Tag Archives: 11-07-2012

Challengers sweep Holmes Beach, countywide results….

At 7 p.m. Nov. 6, the 2012 general election came to an end. After weeks and months of ads, political rallies, fundraisers and local candidates knocking on doors to get their messages to the voters, the results and the races have been decided.

In what many saw as a close and sometimes heated political race in the nonpartisan battle for seats on the Holmes Beach dais, as well as who will lead the city as mayor, the election had surprising results.

Election results are not finalized until the state canvassing board signs off on the election, but the unofficial results from 113 of Manatee County’s 113 precincts are as follows:

In the mayoral race, it was Carmel Monti defeating incumbent Rich Bohnenberger with a margin of victory totaling 1,318 to 1,102 votes.

The race for two Holmes Beach commission seats up for grabs saw challengers Judy Holmes Titsworth and Marvin Grossman in a bid to unseat incumbent Commissioners Sandy Haas-Martens and John Monetti.

The two candidates with the highest vote totals would win the day. Titsworth secured a seat with the largest number of votes at 1,628. Also securing a seat on the dais was Grossman with 1,142 votes. The two challengers were successful in ousting both incumbents.

Monetti received 862 votes, while Haas-Martens rounded out the the losing bid with 832 votes.

Titsworth, Grossman and Monti will be sworn into office at HB city hall at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19, although they were bound to abide the Florida Governmen-in-the-Sunshine Laws the evening of Nov. 6, when the election was certified by the supervisor of elections.

Bradenton Beach Commissioners Jan Vosburgh and Ed Straight were unopposed and retain their seats. Anna Maria Commissioner Chuck Webb also was unopposed in securing another term on the dais. Nancy Yetter was the sole candidate to qualify for the second open Anna Maria seat during the primary election and wins her seat by default.

Vosburgh and Straight will be sworn into their second terms Monday, Nov. 12. Webb and Yetter will be sworn into office Nov. 15.

Manatee County Commission District 7
Vying for the Manatee County Commission District 7 at-large seat was Betsy Benac, who all but secured the victory when she defeated longtime incumbent Joe McClash in the Aug. 14 primary. She advanced to the Nov. 6 election to face write-in candidate Thomas Dell. Benac secured the victory with 110,689 votes to the write-in’s 5,937.
Bradenton Beach’s John Chappie was unopposed for the District 2 county commission seat.

Manatee County School Board District 2
The nonpartisan Manatee County School Board District 2 race has been the tightest of all races since the Aug. 14 primary election.
Dave “Watchdog” Miner, a member of the Anna Maria Island Kiwanis Club received the largest percentage of votes in the primary, but Robert Moates was close behind, forcing a runoff in the Nov. 6 general election.
The general election was not as close with Miner winning the final tally with 83,360 votes compared to Moates’ 48,375.

West Manatee Fire District
There were three seats up for grabs in the West Manatee Fire District in Districts 1, 4 and 5. All three candidates were unopposed Nov. 6. They include Larry Jennis for District 1, David Bishop for District 4 and Randy Cooper for District 5.

Elected during the primary election
Two elections were decided during the Aug. 14 primary election.
Incumbent Republican Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube defeated William Waldron. No Democrat entered the race, making the primary election the deciding day in the sheriff’s race.
It was the same scenario in the Manatee County School Board District 4 race, which includes Anna Maria Elementary School. Republican Bob Gause defeated Linda Schaich to seal the election win.

