The owner of a Clearwater engineering firm has been chosen to replace Pat Shontz on the Madeira Beach City Commission.
Housh Ghovaee, a Madeira Beach resident, has been selected by commission members over two other candidates for the position. Shontz abruptly resigned last month in the middle of a contentious board meeting.
Ghovaee will serve out her term, which ends in March.
“I’m extremely excited, extremely honored,” Ghovaee said. “I feel I can make a difference. If I didn’t feel I could make a difference, I wouldn’t be involved.”
Ghovaee said he received full support from three of the remaining council members, but one member, Elaine Poe, had doubts because his company had been the engineer on some projects in the city.
“Hopefully, I will do such a good job, she will say this was a good choice,” he said.
Ghovaee has a degree in electrical engineering from Norwich (CT) University, a degree in civil engineering from the University of South Florida and studied business administration at St. Petersburg College. He is the owner of Northside Engineering and has served on numerous boards including the Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. Ghovaee currently serves on the mid-county community council of the Juvenile Welfare Board. He is a former head of the Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce and still serves on the board.
Ghovaee will be sworn in at Tuesday’s scheduled commission meeting. The meeting is at 6 p.m. in the Madeira Beach City Hall, 300 Municipal Drive.
The region Ghovaee will represent is District 4, which includes a sliver of the mainland near Bay Pines. Madeira Beach Middle School and a portion of Duhme Road are also in his district. The island side of District 4 includes the Tom Stuart Causeway and the entrance to the city.
It’s that part of the city, at the foot of the bridge, that has been contentious during the past year or so. Two developments are scheduled to be built over objections of some residents. Those residents formed a group, Madeira Beach United, to fight the development. They have filed a lawsuit in an effort to derail the projects and allegations of ethical misdeeds have flown back and forth.
When the projects came up for a final vote last month, Shontz voted in favor of one. Then she resigned and walked out of the meeting before a vote was taken on the second project. Both passed.