The small Pasco County city of Port Richey has been a national punchline since former mayor Dale Massad’s arrest,
He’s charged with shooting at deputies who were serving an arrest warrant at his home, then conspiring with his replacement, who was also arrested.
RELATED: Port Richey Mayor arrested for attempted murder for firing at SWAT team serving warrant at his home
RELATED: Dale Massad faces two more charges following arrest of Port Richey's acting mayor
RELATED: Former Port Richey Mayor Massad denied bond weeks before trial
“Ridiculous. I hate when our situations even show up on Canadian news,” said resident Pat Rogers.
Rogers has lived in Port Richey since 1965 and blames how the city’s government ended up in so much trouble on complacency.
“Have been through lots of ups and downs and this one tops them all,” he said.
Five candidates are on the ballot to replace Massad as mayor:
-Doctor and attorney who is on the city council now, Richard Bloom
-Former city councilmen and vice mayor, Bill Colombo
-Attorney Scott Tremblay
-Community activist Greg Smithwick
-Commercial real estate project manage Todd Maklary
“It just appears there was a good old boy club where things were going on that really weren’t transparent to the citizens,” said Vic Lampasona
“Our community has such a bad rap right now. I feel that we need somebody new to come in and make Port Richey great again,” said Lisa Schultz.
Massad is still in jail. He goes on trial for obstruction charges next week.
Terrence Rowe, the interim mayor who was arrested for allegedly conspiring with Massad, was suspended, but hasn’t resigned his position yet.
“This is an incredible city. There’s an opportunity to make this a jewel in Pasco County. We just need the right people to do that,” said Lampasona.
The polls are open until 7 p.m.