Contested election results by island precinct:
Holmes Beach Mayor
• Precinct 92, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 6608 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.
Carmel Monti: 666
Rich Bohnenberger: 532
• Precinct 93
Carmel Monti: 652
Rich Bohnenberger: 570
Holmes Beach Commission
• Precinct 92
John Monetti: 433
Judy Holmes Titsworth: 801
Marvin Grossman: 580
Sandy Haas-Martens: 414
• Precinct 93, St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach.
John Monetti: 429
Judy Holmes Titsworth: 827
Marvin Grossman: 562
Sandy Haas-Martens: 418

Manatee County County Commission District 7
• Precinct 91, Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.
Betsy Benac: 687
Write-in: 36
• Precinct 92, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 6608 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.
Betsy Benac: 929
Write-in: 56
• Precinct 93, St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach.
Betsy Benac: 878
Write-in: 57
• Precinct 94, Tingley Memorial Library, 6200 Second St. N., Bradenton Beach.
Betsy Benac: 459
Write-in: 22

Manatee County School Board District 2
• Precinct 91, Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.
Dave Miner: 633
Robert Moates: 278
• Precinct 92, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 6608 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.
Dave Miner: 752
Robert Moates: 361
• Precinct 93, St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach.
Dave Miner: 777
Robert Moates: 362
• Precinct 94, Tingley Memorial Library, 6200 Second St. N., Bradenton Beach.
Dave Miner: 408
Robert Moates: 166

Registered voter numbers
According to the supervisor of elections office, as of Oct. 25, there are 210,261 registered voters in Manatee County.
Republicans make up the majority of registered county voters with 90,192. There are 68,353 registered Democrats and third-party voters have a representation of 51,716.
Republicans also outnumber Democrats on Anna Maria Island.
In the city of Anna Maria, there are 1,313 registered voters with 616 registered Republicans. There are 389 registered Democrats with 86 voters representing third parties.
Bradenton Beach has 930 registered voters, 376 registered Republicans, 291 registered Democrats and a third-party representation of 62.
Holmes Beach boasts the largest voting contingency on the island with 3,291 registered voters. There are 1,521 Republicans, 935 Democrats and 242 voters registered to third parties.
Early voting in Manatee County consisted of 16,343 votes cast.

