Voters in Zephyrhills will choose a new mayor and will decide who should fill City Council Seat 2 in an April 11 election.
Three candidates are vying to be the city’s next mayor and incumbent W. Alan Knight is facing a challenge from Steve Spina, for Seat 2 council seat.
Spina is the former city manager for the City of Zephyrhills. He retired from that role in 2019.
Knight is a longtime Zephyrhills resident and educator working mainly in Pasco county schools as a teacher, coach and administrator for 35 years. He is seeking re-election to city council following his first term on the board.
Residents also will decide who will replace Mayor Gene Whitfield, who announced in December that he would not seek a fourth term.
Candidates to become mayor are Nick Deford, Melonie Bahr Monson and Martin Harm.
Deford is the lead pastor at Zephyrhills First Church of the Nazarene and has been a resident of Zephyrhills for eight years. His ministry has worked with nonprofit organizations such as the Zephyrhills/Wesley Chapel Ministerial Association and the Samaritan Project, and is active with Meals on Wheels of Pasco.
Monson is a Zephyrhills native who stepped away from her role as the CEO of The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce after eight years in September. She now works for her family business, Bahr’s Propane Gas and AC.
Harm is the treasurer for Main Street Zephyrhills and a national account manager for Sonitrol, an electronic commercial security system company.
The mayor position is largely ceremonial, with no voting power. The city council chooses a board president — in this case, Jodi Wilkeson — to run meetings. Lance Smith is the council’s vice president, while members Ken Burgess, Charles Proctor and Knight round out the council.
There also are eight proposed amendments to the city charter on the ballot. Most are minor changes to election procedures and financial reporting requirements, with the main one changing the term length of mayor and council members from three years to four years.
Published February 22, 2023
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