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Silent commissioner says goodbye

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick, center in red shirt, helps cut the ribbon officially opening the new boardwalk and covered rest areas at the Anna Maria City Pier in March 2012. Mattick served six years as an Anna Maria city commissioner before deciding not to seek re-election this year. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

Anna Maria commission meetings the past six years, Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick always gave the impression of the strong, silent type on the dais.

She would often sit and wait out 30 minutes to an hour or more of discussions by other commissioners or public comment before speaking, and then only when she found it necessary or had something she believed important to add.

“I only talked when I had something I felt was important to the discussion. I didn’t think it was my job to give long-winded speeches about my thoughts or positions on issues,” she said.

“But it was time to go. I promised myself that if I won in 2010, it would be my last term. I’m more than 70 years old and I want to spend time with my kids and grandkids.

“I don’t know how I did as a commissioner, that’s for others to judge, but I do believe we accomplished a lot in the six years I was a commissioner.”

Indeed. Probably her most important achievement was writing the grant that obtained funding for the Anna Maria City Pier boardwalk, gazebos and landscaping. She actually wrote the grant before being elected to her first term in 2006, and participated in the planning and completion in 2011.

“But there were other things. That was just a beautification project that I thought would really make the pier more old Florida and give older people with difficulty walking an easy way to get onto the pier and watch the waters and activity,” she said.

She mentioned the city’s purchase of the six lots at the Pine Avenue-Bay Boulevard intersection, the restructured Pine Avenue parking plan and the comprehensive plan amendment for the environmental and preservation zones as other commission accomplishments during her tenure.

Mattick is still worried that vacation rentals may take over the city and the commission has little control over how a house is used, but she’s confident the city will overcome the issue.

“People take pride in our Anna Maria. It’s a slice of old Florida that I hope never changes.

“Commissioners are taking action against the few rowdy party-goers and I think we’re on the right path.

I certainly enjoyed my time as a commissioner and want to thank my colleagues and the city staff for all their help,” Mattick said.

“Being a commissioner was an experience I’ll never forget, and it’s not a bad thing to tell people you used to be a city commissioner.”

Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn said Mattick will be missed on the commission, and she hopes the former commissioner will be available in the future to give her wisdom and knowledge to herself and commissioners.

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