Bradenton Beach Commissioners Jan Vosburgh and Ed Straight were sworn into office Nov. 19 at Bradenton Beach City Hall in front of a gallery that included Manatee County Commissioners John Chappie and Carol Whitmore.
The county commissioners were on hand to congratulate Vosburgh and Straight on their desire to continue to serve the community of Bradenton Beach. The two incumbents were unopposed in the 2012 elections.
Chappie is a resident and former mayor of Bradenton Beach.
Though Thanksgiving has passed, there were plenty of reasons to give thanks following the ceremony.
“I’m thankful to live in this beautiful community of Bradenton Beach,” said Vosburgh. “I’m also thankful for the opportunity to serve the wonderful people who live here.”
Straight said he is thankful he chose to make Bradenton Beach his home 38 years ago.
“I’ve seen the city grow over the years,” he said. “We have a great community here. There will always be disagreements, but we have a very good little city and I hope everything continues as it has.”
Both commissioners look forward to resuming their terms on the dais and feel they are up to the task.
“When I first took office, I was told it would take two years to learn the job, and I believe that’s true,” said Vosburgh. “I’m feeling very comfortable in my role as commissioner now and am better prepared to fulfill my promise to the citizens to continue to keep costs down and watch tax dollars carefully.”
Vosburgh said she has built a great relationship between herself and her constituents and looks forward to continuing that effort.
“I’m a part of this community, too. I’m very active in the community as a citizen, public servant and as a volunteer,” she said. “I believe if you work with citizens directly, most of the problems can be easily solved before they feel the need to come to the city. If you are going to be a commissioner, you have to believe that you can make positive things happen.”
Straight said the city faces many challenges in the coming years, and he is determined to face them from his seat on the dais.
“Getting all of the drainage problems solved to everyone’s satisfaction is not easy just because of the nature of living at sea level,” he said. “But we definitely have been working on it and I think we have made good progress.”
Straight said commissioners face a tough challenge in the coming weeks in revisiting the city’s noise ordinance. While both commissioners said Bradenton Beach’s noise issues are vastly different from the other island cities, “making everyone happy will be difficult,” said Straight.
Vosburgh said the realities are that Bradenton Beach is considered more of a recreational town than Holmes Beach or Anna Maria, but she looks forward to working toward a compromise between residents, businesses and resorts.