2012 General Election

Unofficial Results

Results Includes: All Absentees, Early Votes

Precincts Reporting 113 out of 113

President/Vice President
Romney/Ryan 85,455 (55.68%)
Obama/Biden 66,276 (43.18%)
Stevens/Link 80 (0.052%)
Johnson/Gray 783 (0.510%)
Goode/Clymer 56 (0.036%)
Stein/Honkala 191 (0.124%)
Barnett/Cross 8 (0.005%)
Alexander/Mendoza 14 (0.009%)
Lindsay/Osorio 1 (0.000%)
Barr/Sheehan 169 (0.110%)
Hoefling/Ellis 15 (0.009%)
Anderson/Rodriguez 37 (0.024%)
Write-in 375 (0.244%)
US Senate
Connie Mack 70,596 (47.23%)
Bill Nelson 73,753 (49.34%)
Bill Gaylor 3,252 (2.175%)
Chris Borgia 1,677 (1.121%)
Write-in 192 (0.128%)
Rep in Congress Dist 16
Vern Buchanan 81,012 (54.98%)
Keith Fitzgerald 66,322 (45.01%)
Rep in Congress Dist 17
Tom Rooney 1,480 (71.49%)
William Bronson 586 (28.30%)
Write-in 4 (0.193%)
State Attorney
Ed Brodsky 82,534 (56.68%)
John Torraco 63,076 (43.31%)
State Senator Dist 26
Bill Galvano 83,493 (61.18%)
Paula House 52,965 (38.81%)
State Representative Dist 71
Jim Boyd 35,017 (57.11%)
Adam Tebrugge 26,291 (42.88%)
State Representative Dist 73
Greg Steube 51,310 (73.70%)
Bob (Doc) McCann 18,301 (26.29%)
Clerk of Circuit Court
R B Chips Shore 120,089 (97.24%)
Write-in 3,400 (2.753%)
County Commission Dist 1
Larry Bustle 19,769 (61.76%)
Corie Holmes 12,239 (38.23%)
County Commission Dist 5
Vanessa Baugh 23,525 (64.87%)
James T. Golden 12,736 (35.12%)
County Commission Dist 7
Betsy Benac 110,689 (94.90%)
Write-in 5,937 (5.090%)
Supervisor of Elections
Michael S. Bennett 81,857 (57.16%)
Charles N Williams 59,365 (41.45%)
Write-in 1,969 (1.375%)
School Board Dist 2
Dave Watchdog Miner 83,360 (63.27%)
Robert Moates 48,375 (36.72%)
Supreme Court Justice – Lewis
YES 87,536 (65.60%)
NO 45,895 (34.39%)
Supreme Court Justice – Pariente
YES 88,919 (66.10%)
NO 45,588 (33.89%)
Supreme Court Justice – Quince
YES 88,198 (65.85%)
NO 45,739 (34.14%)
District Court of Appeal – Black
YES 92,639 (71.48%)
NO 36,955 (28.51%)
District Court of Appeal – Casanueva
YES 90,816 (70.34%)
NO 38,280 (29.65%)
District Court of Appeal – Davis
YES 93,439 (72.60%)
NO 35,261 (27.39%)
District Court of Appeal – LaRose
YES 92,738 (72.25%)
NO 35,611 (27.74%)
Cedar Hammock Fire Dist Seat 5
Stephen Litschauer 11,563 (74.86%)
Emil Plichta 3,883 (25.13%)
East Manatee Fire Dist Seat 4
James D. Bon Ami 15,916 (66.33%)
Alison B. Center 8,078 (33.66%)
North River Fire Dist Seat 6
Bebo W. Smith 8,493 (42.01%)
Scott R. Smith 11,720 (57.98%)
Parrish Fire Dist – Seat 1
David Agee 3,279 (60.78%)
Sawyer Ramsey 2,115 (39.21%)
Parrish Fire Dist – Seat 2
Edward G. Chitty 3,575 (66.80%)
Caleb J. Hynson 1,776 (33.19%)
Southern Manatee Fire Dist – Seat 2
Daniel J. Center 9,477 (45.89%)
John R. Howell 5,799 (28.08%)
Robert A. Kulchar Jr 5,374 (26.02%)
Southern Manatee Fire Dist – Seat 4
John J. Barry III 8,199 (39.40%)
James J Cena 12,607 (60.59%)
Greyhawk Landing CDD – Seat 2
John A. DiPalma 526 (52.02%)
Michael P. Plaia 485 (47.97%)
Heritage Harbour South CDD – Seat 1
Richard D. Lane 617 (57.23%)
Philip Martinetti 461 (42.76%)
Heritage Harbour South CDD – Seat 2
Barbara B. Aulenbach 417 (38.32%)
Michelle Patterson 671 (61.67%)
Lakewood Ranch CDD2 – Seat 1
Michael L. Finney 1,099 (75.11%)
Jerry M. Twiggs 364 (24.88%)
Lakewood Ranch CDD5 – Seat 4
Thomas Leavey 553 (53.53%)
Edward Richardson 480 (46.46%)
Tara CDD – Seat 4
Darby Connor 391 (42.96%)
Michael C. Dyer 519 (57.03%)
Waterlefe CDD – Seat 2
Mark Kalish 408 (64.86%)
Richard G. Donoghue 221 (35.13%)
Waterlefe CDD – Seat 4
Gary J. Corson 254 (43.19%)
Christopher P. Hogan 334 (56.80%)
City of Bradenton – Mayor
Marianne Barnebey 5,414 (28.06%)
Richard O’Brien 6,291 (32.61%)
Wayne H. Poston 7,586 (39.32%)
City of Bradenton Ward 2
Gene Brown 9,700 (55.99%)
George Mendez 4,955 (28.60%)
Binnie N. Williams 2,669 (15.40%)
City of Holmes Beach – Mayor
Rich Bohnenberger 1,102 (45.53%)
Carmel Monti 1,318 (54.46%)
City of Holmes Beach – Commission
Marvin Grossman 1,142 (25.58%)
Sandy Haas-Martens 832 (18.63%)
John A. Monetti 862 (19.31%)
Judy H Titsworth 1,628 (36.46%)
City of Palmetto Commission – Ward 1
Carolyn L. Higdon 322 (38.15%)
Charles B. Smith 522 (61.84%)
City of Palmetto At Lrg Seat 1
Jonathan L. Davis 2,244 (54.13%)
Eric F. Gilbert 1,901 (45.86%)
Amendment #1
YES 68,559 (48.97%)
NO 71,416 (51.02%)
Amendment #2
YES 93,103 (64.68%)
NO 50,834 (35.31%)
Amendment #3
YES 57,084 (40.89%)
NO 82,487 (59.10%)
Amendment #4
YES 55,475 (39.84%)
NO 83,756 (60.15%)
Amendment #5
YES 49,717 (36.55%)
NO 86,304 (63.44%)
Amendment #6
YES 64,953 (44.64%)
NO 80,521 (55.35%)
Amendment #8
YES 61,751 (43.73%)
NO 79,438 (56.26%)
Amendment #9
YES 92,425 (64.20%)
NO 51,519 (35.79%)
Amendment #10
YES 71,492 (51.21%)
NO 68,103 (48.78%)
Amendment #11
YES 86,780 (60.69%)
NO 56,203 (39.30%)
Amendment #12
YES 53,523 (40.08%)
NO 80,003 (59.91%)
LBK Referendum #1
YES 978 (61.27%)
NO 618 (38.72%)
LBK Referendum #2
YES 1,000 (62.34%)
NO 604 (37.65%)

