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Holmes Beach officials wish for peace, pedestrian friendliness

By Kathy Prucnell, Islander Reporter

Newly elected Holmes Beach Mayor Carmel Monti and city commissioners are pretty much in agreement about their wishes to start 2013.

For the new year, they all want peace and harmony to reign over the city’s building issues.

“After we get our hands wrapped around the building issues, and there’s peace and harmony, I hope we can strike a balance between residents and rentals,” Monti said.

He pointed to the 20 percent loss of residents since 2000 in all three island cities, and hopes more people will live in the city and participate in the community.

“I know people who are moving out or planning to move out because of the character changing,” Monti said, adding he wants to stop the community from becoming resort-dominated like Daytona Beach or Siesta Key.

As for his wishes during his term of office, he said he’d like to see an emphasis toward a pedestrian-friendly community, with crosswalks and traffic circles, and grant money to fund the downtown development.

“Right now, I feel like Holmes Beach is just a drive through town. We don’t have a Bridge Street or a Pine (Avenue),” Monti said, referring to Bradenton Beach and Anna Maria downtown areas.

As for his own wishes, he wants to combine good business sense with government.

“I don’t want the government to run us. I want the people to run the government,” Monti said. “I want to think out of the box. If it’s for the betterment of Holmes Beach, and not immoral or illegal, tell me how it can be done.”

 

Commission Chair Jean Peelen

“For the city, I would like a complete commitment to retaining our lovely, old Florida town — our quirky city,” Peelen said.

Until the end of her term in office in 2013 — and she’s undecided about running for another two years — she wants to continue her commitment to the city.

She also hopes for good health for herself, family and friends.

 

Commissioner David Zaccagnino

“I really want to work on our downtown area and make it a better place — more pedestrian friendly to help the small businesses and shops.”

He also is looking forward to working on the charter in 2013.

As far as his own wishes, he said, “I’ve got everything I want.”

 

Commissioner Judy Titsworth

Newcomer to the commission in November, Titsworth agrees with a need for balance in the Residential-2 zone.

She also hopes for a renewed sense of community, which, she says, will come from confidence in city leaders who work for the people within the vision established by the city’s fathers.

She also wants to make certain the city’s land development code is consistent with its comprehensive plan.

For herself, she’s wishing for “continued strength in dealing with adversaries in order to fight for what is right for the city of Holmes Beach, for its businesses, and for its residents.”

 

Commissioner Marvin Grossman

Elected Nov. 6 for his first two-year term, Grossman wants to fulfill all of his promises from the election, and “make citizens feel like they have a voice in the government.”

He hopes to encourage future residents with community building activities.

“I see Holmes Beach as a residential community that welcomes visitors to share the island’s natural beauty,” Grossman said. “We have to remember why we came here. When we crossed the bridge, we saw a place you can actually live in. Not a tourist resort.”

For himself in 2013 and for his term in office, he hopes to spend his “complete energy” on giving back to the city because he enjoys it.

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