INDIAN ROCKS BEACH- Indian Rocks Beach enters its election season with a surprise bit of news and the re-appearance of three political figures.
The big surprise, as the filing deadline passed at noon last Friday, was that Jeremiah Carmody will not be a candidate for re-election.
On the other hand, a rather late entry for the March 14 election is Larry Sandefer, a former commission member, who will go up against incumbent Mayor Bill Ockunzzi. Ockunzzi also faces challenges from Cookie Kennedy, a former commissioner, and Victor Wood.
Eight residents have filed for the three commission seats coming open in March. R.B. Johnson and Jean Scott will both seek re-election. Scott's status was the object of speculation similar to that surrounding that of Carmody. But on Thursday she filed her papers.
Others in the race are Ed Piniero, a former mayor and very active in the community, Jose Coppen, Christopher Kerr, Patty Muneio, David Pearson and Dale Voss.
While Coppen and Muneio are regulars at the city government meetings and are often heard from, Kerr, Pearson and Voss are very much newcomers.
The three highest vote getters will fill the three commission seats with the lowest of these three confined to a one-year term.
That is because Scott was named last spring to fill Ockunzzi's commission seat. Ockunzzi, as vice mayor, became mayor upon the unexpected retirement of Bob DiNicola, long-time mayor.
However the election goes, it will bring a totally new face to the IRB government. Commissioner Jim Palamara is the only office holder who is not facing the voters. When Ockunzzi and Carmody were swept into office a few years ago, they combined with Palamara and the triumvirate influenced greatly IRB policies and procedures. That will no longer obtain, no matter what combination of results one speculates on. Also before the voters in March will be two referendum issues. A third question, concerning the Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue District, was dropped for legal reasons. Voters will decide whether to approve the rezoning of the 2500 block of Gulf Boulevard to accommodate a multi-use, three story building, and also to decide if the city should create a program to underground utilities in neighborhoods, not including Gulf Boulevard.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition