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Date of Issue: February 16, 2006

And the survey says: no

Anna Maria voters are overwhelmingly against any consolidation with Holmes Beach or Bradenton Beach, according to a survey of 259 registered voters in the city completed last week by Commission Chairperson John Quam.

Quam's survey, done with the aid of volunteers, he said, found 171 voters against consolidation of the three Island cities, but in favor of "studying" the possibility of combining some city services.

Seventy voters said they were against consolidation and against studying the prospects of combining services, while only 18 voters said they favored a study on consolidation of the three cities.

Quam said 93 percent of respondents were against consolidation and the survey represented 40 percent of the city's 636 registered voters who cast a ballot in the November 2005 elections. Anna Maria has 1,636 registered voters.

Quam said he did the survey to confirm a telephone poll last fall which found the majority of Anna Maria voters were not even interested in voting on whether or not to participate in a study with the other two Island cities on whether or not consolidation was feasible.

The city commission at that time declined to place a non-binding referendum on studying consolidation on the November ballot.