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Island elections: Speculation builds for Holmes Beach election

By Jennifer Glenfield, Islander Reporter

Speculation over the November Holmes Beach election is building.

Bob Johnson, who currently serves as the chair of the Holmes Beach Charter Review Committee and also has served on the traffic committee, collected a candidate packet at city hall — but declined to comment on a possible candidacy.

The candidate packet includes information and forms that must be filed for either a commission or mayoral seat during the June 16-20 qualifying period.

Meanwhile, Commission Chair Judy Titsworth, whose term is up in November, is hedging on whether she will run for re-election or take a run for mayor against David Zaccagnino, who has declared his intent to resign his commission seat with a year remaining in his term in order to run for the mayor’s seat.

“I don’t want him to run unopposed, so I’m waiting to see how it all plays out,” said Titsworth, referring to Johnson’s possible run for office.

Holmes Beach residents interested in becoming a candidate for mayor or commissioner must collect a candidate packet from city hall or the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office in Bradenton.

The packet contains the “how-to” for candidates, regulations and forms necessary to get on the November ballot.

Prospective candidates must fill out a statement of candidacy, declaring the position for which they are running, collect signatures from at least 15 registered voters in the city of Holmes Beach and open a campaign account with an assigned treasurer.

The city presently has 3,087 voters.

Prospective candidates also must complete a candidate’s oath of office and verify residency. Holmes Beach candidates must have resided in Holmes Beach for at least two years.

All of the necessary forms are contained in the packet, which must be turned into city hall during the qualifying period. The qualifying period opens at noon June 16 and closes at noon June 20.

Candidates also must pay a qualifying fee, which is equal to 10 percent of the income of the office sought. Running for mayor comes with a $120 qualifying fee, and commissioners $64.

 

AM election: Yetter ‘yes,’ other incumbents, ‘maybe’

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Anyone interested in a political career in Anna Maria may be hiding among the sea oats along the Gulf of Mexico.

With 10 days to go before qualifying begins for an elected office in the November election, only Commissioner Nancy Yetter has announced her intention to seek another term in office.

Two commission seats and the mayor’s post are up for election Nov. 4.

“I had to think about it, but I believe the city is moving forward and I want to be involved in getting things done and keeping Anna Maria a great place to live,” Yetter said.

Yetter’s husband Mike is her campaign treasurer, although no funds have been deposited in her campaign account.

Commissioner Chuck Webb remains in limbo. He has said he is “definitely a maybe” to seek a fifth consecutive term.

Mayor SueLynn had said she will make an announcement not later than June 9, the first day of qualifying in Anna Maria.

No other candidates have appeared on the political scene in the northern city on Anna Maria Island.

Anna Maria presently has 1,255 active voters, according to the Supervisor of Elections Office.

The city’s qualifying period is noon June 9 to noon June 20. Election packets are available at city hall, 10005 Gulf Drive.

Election fees and qualifying papers must be submitted to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office, 600 301 Blvd., No. 108, Bradenton.

The qualifying fee to run for mayor is $96, while to seek a commission seat the fee is $48. Fee waiver forms are available at the SOE office.

Anna Maria commissioners are paid $4,800 annually, while the mayor receives $9,600 in annual compensation for the job.

 

BB commissioners seek 3rd — final — terms

By Merab-Michal Favorite, Islander Reporter

The two Bradenton Beach commissioners whose terms are up for election Nov. 4 will run for third terms.

So far, no challengers have shown interest in the seats held by incumbents Ed Straight in Ward 2 and Jan Vosburgh in Ward 4.

However, residents have until June 20 to qualify for the ballot.

Both Vosburgh and Straight ran unopposed in 2012.

The commissioners said they have picked up their 2014 registration packets.

“I should have my account set up soon, so I can begin accepting campaign donations,” Straight said.

Bradenton Beach officials are limited to serving three consecutive terms in office, but with a hiatus of one term they could run again and reclaim a seat on the dais. Or they can run for mayor when that seat is on the city ballot.

“I’ve served on the commission for almost four years,” Straight said. “I believe my experience is important to keep congruency going; I’m thinking in the long term.”

Straight won his seat in 2010 after three decades in public service as Manatee County’s Emergency Medical Technician chief, emergency management chief, 911 emergency response center chief and as a reserve deputy sheriff.

When he’s not examining city policies, he helps his wife operate Wildlife Inc., a rehabilitation center for birds and small animals, from their home.

Straight plans to look to his hometown of St. Petersburg to gain insight on the parking problems that came to light in his second term.

He said he is excited to see some of the projects he and other commissioners have worked on coming to fruition after several years, most notably, the construction of a cell tower, the pier reconstruction and a series of stormwater upgrades.

Vosburgh said she uses her experience as a storeowner, caretaker and problem-solver when looking at city issues.

“I take care of my people in Ward 4,” she said. “I’ve always been a problem solver.”

Originally from Wisconsin, Vosburgh found herself in unfamiliar territory when she and her husband moved to Utah to adopt and raise five nieces and nephews after their father unexpectedly died.

“We didn’t know what to do for work out there,” she said. “But I had always liked interior design so we decided to open a furniture store.”

After running a business for nearly 30 years, Vosburgh chose Bradenton Beach as her home in 1986.

She began her political career when she was drafted by the commission to fill the seat held by Bob Bartelt, who took over as mayor in August 2010.

After a few months at the dais, she decided to run for Ward 4 commissioner and won the majority vote.

Candidate packets are available at the city clerk’s office at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N., or at the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office, 600 301 Blvd. W., Bradenton.

The city presently has 768 voters.

Applicants are required to have established residency within the city for 90 days and be registered to vote in the ward for which they qualify.

The candidate must pay a qualifying fee equal to 1 percent of the annual salary for the office sought — $96 for mayor, $48 for commission seat — and obtain 10 petition signatures of voters residing in the city.

 

Becoming a voter

Voters can check their registration status by going online to VoteManatee.com, or at the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office, 600 301 Blvd., W., Suite 108, Bradenton.

Registered voters in Manatee County must:

• Be a citizen of the United States.

• Be a legal Florida resident.

• Be at least 18 years old.

Convicted felons may not vote without first having their civil rights restored.

Manatee County residents must register to vote 29 days before an election. To vote in the statewide Aug. 26 primary, voters must be registered by July 28.

To vote in the November election, registration must be completed by Oct. 7. Voter registration forms can be filled out online, requested by phone at 941-741-3823, or picked up at the supervisor of elections office, driver’s license offices, public libraries, city halls and chambers of commerce.

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