Zephyrhills voters chose new leaders in the municipal elections, but they are both familiar faces around town.
Voters in the April 11 election selected Steve Spina, the former city manager, for Seat 2 on the Zephyrhills City Council. They also chose Melanie Bahr Monson, the former president and CEO of the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce, to serve as the city’s 21st mayor.
Spina secured 60.72% of the vote to defeat incumbent Alan Knight in the city council race.
Monson received 59.27% of the vote in a three-way race to become mayor.
Spina retired from his post as city manager 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.
Monson defeated candidates Nick Deford and Martin Harm.
Monson, a Zephyrhills native, was the chamber’s CEO for eight years before stepping away in September.
She now works for her family business, Bahr’s Propane Gas and AC.
Monson replaces Gene Whitfield, who announced in December that he would not seek another term. The role of mayor in Zephyrhills is primarily ceremonial.
Zephyrhills voters also voted on eight amendments to the city charter.
Here are the referendums and the outcomes:
- Referendum 1: Adopting the date of the city’s incorporation (Nov. 17, 1914): Approved with 83% of the vote.
- Referendum 2: Changing the office terms for city council from a three-year term to a four-year term: Approved with 62% of the vote.
- Referendum 3: Designated the city manager to make daily deposits on behalf of the city and report deposits at regular city council meetings: Approved by 84% of the vote.
- Referendum 4: Changing the term for mayor from a three-year term to a four-year term: Approved by 68% of the vote.
- Referendum 5: Changing when elected officials shall start their new terms from three days after the election results to the start being the next regularly scheduled city council meeting: Approved with 83% of the vote.
- Referendum 6: Changing when election candidates can obtain petition signatures from no more than 60 days prior to the date of the election: Rejected with 54% of the vote.
- Referendum 7: Changing the time frame to when city council receives the canvas of votes to the next regularly scheduled meeting: Approved with 84% of the vote.
- Referendum 8: Changing the time period of reviewing the city charter from every five years to every 10 years: Approved with 75% of the vote.
In other municipal election results:
- St. Leo Town Commissioner Vincent D’Ambrosio was unopposed and retained Seat 2 on the commission. He also is St. Leo’s mayor.
- St. Leo Town Commissioner Curtis Dwyer was unopposed and retained Seat 4 on the commission.
- San Antonio Commissioner Mark Anderson ran unopposed and kept his seat. He also is the town’s mayor.
- Kevin Damis was elected to the San Antonio Commission. He was unopposed and is replacing Maximilian D’Water, who chose not to seek another term.
For additional election results, visit www.enr.electionsfl.org/PAS/3384/Summary.
Published April 19, 2023