Five qualify for Seminole election

Five candidates are running for seats on Seminole City Council in the 2019 election. They are, clockwise from top left, incumbent Thomas Barnhorn, Jim Olliver and Kelly Wissing, who will run for two open council seats. The mayor's race will include incumbent Leslie Waters, bottom left, and Darren Clark.

SEMINOLE — Five candidates are running for seats on Seminole City Council in the 2019 election.

Incumbent Thomas Barnhorn as well as Jim Olliver and Kelly Wissing are vying for two at-large council seats. The top two vote-getters will win seats on council.

Meanwhile, Darren Clark challenges incumbent Leslie Waters in the mayoral race.

In addition to considering City Council candidates this election, Seminole voters will also decide the fate of four city charter amendments.

The Charter Review Committee presented the proposed charter amendments to the Seminole City Council at its May 14 meeting. These charter changes are posed in yes or no questions on the ballot.

The charter amendments address residency requirements for council members, establish when council will elect the vice mayor each year, delete language allowing the city council to assign duties to the city clerk, and address how the Charter Review Committee will be appointed.

Seminole’s municipal election takes place Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Barnhorn has sat on council since March 2006. He is a financial advisor with an accredited asset management specialist designation with his own firm, Barnhorn Financial.

He has been involved with the Florida League of Cities, sitting on the finance, taxation and personnel committees, as well as the National League of Cities, where he serves on the Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations Steering Committee and the Small Cities Steering Committee. He’s a former eighth district director of the Florida League of Cities and past president of the Suncoast League of Cities. Barnhorn also currently serves on the Area Agency on Aging Pasco Pinellas Advisory Council.

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Olliver, former provost of the St. Petersburg College Seminole campus, retired from SPC in 2015 and has remained involved with the Greater Seminole Area Chamber of Commerce, where he currently serves as board president and chair.

He also currently serves as chair of the city of Seminole’s Municipal Firefighters’ Pension Trust Fund Board of Trustees and is vice chair of the city’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee. He’s a past member of the city’s Charter Review Committees (serving in 2009 and as vice chair in 2014) and past chair of the Pinellas County Charter Review Commission in 2015. He was selected as Mr. Seminole in 2008.

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Wissing ran for council in 2018, coming in third place and taking home 19.65 percent of the vote. Raised in Seminole, she serves as the School Advisory Council chair at Starkey Elementary, and is a Starkey Elementary PTA member, spending several years as a past board member. She’s also the chair of Starkey Elementary’s auction event. She’s an active volunteer for the Old Salt Fishing Foundation, sat on former U.S. Rep. David Jolly’s Fishery Council in 2014-2015, and is chair of the Celma Mastry Ovarian Cancer Foundation Fishing Tournament.

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Clark, a graduate of Largo High School and resident of Seminole for eight years, is the owner of a construction company, Professional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, which specializes in disaster restoration. He attends BridgePoint Church’s Seminole campus, where he serves on the production team. He has also been involved with Fresh Start Ministries.

He also recently trained with the Community Emergency Response Team, earning his CERT certificate. He’s sat on several homeowners’ association boards, currently serving as second vice president for his HOA.

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Waters has sat on the City Council since March 2009. She served as interim mayor from November 2012 through March 2013, when she was first elected mayor. She is also a former state representative, a role she held from 1998 through 2006.

She has sat on the Florida League of Mayors board of directors, and is a member of the Florida League of Cities, the Suncoast League of Cities, and the Pinellas County Mayors Council. She has received the Home Rule Hero Award six times from the FLC.

She also enjoyed a 29-year career with Allstate Insurance Company, working in human resources, community affairs and government relations management.

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