NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. -- Former mayor Peter Altman and business owner Matthew Murphy beat out fellow candidates in a tight seven-way race to win election to New Port Richey's City Council.

  • Election was Tuesday night in New Port Richey
  • Altman, Murphy officially join council April 17
  • Declining home ownership among their targeted issues

"With some real positive things that are happening in New Port Richey, I see an opportunity to share some of my history, but also join in the enthusiasm that we have going on right now," said Altman, who also previously served on the council and in the city's finance department.

"I've seen it at its worst, and I see now that it's really starting to take a turn and progress," said longtime resident Murphy, who is also owner of Farrell Power Company. "So many projects happening now that were dead, and now they're coming back to life."

Murphy pointed to examples like construction of the Main Street Landing residential and retail project and, one of his main priorities, the continued push for renovation of the Hacienda Hotel.

"Once we get that flowing and get these other projects completed to fruition, I think that's the key to our city's success. We can really just branch out from there," he said.

Altman said the upcoming budget process will be a chance to tackle an issue that could have consequences down the road.

"Our city has really not grown, population-wise, over the years," he said. "We have to develop a good strategy for sustainability."

That could include looking at infrastructure capital needs like parking and drainage, but also investing in neighborhoods, where he said older properties might not have the curb appeal of newer communities.

"That's really the problem with small cities is that we have to compete with brand new products," Altman said. "They may have newer product in their infrastructure, but we’ve got historic homes and a river and some really wonderful coastal amenities."

Both men also said they'd like to tackle the issue of declining homeownership in the city.

Altman and Murphy are expected to be sworn in at the April 17 council meeting.