated Mueller, a certified public accountant, whose financial experience Maklary said would provide insight during the upcoming budget season.
Maklary also is a recently appointed temporary council member to an open seat. He later offered to support Sorrell's nomination to avoid a stalemate, given past turmoil over filling seats left open by Massad and Rowe. Mueller withdrew his candidacy to "make it easy" on the council.
The audience applauded Nally's appointment and the council's show of cooperation.
Also on Tuesday, three candidates qualified to run in a September special election for the two temporarily filled Port Richey council seats.
Qualifying ended at noon Tuesday, setting up a race between Maklary, Tom Kinsella, and Joseph Parisi. The top two vote-getters will win seats on the council in the non-partisan, Sept. 10 election.
Maklary, 42, is a commercial real estate project manager. Kinsella is a member of the Port Richey Citizens Advisory Committee. Parisi, 60, is a retired police officer.
Voters filled Massad's seat during a special election in June, electing local attorney Scott Tremblay as mayor. He beat out a candidate field that included Maklary and then City Council member Richard Bloom, who had resigned his seat to run for mayor.
After the mayoral election, the City Council appointed Maklary to temporarily fill Bloom's seat.