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Incumbents returned to HB offices

By Diana Bogan, Islander Reporter

Voters turned out in Holmes Beach to re-elect incumbents Sandy Haas-Martens and John Monetti to the city commission.

First-time candidate Jean Peelen challenged them for one of two open commission seats on the Nov. 2 ballot. The Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office reported 2,949 ballots were cast from among the 3,319 registered voters in the city.

Haas-Martens topped the voting at 1,200 and Monetti received 1,123 votes to Peelen’s 626 in the three-way race two two-year terms.

Throughout the campaign, Monetti pointed to his common-sense approach and a belief in serving one’s community as his strengths.

While the news of his re-election to a third-term came as a relief, Monetti said he also finds himself with a renewed sense of responsibility.

He anticipates the greatest challenge facing the commission over the next term will be the budget. “I must stress though that we are fortunate in Holmes Beach to be on very solid ground and I have the utmost confidence in our abilities to continue to provide exceptional service to our citizens,” said Monetti.

“My greatest thanks go to the citizens, who so strongly recognized my past efforts on their behalf by allowing me to continue to serve them,” he said.

Haas-Martens begins her seventh term on the city commission. “I feel the citizens who re-elected me have been happy with the job I’ve done and in representing Holmes Beach,” she said. “I thank them for the faith they continue to have in me. I look forward to another two-year term and whatever it brings.”

Haas-Martens anticipates that the next two years will be much like the past couple of years. “We will continue trying to serve the citizens of our city on less money coming in and trying to keep the taxes down as we’ve been doing,” she said.

Haas-Martens also looks forward to working with newly elected officials throughout the county.

Election results for first time candidate Peelen were “sad, but not surprising.” She said she is grateful for the 626 votes she received. “I only campaigned for a month and, as a newcomer, people didn’t know me.”

Peelen, an Island resident for three years, said she enjoyed the experience of going door-to-door and meeting so many Holmes Beach residents.

She ran on the desire to bring a new voice to city leadership, and she doesn’t intend for the election results to quiet her voice. “I would like to see the city establish a guiding principle that is applied to its actions and decision-making process that enables Holmes Beach to be a truly sustainable community,” she said. “And I believe I can help achieve that goal as an annoying member of the public — and I mean, an annoying member of the public.”

In the meantime, Peelen plans to continue her efforts with the Dining For Women chapter she founded on the Island and to take in another foster dog — something she put on hold during the election campaign.

Holmes Beach Maybe Rich Bohnenberger was re-elected on Nov. 2. He ran unopposed.

The newly elected city commissioners and mayor will be sworn into office at 8 a.m. Monday, Nov. 15, at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive, with an organizational meeting to follow.

The next regularly scheduled commission meeting and work session will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23.

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