BELLEAIR BEACH - A candidates forum last night at the Belleair Beach City Hall set the stage for the final run to Tuesday's election for six candidates seeking three seats on the City Council.
Incumbents Donna Durante, Marvin Behm and Jeff Coulson are seeking re-election while challenges are coming from Mary Schoonover, Mike Kelly and Richard Crowl.
From most observation over the past several weeks of campaigning, Durante, Behm and Kelly have appeared to be the most prominent.
Behm is seeking a second term on the council and has been a resident for five years. Durante is going for a third term and Kelly, a former mayor, is seeking re-entry into the political scene.
Not much has been seen publicly in the way of campaigning by Coulson, also seeking a second term on the council, Schoonover and Crowl.
Coulson is a pilot and seven year resident of the city, Schoonover has lived in Belleair Beach for 10 years and Kelly has been prominent in city activities for most of the 12 years he has lived in the city.
Schoonover is a nurse and lists herself as a TV producer, stemming, no doubt, from the fact that she has been the person recording on TV tape the City Council meetings.
Crowl's is a new face in the city. A retired corporate and securities lawyer, he was a seasonal resident until living in the city full time beginning about a year ago.
Signs promoting Durante, Kelly and Behm have been very prominent in the city for the past couple of weeks. In almost every case, if you see one, you see all three which has led many to think that the three are running as a ticket.
Kelly was mayor until last year when the city adopted a new, manager/council form of government. His tenure in City Hall swirled with controversy and lots of discomfort for some city employees.
Even though questions were publicly raised on some activities the council, adopting a "see no, hear no, hear no" policy, never raised a question.
With the advent of Reid Silverboard, the city manager, things have been relatively quiet around City Hall for the past year.
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