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HB selects of special master for Mainsail mediation

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

Holmes Beach selected Steven M. “Steve” Seibert at an April 30 special meeting to serve as special master to preside over the city’s dispute with Mainsail.

Attorney Robert Lincoln, on behalf of Mainsail, served the city with a petition for relief April 18 after the commission voted 3-2 March 26 to revoke Mainsail’s site plan for a project on Marina Drive to build a lodge, restaurant and other amenities.

As part of the process, the city was required to send its options for a special master.

Commissioners approved three recommendations of Seibert, Carlos Alvarez and Dennis Stotts, but Mainsail objected to Stotts, a senior attorney at Lewis, Longman & Walker. Stotts has performed mediation work in the city of Anna Maria, and Petruff previously noted that Stotts had little experience in a proceeding like the one before the city.

Mainsail did not object to Seibert or Alvarez, leaving the city the right to choose from two attorneys.

“They are both highly qualified, both are acceptable to Mainsail and myself,” said Petruff. “Both also quoted the same price of $300 an hour.”

Commissioners were initially divided in their recommendation. Commission Chair Jean Peelen and Commissioner Judy Titsworth agreed that Seibert had the most experience.

Commissioners Pat Morton and Marvin Grossman said either recommendation would be a good pick, and relented from recommending Alvarez to give Petruff a unanimous consensus to notify Seibert that he has the job.

“Tomorrow I will send a copy of the petition information and the city’s response to Mr. Seibert, requesting him to be the special master,” said Petruff.

Seibert is the founding member of TriSect LLC, a strategy consulting firm focusing on civic innovation in both the public and private sectors.

He was selected by former Gov. Jeb Bush in 1996 to lead Florida’s Department of Community Affairs. During his service, Bush called Seibert an “Outstanding public servant.”

He went on to serve in various capacities for the state.

He also has been a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator for 20 years. He is a recipient of the Excellence in Mediation award, among his accomplishments.

 

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