Three years into life on the Island and there is nothing holding Jean Peelen back from running for elected office and serving her community.
This is the first year Peelen has been eligible to run for elective office, and Nov. 2 she challenges incumbents Sandy Haas-Martens and John Monetti for one of two Holmes Beach city commission seats.
Peelen, a former civil rights attorney for the federal government, believes she will lend Holmes Beach a strong, new voice. She promises to “protect the safety, well-being and money of the citizens of Holmes Beach.”
In addition to working for the federal government, which precluded her from serving her community as an elected official before, she also was the chief of staff of the International Broadcasting Bureau, where she managed a $20 million budget.
If elected, Peelen would like to see better collaboration between the three Island cities and more input at the county level. “We as an Island are supposed to be speaking with one voice on every issue we possibly can,” she said.
Sandy Haas-Martens is running for a sixth consecutive term on the Holmes Beach City Commission. She currently serves as the deputy mayor and commission chair. If re-elected, she says she will “continue to bring the stable government the citizens have come to expect from their elected officials.”
Haas-Martens is a retired banker who has remained actively involved in the community. She believes her banking background and involvement with citizens has made her deeply aware of issues Island citizens may be facing.
During her tenure on the commission, she claims improvements such as canal dredging, street paving and drainage. “I enjoy what I do,” she said. “I enjoy working with the staff and working with the citizens and being involved.”
John Monetti’s involvement with city government fits firmly with the value instilled in him as a child to give back to the community. So it was without hesitation that he agreed to volunteer on the Holmes Beach Planning Commission when asked. “I said, OK,’” Monetti said. “If that’s what I can do for you.”
After four years as a planning commissioner, Monetti ran for elected office and won his first term as a city commissioner.
He has served on the commission in two terms for four years and Nov. 2 he seeks another two-year term. He believes in keeping things honest and simple, and if re-elected, would continue to provide a “common sense approach to maintaining the beauty and balance of our community.”
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Monetti is the general manager of the Columbia Restaurant on St. Armands Circle. With his business based in Sarasota, his stake on the Island is as a 15-year resident of Holmes Beach and parent.
Monetti said he will continue to give back, just as his parents taught him, for as long as fellow residents desire his fiscal acumen, government experience and clear values.
To the polls
Manatee County polls on Nov. 2 will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., when votes will be cast for local, state and federal candidates.
Voters who want to avoid lines can cast ballots in advance of election day at the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office, 600 301 Blvd. W., Suite 118, Bradenton. Early voting hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
On election day, voters in Anna Maria will cast ballots at Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave.
Voters in Bradenton Beach will cast ballots at Tingley Memorial Library, 111 Second St. N.
And, in Holmes Beach, voters, depending on their precinct, will either cast ballots at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 6608 Marina Drive, or St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive.
For more information about voting, including sample ballots or to check voter registration status, go to www.votemanatee.com.