BELLEAIR BEACH - Who are the candidates for election in the city's March 14 election?
If you go by the campaign signs that have been publicly displayed it appears that there are only three people running for office, and those three seem to be running as a ticket.
Their signs are grouped together in all cases - the red of incumbent Donna Durante, the blue of Marvin Behm (who is also an incumbent) and the green of Mike Kelly.
Actually, there are six candidates for the three seats on the City Council.
Not seen in public whatsoever with only two and half weeks until election day are any signs promoting the candidacies of incumbent Jeff Coulson, Mary Schoonover and Richard Crowl, a retired lawyer.
The question asked by many residents is why the three don't seem to be campaigning. Coulson has given a good, steady and reasonable performance on the council in his first term.
Schoonover is an unknown quantity. She has been seen by those who go to council meetings as the person who tapes the meetings for later showing on the city's TV channel 15.
Crowl is a retired lawyer, new to the city.
Kelly left office a year ago after two terms as mayor that were highlighted by controversy, turmoil and a lawsuit that drags on.
Many voters thought Kelly, having been in the spotlight for four years, would resume a role as responsible citizen.
He was the city's last mayor under the old set up and his departure coincided with the installation of the new manager-council form of government.
As a result of that change, Belleair Beach's City Hall now operates efficiently without fear and rancor and the city manager, Reid Silverboard has obviously put the kibosh on questionable activities that Kelly allowed to flourish when he was in office.
No longer is Belleair Beach suffering the embarassment of things like the "autogate" incident and constant irritation and discomfort among the staff workers.
Durante is a real estate agent who has given a steady performance on the council, always with an acute ear and eye for what the public seems to favor.
Perhaps when candidates night is held next Wednesday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall the "hidden" candidates will be on hand and ready to tell Belleair Beach voters where they stand on issues.
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