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Pinellas County School Board’s Ken Peluso files for re-election

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Ken Peluso, Pinellas County School Board’s District 4 incumbent, filed paperwork this morning run for re-election in 2016.

“I’m extremely pleased with what’s happening in our school district,” Peluso told SaintPetersBlog. “I’m proud of what we’re doing [and] look forward to contributing in the future.”

Peluso, 58, was first elected to the School Board last November, after a somewhat narrow defeat of former Tarpon Springs mayor and retired fifth-grade teacher Beverly Billiris, 67. The seat, which includes most of Northern Pinellas County, had been vacated by Robin Wikle, who went on to retire after six years on the board.

Prior to being elected to Pinellas’ public office, Dr. Peluso — as some refer to him — worked as a chiropractor in Palm Harbor, where he still resides.

According to a press release issued by the Peluso camp last year, some of the retired doctor’s related qualifications include serving as the chairman of Pinellas’s Early Learning Coalition, and as a member of the statewide Early Learning Advisory Council. He was also twice elected as a fire commissioner for the Palm Harbor Fire District and served as a member of the Calvary Christian High School board for three years.

Going forward, Peluso says his top two priorities are “to continue working on the budget, [by] being more cost-effective with our limited dollars,” and to see a continued growth in the county’s career education program.

“We’re doing a good job of it,” concluded Peluso, “but we could always do better.”

As for the Tampa Bay Times‘ “Failure Factories” article, Peluso, perhaps unsurprisingly, disagreed with many of the assertions.

“I was astonished when I first read it,” said Peluso. “It simply did not portray the reality of what we’re doing in those schools. It left out a lot of facts. It was extremely misleading.”

Since he tends to look at the positives of everything, Peluso concluded that “if this [Failure Factories article] engages the community more, and they want to help us, then it’s a good thing.”

Pinellas County School Board elections will be on August 30, 2016. So far, no other candidate has filed to run for any of the three available seats: Districts 1, 4 and 5.

Devon Crumpacker is a Tampa Bay based writer and reporter for Extensive Enterprises Media. He primarily covers Pinellas County politics for, but also makes time to write the occasional bar review for He lives in St. Petersburg with his fiance, Sydney. To contact, e-mail, or visit his Twitter page @DevonCrumpacker.

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