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Date of Issue: June 23, 2010

Holmes Beach sees 1 race on ballot

Qualifying for the Nov. 2 general election in Holmes Beach ended June 18.

In Holmes Beach, offices up for election are the mayoral post held by Rich Bohnenberger and commission seats held by Sandy Haas-Martens and John Monetti.

All three filed qualifying papers for re-election.

Bohnenberger is unopposed for mayor.

Haas-martens and Monetti will be joined in the race for two commission seats by Jean Peelen.

Peelen, 68, had hoped to run for a commission seat last year but did not have the required two years of residency.

“I’m running basically because I have never held an elected office and I’m trying to think of a way I can give back to the community,” Peelen said. “I love this Island, and now that I’ve been here three years, I think it’s a magical place and I just really want to serve.”

Peelen said she is not opposed to anything going on in Holmes Beach, but does see areas where the city could improve, specifically in the business district at the intersection of Marina and Gulf drives.

“I’ve been looking at Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach and how well they’re doing and realizing all of this potential,” Peelen said. “Then I looked at our business district on the corner of Marina and Gulf, and I wonder if there’s anything that could improve this whole area so it’s really attractive as a center of shopping.”

Peelen said she doesn’t know if an upgraded business district is possible, but she said it’s the kind of mission she could see herself having to improve the city.

“I plan on campaigning around and asking Holmes Beach residents what would make this a better place to live in than it is now,” Peelen said.

Peelen was born and raised in New Jersey. She then worked as a civil right lawyer for 25 years in Washington, D.C., before moving to Bradenton Beach three years ago.

Holmes Beach resident Andy Sheridan, who ran for a commission seat in 2009, is not running this year.