2 challengers seek to unseat 2 HB commissioners

Qualifying week ended June 8 in Holmes Beach, and all who announced they’d be running for a spot on the city commission in the Nov. 6 city election made it official.

    City clerk Stacey Johnston reported Marvin Grossman was the first to qualify June 4.

    Commissioners Sandy Haas-Martens and John Monetti also filed June 4, but were not qualified until the next day, she said.

    Next to qualify was challenger Judy Holmes Titsworth on June 7.

    Incumbents Haas-Martens and Monetti announced their bids for re-election in April.

    Johnston said she qualified the commission candidates by checking their petitions against the voter registration roll and checking the necessary forms, including an affidavit of two-year residency, and payment of the $60 filing fee.

    Haas-Martens is running for her eighth term as a city commissioner. She’s served as commission chair and deputy mayor 2003-05 and 2006-11. She recently chaired a code enforcement focus group that addressed ongoing multi-story construction and rental issues. At present, she’s the commission vice-chair.

    Haas-Martens did not return phone calls last week, but when she announced her candidacy in April she said she saw no reason for change on the commission.

    Monetti is running for his third term on the commission. He is city liaison to the Anna Maria Island Community Center and the public works department. He chaired the zoning/permitting focus group.

    Monetti also did not return phone calls last week, but announced his intention to run in April, saying he’s running to continue his efforts on the commission.

    Challenging Monetti and Haas-Martens, Grossman and Titsworth are first-time candidates for office.

    Grossman is a 13-year-resident, recently appointed to the code enforcement board. When he first announced his candidacy May 9, he said he was running “to maintain the old Florida lifestyle.”

    According to state election laws, if Grossman wins a commission seat, he will be required to resign from the code board before being sworn as a commissioner.

    Titsworth is a life-long resident of Holmes Beach. Her main reason for running, she says, is her concern about the city’s failure to enforce its land-development code. She vowed to be proactive and set the tone in the city of “not only compliance, but of good stewardship.”

    The five-member commission governs the city with policy decisions. Commissioners are elected to two year terms, and their salary is $6,000 annually.

        In the November 2011 city election, Johnston reports 984 of 3,515 registered voters cast ballots — a 28 percent voter turnout. The election saw incumbents David Zaccagnino and Pat Morton and newcomer Jean Peelen take seats, while Al Robinson and Andy Sheridan were unsuccessful in their bid for office.

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