PORT RICHEY – City Council is supposed to have five members and it will be back to full strength in August.
Council voted July 23 to elevate another resident to temporary member status, about a month after doing so a first time. Todd Maklary was sworn in June 24 to temporarily fill the seat of former Councilman Richard Bloom, who resigned to mount an unsuccessful bid to be elected mayor following the arrest, suspension and resignation of former Mayor Dale Massad.
Last Tuesday the council selected Angel Nally to take over the vacated seat of former Councilman Terrence Rowe. Rowe briefly served as acting mayor after Massad’s exit from City Council but was arrested and accused of conspiring with Massad and then, like Massad, suspended from office by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The temporary council members will serve until a special election is held Sept. 10 to fill both seats.
Nally was one of three residents to address council at last Tuesday’s regular meeting. She’s a lifelong resident of West Pasco and told council she is a fourth-generation local. Nally and her husband own and operate New Attitude Salon, in Port Richey.
“I was raised on hard work and hard knocks which has given me a toolbox of common sense and has navigated me through self-employment as a former licensed massage therapist,” Nally told council. “I offer to serve this council and our city in this time of need as one who is completely invested in this city as my home and will take a position of making decisions on merit and fact, not emotion.”
Nally was one of two residents receiving nominations from council. She was nominated by Councilwoman Jennie Sorrell. Maklary nominated David Mueller, a Certified Public Accountant.
“I have a desire and a belief that my accounting skills will be beneficial during this budget process that you guys are getting ready to get into,” Mueller told council.
“For the budgetary process that we’re about to encounter, I think with a CPA on board going into the budget someone familiar with the numbers … would be beneficial to council overall,” Maklary said after nominating Mueller.
Mayor Scott Tremblay said that both nominees “would be great to work with,” noting that Nally is a local business owner and that Mueller’s accounting background would be helpful during budget discussions.
For a brief moment, council faced a situation that bedeviled prior nomination proceedings. Both Nally and Mueller received nominations but neither motion could get a second. One reason for that was because Councilman William Dittmer recused himself from the selection process since he nominated Maklary in June.
“I do not want to get into another stagnation, no matter what,” Maklary said as council worked out a solution that would result in one of the two nominees being selected.
Tremblay, Maklary and Sorrell agreed to a coin toss to decided between Mueller and Nally, but Mueller – from his seat in the audience – put that decision to rest by eliminating himself from the equation. “I’ll make it easy,” Mueller said. “I’ll withdrawal, but I will show up at the budget meeting.”
That option was viewed as a win-win by council and Maklary seconded Sorrell’s motion to nominate Nally, which then passed 4-0.
Nally will be on council for three regular meetings and one budget workshop prior to the Sept. 10 special election. Maklary and Nally are both eligible to run for the seats, as well.