Newcomers win Holmes Beach commission, mayor’s seat

Carmel Monti, a five-year-resident, has defeated eight-year incumbent Holmes Beach Mayor Rich Bohnenberger with a message to bring the city’s construction practices and rental properties into compliance with city codes.

In his campaign, Bohnenberger outspent Monti by two to one, $6,861 to $3,407 as of the Nov. 2 campaign financing reports.

Monti will take office for a two-year term and a $12,000 salary.

The supervisor of elections website reports the final results for the Nov. 6 election are Monti, 1,318 votes, or 54.46 percent of the vote, while Bohnenberger had 1,102 votes, or 45.53 percent of the vote.

The mayor serves a two-year term.

Holmes Beach voters cast their ballots at precinct 92, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, and precinct 93, St. Bernard Catholic Church.

In Monti’s campaign, he criticized the city’s lack of responsiveness to residents’ complaints and lack of action to retain the character of the island. Monti vowed to involve citizens in the process during his administration.

Marvin Grossman and Judy Titsworth also won in the hotly contested Holmes Beach city commission election, ousting two long-term incumbents.

Titsworth proved to be the top vote-getter with 1,628 votes or 36.46 percent of the vote. Voters had a choice of two for commissioner on the ballot.

Grossman also won a seat with 1,142 votes, or 25.58 percent of the vote.

Commissioners also will serve two-year terms.

Fourteen-year incumbent Commissioner Sandy Haas-Martens had 832 votes,

John Monetti, who first won a seat on the commission in 2006, tallied 862 votes.

“I believe it’s very positive. They’ve all been waving and beeping their horns,” Grossman said as he campaigned at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church during the vote.

“I’ve been right out here at the polls,” Grossman said. “I’ve been able to answer the voters’ questions, and also to listen to the voters.”

Grossman, a 13-year-resident, was recently appointed alternate to the code enforcement board.

As to the future of Holmes Beach, he said, “I think it’s exciting for Holmes Beach. We have a great opportunity for us, and the citizens who help who elect us to get together and create a community — an authentic old Florida community.”

According to state election laws, Grossman will be required to resign his seat on the code board before being sworn in as a commissioner.

