HB sees grab for mayor’s seat

A political game of musical chairs in Holmes Beach may result in a race for the seat vacated by the mayor.

The race for popularity and votes could pit the all-time highest city vote-getter against a descendant of the city’s namesake.

Holmes Beach Commissioner David Zaccagnino formally announced May 7 at an Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Eat Here in Holmes Beach that he will run for mayor in November.

“Several people have asked me, so I decided to step up,” Zaccagnino said. “I think right now it’s important to get the administration working properly,” adding he believes the commission is presently on a “good path.”

Zaccagnino has been a Holmes Beach commissioner for nine years, winning five elections, mostly by wide margins. He is a financial planner at Ameriprise Financial in Sarasota.

Mayor Carmel Monti is not seeking re-election in November.

“I think we really achieved a great deal, myself, the new people and the commission,” Monti said.

The mayor said two main reasons contribute to his decision against a second term: His business has suffered as a result of time spent on his duties as mayor, and he has been met with overwhelming disrespect.

“The issue is more a lack of respectfulness and fair play. That saddens me. It’s the downfall of our political system,” said Monti.

According to Sharon Steif, chief deputy at the supervisor of elections office, Zaccagnino must submit a letter to city clerk Stacey Johnston resigning his commission seat 10 days before the start of the election qualifying period, which, for Holmes Beach, will be June 6.

The qualifying period is June 16-20.

Steif said Zaccagnino will continue to serve as commissioner until the November election.

Because he must resign his seat on the commission to run for mayor, the remainder of Zaccagnino’s term, through November 2015, will be filled with the election of a third commissioner on the Nov. 4 ballot, along with the seats held by Commission Chair Judy Titsworth and Commissioner Marvin Grossman.

Titsworth said she plans to run for office in November, but is undecided on a run for mayor. She is a descendent of the city’s namesake, John Holmes Sr.

Grossman declined to comment, adding he will make an announcement in a few weeks.

Holmes Beach commissioners are paid $6,000 per year, while the mayor earns $12,000. The election is nonpartisan. All offices are for a two-year term and there are no term limits in Holmes Beach.

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