Erhard wins seat on Brooksville City Council

BROOKSVILLE — Betty Erhard, a member of Brooksville’s Charter Review Committee, will replace outgoing Mayor Kevin Hohn in Seat 4, according to unofficial results from the Hernando County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Erhard, 50, outpaced retired accountant Bill Kemerer, 64, and Vivian “Vi” Coogler, 62, to capture the post, which pays $5,400 a year.

“I’m very excited,” Erhard said. “It’s a win for the people. That’s the bottom line. I am going to represent the people my heart and soul. I got into this to be their voice, and I don’t want to disappoint them.”

Erhard joins Natalie Kahler and Robert “Butch” Battista as the council’s new faces. They will serve four-year terms. In 2012, Erhard ran an unsuccessful bid for city Councilman Frankie Burnett’s District 2 seat.

One of the main issues in Brooksville centered on the city’s controversial red-light cameras.

Erhard and Coogler, a long-time coach and volunteer at Hernando High School, favored eliminating the cameras entirely, while Kemerer suggested raising Brooksville’s 5 mph speed limit for right-on-red turns to 15 mph.

Brooksville’s right-on-red speed limit is the lowest in the Tampa Bay area among cities that have established such a speed limit.

Increasing the right-on-red speed limit to 15 mph, Kemerer said, “would eliminate at least two-thirds of these violations.”

“I wish (Erhard) the best of luck in her new position,” he said. “I deeply appreciate those who supported my campaign over the last eight or nine months.”

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