The swearing-in for the new officials will take place at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19, at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

Community center names new director

The Anna Maria Island Community Center board of directors has named Dawn Stiles of Portland, Maine, as the center’s new executive director.

Stiles officially joins the staff Nov. 12, but will be spending time between work here and in Maine, completing her employment obligation with Spurlink Services, a company providing behavioral health services to more than 5,500 people in Maine.

Center president Greg Ross said it was a long and difficult task to select a replacement for Pierrette Kelly, who served 22 years through the end of October as executive director.

“We are pleased to have Dawn join the leadership team at the community center. I’m excited,” Ross said. He added that Stiles will begin working with interim director Scott Dell, Kelly and center staff for a week, beginning Nov. 12. He expects her to officially start full-time “no later than April 1, 2013.”

Stiles already has a foot in the door on Anna Maria Island. Board member David Teitelbaum said she owns a condo in Bradenton Beach. “She missed the first round of applicants,” he said, which had failed to find a replacement. But she shared with him early on in their talks that she had been traveling from Tampa to Maine and reading The Islander on the airplane when she saw the center was looking for a new director — and quickly applied.

“She really stood out,” Teitelbaum said. “We are lucky to get her.”

Stiles will attend weekly staff meetings by teleconference call or in person until she has completed her obligations in Maine.

“The passion of my core is for the community,” Stiles said. “I am very anxious and excited to assume the role of executive director of the community center and to get to know my neighbors and members of the Anna Maria Island community,” she said.

Stiles has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine, as well as a master’s degree from UM in social work, and also holds a clinical social workers license.

Obama wins AME kids’ vote

The vote of our future electorate is in: Anna Maria Elementary School elected President Barack Obama to a second term at the top spot in the nation.

        In a schoolwide election put on by Lynne McDonough of the AME media center, President Obama garnered 139 votes to challenger Mitt Romney’s 114.

        “It will be so interesting to see if these numbers follow the adult vote on Tuesday,” said AME guidance counselor Cindi Harrison in an email.

        “We had a great time and it was an important lesson in responsibility for our kids,” she said.

        According to Harrison, Hurricane Sandy caused delays in tallying final figures from participating schools in the nationwide eWeeklyStudies mock election.

        As of Nov. 2, she said 1,044,238 students had voted.

        The mock national popular vote was 615,916 for Obama and 428,322 for Romney. Obama also won the electoral vote, 483 to 55 for Romney.

        Obama took 57 percent of the vote in Manatee County and 65 percent statewide.

AM charter review proposes major change

In a break with the charters of many Florida municipalities, Anna Maria’s Charter Review Committee at its Oct. 31 meeting recommended amending a requirement that a former official cannot accept employment with the city until one year has passed since he or she left office.

Committee member Tom Breiter said he researched the issue and found a number Florida cities, including Sanibel, that allow a former elected official to take a job with the city if approved by four-fifths (80 percent) of commissioners.

Breiter said he was not advocating any position, just pointing out alternatives.

Committee chair Howard Payne noted that as the charter reads now, a departing commissioner could not give the city his or her advice or counsel on an issue and be compensated.

City attorney Jim Dye said the committee also should make it clear that an elected official can run for re-election or another office. As the charter reads now, there is some ambiguity.

“Employment is a mischievous word,” Dye said. “Is it appointed, hired or elected? Focus on the office and under what circumstances is it appropriate for the former official to be compensated,” he said.

Payne said he would draft wording that would make it clear that no current or former city official can hold a compensated office with the city within one year after leaving elected office unless approved by a four-fifths majority of the commission.

He will also write a separate section clarifying that the provision does not exclude an elected official from running for re-election or another elected office in the city.

Committee adviser Tom Aposporos said the four-fifths super-majority provision makes sense. Committee member George Barford agreed.

It keeps the “old boy network” from coming into play, he observed.

When the charter recommendations are completed by the committee, they will be turned over to the commission for review. The commission will ultimately decide what voters will face.

The next committee meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15.

