Highly-awaited meeting to appoint interim Port Richey council member postponed

Pasco County

Tuesday night’s highly-awaited Port Richey City Council meeting was canceled last minute due to council member Dr. Richard Bloom’s absence. 

City Manager Vincent Lupo announced to the crowd that he received a phone call at 7:11 p.m. ahead of the scheduled 7:30 meeting from Bloom, stating he was sick with food poisoning and could not attend. 

Bloom’s absence, coupled with suspended vice mayor Terry Rowe’s absence and former mayor Dale Massad’s seat vacancy meant only two council members were present: Jennie Sorrell and William Dittmer

Lupo said the meeting could not continue with only two council members present because they lacked a quorum. 

Tuesday night’s meeting brought a standing room only crowd with the appointment of an interim council member on the agenda. Council was also slated to discuss how to proceed with Rowe’s suspension. 

Many in the crowd were angered and disappointed that the meeting could not continue. Some, like Kenneth Burke, even accused Bloom of staging his illness. 

 You don’t get food poisoning at the last minute, Burke said. He called Bloom’s absence a continuance of dirty politics in Port Richey. These people up here should be for the city, and for the city only.

An interim council member is necessary to fill the vacancy created by Dale Massad’s resignation. The former mayor is charged with attempted homicide and practicing medicine without a license. He was arrested in February.

Vice Mayor Terry Rowe is still technically on the council, but was suspended by the governor after his arrest March 13th for alleged interference in the Massad investigation.

Janet Eckermann called Tuesday night’s lack of action disappointing. She had planned to make her pitch to the remaining council members as to why she should serve on council. 

She’s giving Bloom the benefit of the doubt that his illness is real but also thinks the sooner the city can move on, the better. 

Better for the city, better for the residents, less drama, she said. I’d like to see the city move on, on a positive note. 

Lupo said city administrators are still sorting out when Tuesday’s postponed meeting may happen. The next scheduled city council meeting is in two weeks. 
 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Hillsborough deputies arrest 2 men in computer scheme that targeted victims across US

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hillsborough deputies arrest 2 men in computer scheme that targeted victims across US"

Medical marijuana dispensaries broken into in Clearwater, one at 4:20 a.m.

Thumbnail for the video titled "Medical marijuana dispensaries broken into in Clearwater, one at 4:20 a.m."

Security footage shows medical marijuana dispensary break-in

Thumbnail for the video titled "Security footage shows medical marijuana dispensary break-in"

Coronavirus Concerns: University of Tampa cancels study abroad trip to China

Thumbnail for the video titled "Coronavirus Concerns: University of Tampa cancels study abroad trip to China"

How to be prepared for when an earthquake hits

Thumbnail for the video titled "How to be prepared for when an earthquake hits"

Ashley Moody on Trooper Bullock's death

Thumbnail for the video titled "Ashley Moody on Trooper Bullock's death"

Weather for Friday, Feb. 22 night and into Saturday, Feb. 22

Thumbnail for the video titled "Weather for Friday, Feb. 22 night and into Saturday, Feb. 22"

Phillies arrive in Clearwater for Spring Training

Thumbnail for the video titled "Phillies arrive in Clearwater for Spring Training"

Father shot and killed

Thumbnail for the video titled "Father shot and killed"

Deadlocked jury leads to mistrial in Tampa Bay ice cream man double-murder case

Thumbnail for the video titled "Deadlocked jury leads to mistrial in Tampa Bay ice cream man double-murder case"

American Freedom Distilliery

Thumbnail for the video titled "American Freedom Distilliery"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss