AM mayor declines second term

Anna Maria Mayor Mike Selby said last week he will not seek a second term in the November city election.

The mayor said it took him longer than he expected to make his decision, but believes it is the right choice for himself, the city and his family.

“I took this on in 2010 with the idea of bridging the gap. I think things have toned down a bit and people are dealing with the issues that face the city,” he said.

Getting people to discuss issues rationally was one of the reasons he sought the office in 2010, he said.

“It’s been an interesting time for me personally and I have been blessed with a phenomenal staff that helped and supported me through the past year and a half.

“There are several things I want to see move forward during my remaining time in office, and then I know there will be someone who will step in and continue to move the city in the right direction,” Selby said.

When he ran for office in 2010, the city was in turmoil with supporters of then-Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus on one side, and those who supported development of Pine Avenue on the other side.

The dispute sparked a number of lawsuits against the city, and eventually hundreds of Stoltzfus’ e-mails were uncovered, including some unflattering to then-Mayor Fran Barford. Some people suggested Stoltzfus’ previously undisclosed e-mails to citizens about city business may have violated Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Laws.

Stoltzfus was recalled from office in a special election Sept. 9, 2010, and Selby was convinced by supporters just before the deadline for the regular city election in November to register as a candidate for mayor. Barford did not seek a third term in office.

Had Selby not sought the office, planning and zoning board chair Sandy Mattick would have been the only candidate to qualify and she would have taken office.

Selby maintains he only considered serving one term when first elected, but reviewed his position after encouragement from a number of voters.

No one has yet announced plans to seek the mayor’s post or a seat on the commission in the Nov. 6 election.

Sandy Mattick said she would not run again for mayor as she has a new job that would interfere with the duties of mayor, she said.

Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick, whose third term expires in November, said she has not given any serious thought to a fourth term. “It’s too early to think about running again,” she said.

Likewise, Commission Chair Chuck Webb, who also is up for re-election in November, said it’s too early to make a decision.

Planning and zoning board member Nancy Yetter was defeated in November 2011 in her bid for a commission seat, and had said then she would likely run again in 2012. Efforts to reach Yetter for comment prior to press deadline for The Islander were unsuccessful.

But Webb, Jo Ann Mattick, and anyone considering a run for municipal or county office must decide soon.

The Manatee County Supervisor of Elections office has set qualifying for city and county candidates from noon Monday, June 4, to noon Friday, June 8, although Anna Maria is qualifying candidates May 29-June 8, in order to prepare for primary voting in August, although the city elections do not take part in the primary.

In previous election years, qualifying did not begin until July or August.

Elections in all three Island cities for a commission seat or the mayor’s office are non-partisan.

The terms of all Anna Maria elected officials are for two years. A commissioner is paid $400 per month, while a mayor’s salary is $800 per month.

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