Bradenton Beach Commissioner Jan Vosburgh and Vice Mayor Ed Straight never had to look over their political shoulder through this year’s election cycle.
Both are up for re-election Nov. 6, but are unopposed, leaving them with the opportunity to not only focus on tasks at hand, but also to look ahead to the next two years.
But whether it’s a political opponent or more involvement on city boards, Vosburgh said she would like to see more people get involved with the city.
“I am concerned we don’t have more people involved, and I am considerably concerned that more citizens don’t come to the commission meetings,” she said.
Vosburgh said she was particularly concerned with the lack of public interest in the summer-long budget process.
“That is one of the things I plan to work on during my upcoming term,” she said. “It is so important that we keep the lines of communication open to all we serve.”
Vosburgh was appointed to the commission in 2010 following the resignation of former Mayor Michael Pierce, and when Ward 4 Commissioner Bob Bartelt vacated his seat to assume the mayoral role.
She went on to defeat mooring committee member Michael Harrington later that year to claim her spot on the dais for a full term. She will enter her second term following the Nov. 6 election.
“The reason that I want to continue to serve this community is because I feel very strongly that each of us should be obligated to do our share as citizens of this wonderful country,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how small the task may be. Remember what President John Kennedy said: Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”
Vosburgh said she believes in the “KISS” — Keep It Simple Stupid — philosophy of governing.
“I try to keep the KISS theory in all my decisions, as it seems like there are a lot of unnecessary procedures, which can be simplified with little to no effort,” she said. “Of course, my primary goal always has been and always will be to watch the expenses and taxes for the sake of our citizens.”
Vosburgh said she understands the job voters have chosen her to do, “and I will continue to serve the citizens as I always have. That’s my job.”
Straight won the commissioner’s race in 2010 after three decades in public service as Manatee County EMT chief, 911 emergency response center chief and as a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy.
Straight was initially undecided on serving a second term, saying his nonprofit Wildlife Inc. was time-demanding, but expressed his love for Bradenton Beach as the primary reason for serving a second term.
Just before filing his qualification papers in May, Straight said he enjoyed serving the citizens of Bradenton Beach.
“I know controversial things come up and there are times when you make a decision based on what the people you serve want,” he said. “There are also times you base a decision on what you know is best, and you hope to God you know the difference.”
He was in public safety for 29 years, including serving as EMT chief for 13 years and chief of the Manatee County 911-emergency center for seven years.
He was a 27-year MCSO reserve deputy before retiring in 2010 to run for office.
Candidates and challengers:
• Holmes Beach Mayor: Incumbent Rich Bohnenberger faces off against challenger Carmel Monti.
• Holmes Beach Commission: Incumbents Sandy Haas-Martens and John Monetti face challengers Judy Holmes Titsworth and Marvin Grossman for two seats.
• Manatee County Commission District 7 at-large: Betsy Benac defeated Joe McClash in the Aug. 14 primary to advance to the general election, where she faces write-in candidate Thomas Dell.
• Manatee County School Board District 2: Republican Dave “Watchdog” Miner, a member of the Anna Maria Island Kiwanis Club, came out on top of several candidates in the Aug. 14 primary election. The District 2 school board race was the closest race of the election, and Miner now will face Robert Moates for a second time in a runoff election.
Unopposed in the general election:
• Anna Maria City Commission: Charles Webb.
• Anna Maria City Commission: Nancy Yetter.
• Bradenton Beach City Commission: Ed Straight.
• Bradenton Beach City Commission: Jan Vosburgh.
• West Manatee Fire District Seat 1: Larry Jennis.
• West Manatee Fire District Seat 4: David Bishop.
• West Manatee Fire District Seat 5: Randy Cooper.
• Manatee County Commission District 2: John Chappie.
Elected during the primary election:
• Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube defeated William Waldron in the Republican primary election. With no Democrat in the race, Steube was re-elected.
• Manatee County School Board District 4, which includes Anna Maria Elementary School: Republican Bob Gause defeated Linda Schaich.
Dates to remember:
• Oct. 9: Final day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election.
• Oct. 19: Popcorn & Politics, political rally at The Islander newspaper, 5:30 p.m. Friday, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.
• Oct. 27: Early voting begins.
• Oct. 31: Final day to request an absentee ballot.
• Nov. 6: Absentee ballots must be received by 7 p.m.
• Nov. 6: General election.
Anna Maria Island voting precincts:
• Precinct 91, Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.
• Precinct 92, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 6608 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.
• Precinct 93, St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach.
• Precinct 94, Tingley Memorial Library, 6200 Second St. N., Bradenton Beach.