Six individuals have qualified in the New Port Richey City Council election scheduled for April 12, 2016. Two seats are open in this election, and both incumbents in those seats, Councilman Jeff Starkey and Councilman Chopper Davis are running for re-election. Four additional challengers have qualified to run, and the top two vote earners will win a seat. Voters may vote for up to two candidates. Voters must reside within the corporate limits of New Port Richey (illustrated here by the red line), and must bring proof of residency to the polls.
Voting will take place at the New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center at 6630 Van Buren Street between the hours of 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM. Voting is also available by mail. Interested voters can request a Vote By Mail ballot through the Supervisor of Election’s office. There, citizens can also check on their voting eligibility.
Read or click below for a brief biography, contact information, and platform statements asked of each candidate by NewsPortRichey.
The qualified candidates are:
Ahmad Fagouseh, 29, says that he is running because he is frustrated. “I believe Mr. Starkey and Mr. Davis have tried their best to revitalize our City, but they have failed in leadership and scope. I believe the city needs a fresh start with new leadership and ideas to continue to lower our crime rate, bring in new businesses and attract a younger demographic.” Ahmad, as he has asked to be called, works as a jewelry expert buying and selling diamonds to retailers in the Tampa Bay area. Ahmad grew up in New Port Richey, attending Richey Fundamental School, and graduated from Gulf High School in 2004.
Ahmad says that he aims to reduce crime, bring in new businesses, and looks to grow New Port Richey’s tax base and revitalize its population. “Development is rampant in East Pasco at the moment and we have to attract new business to New Port Richey,” he said, “We are a Gulf Coast city with a beautiful waterfront and river, there is no reason why we can’t make this happen. Unfortunately, with our current leadership we are failing.”
You can reach Ahmad on his website, Ahmad4NPR.com.
Chopper Davis (incumbent) refused to comment for this story.
Jeff Starkey (incumbent), 41, is a lifetime resident of New Port Richey and “loves this city and all that it has to offer.” Mr. Starkey is finishing his first three year term as a City Councilman. “I believe that my leadership skills have been an asset,” he said, “New Port Richey is currently experiencing a positive transformation in which I believe I have been a key factor. I want to continue to work with my colleagues and city staff to improve the quality of life for all the residents of New Port Richey.”
Mr. Starkey is a Property and Casualty Insurance agent and is the owner of GREATFLORIDA Insurance on Little Road. Mr. Starkey and his wife, Amber, have two children: Dylan, 6, and Madison, 5.
Mr. Starkey highlighted his focus on crime and public safety, saying that the New Port Richey Police were underfunded and understaffed when he was elected. “We have hired a very effective Police Chief and a very effective City Manager. I voted on additional funding for the Police Department and I have worked very closely with our Police Chief, Kim Bogart. We have made tremendous strides to combat crime.”
Mr. Starkey also said he is focused on redevelopment. He said that he helped, along with the Pasco Economic Development Council, to retain a business called “Applicant Insight” within the City’s borders. He also highlighted the recent renovations of the Hacienda Hotel. Lastly, Mr. Starkey highlighted his position on the Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization and his relationship with Pasco County’s government and the County Commissioners. “I have a very positive relationship with each and every one of them,” he said.
Mr. Starkey can be reached via e-mail at greatflorida[at]msn.com.
K. Vance Ray has lived in Florida since 2009 and is originally from the Chicago area. He is a former business owner and has been a “Life Safety & Security Specialist” for 31 years. Mr. Ray says that he is running to “attract new business and keep the city moving ahead with the economic development of the city shops and industrial business downtown and throughout the city.”
Mr. Vance says he wants to create a stronger tax base, and would like to perform his duties as they were “meant to be done when the idea was first created in 1776. If they [the voters] tell me to vote ‘in favor’ of an ordinance, I will represent them not with ‘my’ vote, but ‘our’ vote. I will never vote on an issue without the majority guidance of the people of New Port Richey.”
Mr. Ray can be reached via e-mail at councilman4NPR[at]gmail.com, or on his home phone at 727-279-6040.
Larry M. Anderson, 71, is originally from Moline, Illinois. Mr. Anderson retired as Director of Facilities for McHenry County, Illinois, near Chicago. He has three boys and nine grandchildren, two of whom are currently attending Gulf High School. Mr. Anderson says that he wants to bring new businesses to the downtown area and wants to “focus on needed repairs to our streets and keeping New Port Richey a friendly, fun, and safe town to call home.”
Mr. Anderson can be reached via e-mail at larandr[at]aol.com or by phone at 727-237-8842.
Rob Oman was born in Minneapolis, Mn but has lived in Central Florida since 1990 and thinks of himself as a “Florida Boy.” Mr. Oman manages a natural pest control company that provides service from Orlando to Sarasota. Mr. Oman has lived in New Port Richey for 5 years and has “2 dogs, 2 cats,” and has “enjoyed living in New Port Richey” with his wife.
Mr. Oman is running for City Council because he purchased a home in the City’s “Downtown District” after seeing what the has to offer and its potential to grow. He wants to work on “cleaning and keeping the city clean, community watch programs and continued progress in the city’s parks.” Mr. Oman also says he wants to “work on promoting the city and all it’s potential to attract new homeowners and businesses to this up and coming city. I want nothing more than to do everything I can on city council to make sure the city continues to improve for all of its residents.”
Mr. Oman can be reached via e-mail at nprroboman[at]outlook.com.
NewsPortRichey will continue to cover this spring’s election and will offer follow up articles with the candidates. Have a question for the candidates? Send us an e-mail at jrtietz[at]gmail.com, or reach and follow us on Twitter at @NewsPortRichey. You can also like us on Facebook for the latest news, and don’t forget to sign up for our Daily Headlines e-mail! Do that in the sidebar to the right!