Temple Terrace Mayor Joe Affronti and City Councilman Ron Govin might be coming to the end of their terms in local government, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see or hear from them ever again.
“I do want to get involved in some other things—I just don’t know what yet,” Affronti said. “I’ll be busy.”
Affronti was first elected to the City Council in 1998. He was re-elected to the council in 2002, won a bid for mayor in 2004, and was re-elected mayor in 2008. Now, he’s reached his two-term limit.
“I’m going to miss some of the things about being involved—I’ve spent 14 years on the council and as mayor—but I’m ready,” he said.
Affronti is originally from Chicago and has lived in Temple Terrace since 1971. In 1979, he bought All American Sleeper Cab Manufacturing, a company that started in 1943. The business repairs physical damage to big rigs and is gearing up for its 70th anniversary. Affronti said leaving his mayoral position will give him more time to focus on his business.
As mayor, Affronti said he’s accomplished three things that he’s most proud of.
The first is being an advocate for local schools.
“Our city is a highly educated community,” he said. “They’re very interested in having a good education for their kids.”
Each year, Affronti invites all of the principals from local schools to talk to the City Council about their programs, their students and their successes. He has also participated in the Great American Teach-In, a November event in which local professionals talk to students about their jobs. He went to Riverhills Elementary last year.
“I think we’ve made some tremendous inroads with the schools,” he said.
The second accomplishment he’s proud of is helping the city communicate and cooperate with county officials. Affronti has been active in the Metropolitan Planning Organization and served as the group’s chairman for the last five years. Through that organization, Affronti also serves on the Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board, which coordinates local transportation services for the elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged.
“We’ve been able to better communicate with county commissioners, the City of Tampa, (and other leaders),” he said.
Finally, Affronti said he is proud of the downtown redevelopment project, a controversial public-private partnership between the city and developer Vlass Temple Terrace that is currently at an impasse.
“We’ve done some good things down there,” he said. “Now, the City Council needs to see it through.”
Govin, co-founder of LifePath Hospice, also said he’s ready to move on. He was elected to the City Council in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. Now, he’s also reached his two-term limit.
In addition to serving on the council, Govin has served on the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Board since 2004. He also represented the city for eight years on the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission.
“I’m very glad,” he said about leaving the council. “It’s been very enjoyable to do it, but there’s been a lot of frustration with the issues we’ve had to face. It takes a lot of time.”
Govin is originally from Tampa and moved to Temple Terrace in 1986, the same year that his family’s business changed its name from Govin’s Rubber Stamps to MarkMaster.
Govin was instrumental in growing the business from its small-town roots to one of the largest producers of custom marking products in the world. He still serves as chairman of the board and said he’ll now have more time to focus on that responsibility.
Judy Govin, who has been married to Ron for 51 years, said she was excited to have her husband back.
“We won’t have the limitations,” she said. “But I’m not concerned about Ron. He’s going back to civics.”
“I’ll remain a community activist,” he said.
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