Payne noted the meeting must be kept short because the city commission’s organizational meeting is at 6 p.m. that day.

Commissioner-resident spike BB cell tower feud

During public comment at a Nov. 1 Bradenton Beach city meeting, city resident Jo Ann Meilner accused Commissioner Ric Gatehouse of throwing mud at consultant Lawrence “Rusty” Monroe of Center for Municipal Services over the ongoing cell tower issue.

Gatehouse called the ordinance drafted by Monroe for the city obstructionist and financially beneficial to CMS. He asked the commission to repeal or amend it.

Monroe has since said he will no longer work with the city, but a handful of citizens remain outspoken in defense of CMS and the agreement the city entered under a former administration.

Meilner said the ordinance was written and reviewed according to city rules.

“CMS’s work and integrity is unparalleled,” said Meilner, who noted the commissioners should understand their own ordinances. “You violated the agreement with CMS,” she told commissioners.

Meilner then singled out Gatehouse, saying, “Ric, you seem to be prone to throw mud at any issue you don’t like.”

Meilner’s depiction of Gatehouse as a mudslinger did not sit well with the commissioner, but Mayor John Shaughnessy previously recommended commissioners not respond to public comment deemed to be negative.

Gatehouse complied with that request. However, he spoke to The Islander Nov. 2 to respond to the accusations levied by Meilner and others.

“I want the citizens to know I am not a mudslinger,” said Gatehouse. “I never say anything without thoroughly researching it and having facts at hand to back up my statements.”

Gatehouse said when he first looked at the cell tower ordinance, a number of issues were identified that could create problems for the city due to the ordinance restricting the city’s control over the process and fee structure.

“This could result in a third party holding local businesses for ransom,” said Gatehouse, who noted it has happened.

“During my investigation of the AMI Radio application, I found my fears had already been realized,” he said.

Gatehouse said when AMI submitted its application, it first appeared city staff could handle it, and Monroe was contacted as a courtesy.

“But Monroe insisted this application was under his purview and that he was to be the sole reviewer under the ordinance,” said Gatehouse. “The ambiguity of the ordinance in this regard left the staff with their hands tied.”

Gatehouse said CMS then solicited funds from AMI Radio to even consider its application, saying that amounted to extortion.

“CMS sidestepped city involvement and directly communicated with AMI Radio to solicit substantial fee amounts to be paid by AMI directly to CMS via check in order for CMS to even look at this application,” he said.

Gatehouse said the amount solicited by CMS just to look at their application was $1,000.

“This is exactly the kind of situation that I foresaw happening,” he said. “It is inappropriate and outrageous that a third party should directly solicit funds from local businesses in order to perform a review that should be done in-house at city hall in the first place.”

Gatehouse said Monroe’s prior protests of his comments, as well as Meilner’s “glowing recommendations of CMS,” would not deter him from looking out for Bradenton Beach businesses.

“As long as I am sitting on this commission, I will not allow our local businesses and citizens to be subjected to this kind of outrageous behavior,” he said.

Bradenton Beach to discuss tightening noise ordinance

While Bradenton Beach Mayor John Shaughnessy admitted he had promised a review of the city’s noise ordinance in August, he also noted that the land-development code revisions were on a deadline.

LDC revisions were required to be completed and submitted to the state by Oct. 31 in order to come into compliance with the comprehensive plan.

At a Nov. 1 commission meeting, commissioners received a little help from Tjet Martin, co-owner of the Linger Longer Resort, who has been pushing for a new noise ordinance.

The letter consisted of a number of other ordinances around the state that have been challenged in courts in order to provide commissioners with a list of ideas that may or may not work in Bradenton Beach.

Shaughnessy said he is anxious to begin work on the ordinance, “but we are not quite done with the LDC and the building official and police chief also need to be involved. We are going to keep it under old business and as soon as these other things are done, we are going to do it.”

