Deputy Mayor, Council Member Not Running in April Election
New Port Richey's retiring council members explain their reasons for not seeking reelection, and a new face announces he's entering the running.
New Port Richey Deputy Mayor Rob Marlowe and Councilman Bob Langford are not putting their names in the running for April's municipal election.
Both council members say it's time for someone else to step forward to lead the city into the future.
New Port Richey is holding city council elections April 9. During the elections, voters in the city limits will have the opportunity to elect two people to the council. The qualifying period to run for one of the two open council seats starts February 12 at noon and closes February 19 at noon.
The city council was faced recently with a budget that called for layoffs and tough decision making. Projections last year estimated the city faced a five-year deficit that looked dire.
Now, however, the city finance director projects the city’s multi-year deficit has fallen. He credits decisions made this past budget season, like ones to raise the city’s millage rate and stormwater and streetlight fees, for the change.
Langford says he thinks needs to take a break from council.
“The city’s economy is turning around a lot quicker than I anticipated," Langford said. "And, I would like to see the council keep moving forward in a positive direction.”
He said that he hopes that “a good candidate will enter into the race.”
“I hope whoever takes my place is qualified and can do a good job,” he said.
Marlowe has served two three-year terms as a councilmember. He first came onto the council in 2007 and was then reelected in 2010.
“I have a general philosophy that nobody should stay in public office for an extended period,” he said.
Marlowe is founding partner and co-owner of GulfCoast Networking in downtown New Port Richey.
“I need to concentrate more on my business,” he said.
He said he’s not leaving the council because he’s “unhappy with anybody or anything.” He said the future for New Port Richey is looking better due to steps the council had taken with Main Street Landing, the city-owned Hacienda Hotel, and stabilizing the city budget.
Marlowe didn’t rule out a return to the council in future years. Even after his term ends, he intends to share his thoughts on what New Port Richey ought to be “publicly and often.”
A New Face on the New Port Richey Political Scene
As Marlowe and Langford step aside, others now have coming forward with intentions to run.
Michael Malterer, 24, has announced he is running for a council seat.
“I remember New Port Richey being a better place to live when I was growing up,” he said.
Malterer says he was born at Morton Plant North Bay Hospital in New Port Richey. The address he offers as his current home address is in the city limits.
Malterer, who works as operations manager at Penske Truck Leasing in Port Richey and St. Petersburg, says he has fresh ideas to bring to the city. He says he will bring a business leaders' perspective to the council. He'd like to see the city do away with its red-light cameras.
Other issues he's concerned about include the former Community Hospital property and the Hacienda Hotel.
"If elected, I would be an advocate for putting the Hacienda back into the private sector's hands," he said. "I think it would be great to see a bed and breakfast or some sort of mix use like that run there. I think keeping it on the city's books any longer than we absolutely have to is a mistake."
Find out more about Malterer's campaign at his website.