Selby is new Anna Maria mayor

Political newcomer Mike Selby was elected mayor of Anna Maria over opponent Sandy Mattick 509-426 on Nov. 2.

The results were certified by the city’s canvassing board at the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office. Selby, along with unchallenged commissioners Chuck Webb and Jo Ann Mattick, was scheduled to be sworn into office at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9.

A reported non-presidential year election record of 73.3 percent of the city’s 1,331 registered voters cast ballots on Election Day. The tally for the mayor’s race included 265 absentee ballots, along with 32 ballots in early voting.

An informal survey of voters found several who voted for Selby because Mattick’s mother, Jo Ann Mattick, is a sitting commissioner. There was some concern about conflicts of interests and views. Others, however, said they voted for Selby because they agreed with his stance on several issues.

Some Mattick voters said they supported her because they believed she had the experience and time to devote to the office of mayor.

Voters surveyed agreed both candidates ran good campaigns and stayed away from any mud-slinging, underhanded tactics or statements.

Clean campaign
Selby said he was pleased with the turnout, and the confidence the voters placed with him. He congratulated his campaign volunteers for their hard work, and thanked Mattick for a clean, honest campaign.

“I spoke with Sandy and said I hoped she would be around and continue to contribute to the city,” Selby said.

With the campaign over, Selby said the hard work begins, but he planned no major changes in the city’s administration.

“I’m not going to re-invent the wheel,” he said the day after the election, as he and wife Mary made their way to city hall to meet the staff.

“They are a pretty good group of people” working for the city, and he will rely on their expertise as he learns more about the city’s daily operations, Selby said.

Mattick was gracious in defeat, offering congratulations to Selby, as well as members of her campaign committee.

“I want to thank everyone who helped in my campaign. Everyone worked very hard. Everything happens for a reason,” she said.

“I shook hands with Mike before the results, and we congratulated each other on running a good, clean campaign.”

Following announcement of the unofficial results around 8 p.m. election night, Mattick said she spoke with Selby and pledged to do all she can to assist in the smooth running of the city. She will retain her seat on the city’s planning and zoning board, she said.

It was the first time either had sought political office. Mayor Fran Barford decided several months ago not to seek re-election after two terms in office.

Swearing in
A swearing-in ceremony for the new mayor and the two commissioners was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, at Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive.

Following the ceremony, the commission was to hold its organizational meeting, in which it elects a chair and vice chair and adopts rules of order.

Under the city charter, the commission chair is vice mayor of Anna Maria. Commissioner John Quam has served as commission chair the past eight years.

Following the organizational meeting, the new commission and P&Z board were to hold a joint work session to discuss what immediate changes need to be addressed in the city’s land-development regulations to make them consistent with the comprehensive plan.

Voting history
Voter turnout in Anna Maria is traditionally higher in even-numbered years, particularly for a presidential election, according to information from the SOE office.

Since 2002, when the city changed its election date to coincide with the county, state and federal voting date, an average of 69 percent of the city’s registered voters have cast a ballot in an even-numbered year election.

For elections in odd-numbered years since 2002, the city has averaged a 47 percent voter turnout. In 2009, 55 percent of the registered voters exercised their voting privilege, while in the 2005 and 2003 elections respectively, 43 percent and 42 percent showed up at the polling station.

There was no municipal election in 2007 as the three incumbent commissioners up for re-election all were unchallenged for their seats.

The record turnout in Anna Maria for any election was set in the presidential election year of 2008, when 82.1 percent of the then-1,434 registered voters went to the poll.

In the 2004 election, voter turnout was 59.5 percent, while 67 percent of the electorate voted in 2006.

Anna Maria’s mayor draws an annual salary of $9,600, while a commissioner earns $4,800 yearly.

The mayor’s position is generally considered a part-time job for a city the size of Anna Maria.

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