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Tarpon Springs Beacon
Tarpon Springs elects new commissioner
Voters say yes to referendum question to sell city property
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Article published on Tuesday, March 11, 2014
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Rea Sieber wins seat 2 on the Tarpon Springs Commission. Voters say yes to the city’s sale of surplus property.
TARPON SPRINGS – Voters elected Rea Sieber to Seat 2 on the Tarpon Springs Commission during the March 11 municipal election.

Sieber takes over for Vice Mayor Susan Slattery, who retired after reaching her two-term limit.

According to unofficial results posted on the Supervisor of Elections website, Sieber came out on top with 1,773 votes, 44.94 percent. Joe Muzio received 1,144 votes, 29 percent. Chris Hrabovsky took in 1,028 votes, 26.06 percent.

Sieber will be sworn in April 1.

"I take this new commitment very seriously and plan to do the best possible job as a City Commission," Sieber said. "I feel that my involvement and work as a business owner and volunteer in a variety of areas working with our city have taught me a lot these past years and will help me in this new venture. I look forward to serving the city and hope to make a positive difference."

Voters overwhelmingly said yes by nearly 95 percent to a referendum question to decide the fate of the city’s sale of surplus property located at 501 S. Walton Ave.

Harry Burnard of Qualified Property Management in New Port Richey wants to buy the building and turn it into an assisted living facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease. The Burnard Group expects the facility to create about 100 jobs that would earn a combined $1 million in annual salaries.

The city estimates the property will bring in $50,000 per year in property taxes, as well as $813,000 in revenue from the one-time sale and whatever development and building fees the Burnard Group accumulates.

A total of 3,945 voted in the race for commissioner Seat 2 and 3,909 answered the referendum question. Tarpon Springs voters had returned 44.1 percent of 6,274 mail ballots requested as of March 10. Twenty-one cast their ballots during early voting.

Tarpon Springs voters did not take part on the special election. The city is located in District 12.

According to Elections Administrator Nancy Whitlock, counts from the provisional ballots will be added. The unofficial results also do not contain all mail ballots or 10-day overseas ballots.

Official election results cannot be certified until votes from the 10-day overseas ballots are added to unofficial results, and the earliest that can occur is the 10th day after the election. The deadline to certify official election results is noon on the 12th day after the election.

For more election information, visit votepinellas.com.

Revised to add statement from Rea Sieber and the date she will be sworn in. Tarpon Springs editor Kate Feldman contributed to this story.

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Article published on Tuesday, March 11, 2014
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