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Aubry interested in AM commission appointment

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Gene Aubry campaigns for a commission seat in 2010. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

Former Anna Maria Commissioner Gene Aubry has expressed interest in being appointed to a commission vacancy that will exist following the city election in November.

The vacancy will be created when the new commission elects a chair.

According to the city charter, the commission chair becomes mayor if no candidates qualified to run for mayor, which is the case in this year’s election.

When the chair is elected by the members of the commission at the first meeting after the Nov. 6 election, the remaining four commissioners will then be required to appoint a resident to fill the vacant commission seat.

Aubry, who chose not to seek re-election last November following 14 months as a commissioner, said he made his decision with much thought and after conferring with Mayor Mike Selby.

“Mike has done a great job, and I told him I did not want to be in competition with him if he was interested in the appointment,” Aubry said. “Mike said he has no interest in the position and wished me well.”

Selby has chosen not to seek re-election as mayor at the completion of his term in November.

Aubry, who was commissioner from September 2010 to November 2011, said he was stating his interest now “because I love Anna Maria and have a concern where the city is going. The next few years are going to be extremely important for the city.”

Anna Maria city clerk Alice Baird said city attorney Jim Dye would give the commission instructions on how citizens can express interest in the appointment. Dye also will discuss some charter issues.

One issue the new commission must grapple with is the length of term for the appointed commissioner, which is not specified in the charter.

Selby said a charter review by a committee is required every five years and he has begun the process to appoint and establish the committee. Former Commissioner Tom Aposporos has chaired the past two such committees.

Aubry was elected to the commission in September 2010 in a special court-ordered election that also was the recall vote for then-Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus.

Stoltzfus was recalled from office 362-333, while Aubry defeated Stoltzfus 363-333 for the commission seat on the same ballot.

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