Ten years ago, John Monetti came to Holmes Beach City Hall for the first time. He was following a value his parents had instilled in him — give back to the community.
Monetti said he wanted to volunteer and ended up helping the city with stormwater prevention planning. A year later, the city commission asked Monetti if he would volunteer for the planning commission. “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 for four years and Nov. 2 will be seeking another two-year term.
Monetti, 49, a Holmes Beach resident for 15 years and general manager at the Columbia Restaurant in Sarasota for 10 years, said he’ll continue to apply what he claims is one of his main assets — common sense.
His campaign slogan is, “To provide a common-sense approach to maintain the beauty and balance of our community.”
“That’s why I do this, because I think I can provide that,” Monetti said.
As far as common sense goes, Monetti said, “I try not to get too wrapped up in too many details of a particular issue. I try to look at the broader perspective, and then wrap it all together and say, ‘I think we’ve got to go in this direction.’”
Monetti, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in management, Monetti said he believes that for Holmes Beach to remain a vibrant community, it must retain a balance of residential and commercial units.
But, he said, evolution is inevitable.
“Everything evolves,” Monetti said. “There is change. But in my view, I’d rather it be more subtle than drastic. We have something very special on this Island. The biggest thing we have is our respect for density. A high-rise condo defines a community and we are not that. We are more laid back. We are the type of place where if I walk to the beach, I do it barefoot, and nobody looks at me funny. I like that.”
Monetti moved from Sarasota to Holmes Beach because he wanted his 3-year-old daughter to have a quality education. He said he heard great things about Anna Maria Elementary School.
Now entrenched in the community with his wife and children, Monetti said he will continue to give back, just as his parents taught him.
“Basically what I’m hearing is that people want me to continue to provide my common-sense approach to guiding the city, and that’s all it is,” Monetti said. “I don’t have a business on the Island, so it isn’t anything I could benefit from financially for my family, or anything like that. I just believe you should give back to your community.”
RESIDENCY: Holmes Beach.
OCCUPATION: Restaurant general manager.
OFFICE SOUGHT: Holmes Beach City Commission seat.
FAMILY: Wife, four children.
INTERESTS: Golf, travel, reading, family.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Anna Maria Island Community Center, Moose, Key Royale Club.
CAMPAIGN MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS (as of Sept. 15): $400.
QUOTE TO LIVE BY: “Keep it honest and simple.”
CAMPAIGN MOTTO: “A common sense approach to maintaining the beauty and balance of our community.”
Monetti seeks two more years
An Islander Q & A with John Monetti, who is seeking re-election to the Holmes Beach City Commission Nov. 2.
The Islander: Why did you decide to run for office in November?
John Monetti: To continue to give back to my community.
The Islander: What are your qualifications for this office?
JM: Fiscal acumen, government experience, strong values.
The Islander: What are the three top goals/positions in your platform?
JM: Fiscal responsibility, residential/commercial balance, continued presence in greater community.
The Islander: What is your understanding of Florida’s Sunshine/Public Records laws?
JM: Well versed. I’ve been involved in government for about eight years. I have followed with interest as local issues have arisen.
The Islander: From time to time there is talk of consolidating local governments and/or local services. How do you feel about consolidation?
JM: I’m willing to consider as long as one municipality is not burdened with sole responsibility. No single municipality should force itself on others.
The Islander: Characterize the direction of the locality. Right track? Off track? Wrong track? Explain.
JM: Right track. I’ve consistently felt that while issues always arise, overall the challenge is to maintain our character.
The Islander: Why should voters cast their ballot for you over your opponent?
JM: A proven record of a common sense approach to providing direction for our community.
The Islander: What is the most significant issue facing the electorate at this time? How will you handle that issue?
JM: Budgeting over the next few years. Same balanced approach, which has led to our current successes in meeting recent challenges.
The Islander: Local governments are beginning a new fiscal year. What is your view of the local budget/tax situation? And how do you approach government finances?
JM: Challenging. Determine revenues then prioritize needs and wants of the community.
The Islander: Is there a promise you want to make to voters?
JM: Without self-interest, I will continue to base my decisions on what I feel is best for the overall community.