Commissioner Ric Gatehouse thanked Martin, who was in attendance, for providing a wealth of background information.

“I want to thank you for this email,” he said. “It lists and addresses some of the problems of those other ordinances. I appreciate you doing the background work. When we get to this, we want to craft an ordinance that is fair, enforceable and can withstand any challenges.”

In other city matters, commissioners agreed 4-0 to approve a letter of no objection for a planned development project for five lots in the 2500 block of Gulf Drive North.

City planner Alan Garrett said the plots are zoned Residential-3 and the developer could build duplexes, but instead wants to build five single-family homes.

Commissioner Gay Breuler asked Garrett to define a single-family home under Bradenton Beach codes.

“There are four aspects to a single-family home,” said Garrett. “Living, sleeping, cooking and sanitation. The key is cooking. You can only have one kitchen area.”

Hinting at the ongoing rental issues in Holmes Beach and Anna Maria, Breuler asked if there was anything on the Bradenton Beach books regarding the number of bedrooms that can exist in a single-family home.

“No,” said Garrett. “I understand the concern. If we have plans that show a den and a library, the ability to go back and put beds in there is very difficult for us to do anything about.”

Gatehouse motioned to draft the required letter of no objection for the development proposal to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which passed 4-0.

Commissioners also voted 4-0 to approve special event applications for the Dec. 15 Christmas on Bridge Street event and the Dec. 15 Save the Sleigh benefit for the Anna Maria Island Privateers at the Drift In.

Special event applications also were approved for the seventh annual Winterfest Arts and Craft Show Jan. 12-13 and the 17th annual Coquina Tides Arts and Craft Show March 2-3. Both events are at Coquina Beach to benefit the Wildlife Rehab & Education Center.

BB dingy dock opens, pier construction on hold

Good and not so good news came out of the Nov. 1 Bradenton Beach city pier meeting at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.

Public works director Tom Woodard announced that work was finished on the dingy dock across from the BridgeTender Inn and Dockside Bar. That dock was destroyed during June’s Tropical Storm Debby.

Federal Emergency Management Agency funds paid for the dingy dock work and Woodard said the city awaits one final signature from FEMA to begin work on the floating dock adjacent to the Historic Bridge Street Pier.

The floating dock was closed weeks before Debby due to a design flaw in the hinges that over time caused the sections to separate. Debby’s fury ensured the dock remained closed.

Duncan Seawall completed the dingy dock work and is also assigned to repair the floating dock.

“We are waiting on one signature to approve the money for the floating dock from FEMA,” said Woodard. “Duncan is good to go as soon as we get the go ahead.”

Building official Steve Gilbert said FEMA is waiting on confirmation of whether the city needs any permits from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

“One of the FEMA requirements is to have confirmation whether we needed a permit from DEP, which we do not,” said Gilbert. “That letter was sent off (Oct. 31).”

The completion of the dingy dock and the anticipated repair work to the floating dock to begin soon was the good news.

Further delays to begin the reconstruction project to the Historic Bridge Street Pier were met with less enthusiasm.

ZNS Engineering was the only engineering company to respond to last month’s request for proposal following stalled negotiations with Sago & Sago Engineering.

Insurance concerns stalled the original negotiations and the city moved forward to search for a new engineer to head the project. Gilbert said the bid from ZNS for all services except the actual construction is $33,000.

“That’s double what Sago gave us, but ZNS does have all the things that will make us happy, and some of the things in the proposal have already been done or doesn’t need to be done,” said Gilbert.

He said the $33,000 is a standard contract proposal from ZNS, but the actual price would be somewhat lower when taking into consideration that some of the work listed will not have to be done for a project that is essentially pulling pilings out and putting new pilings into existing holes.

“When they prepare a proposal, it’s standard to cover all eventualities for a brand new project, which this one is not,” said Gilbert. “I already know from our own records that some of those tasks listed in the proposal are not necessary.”

Commissioner Jan Vosburgh asked if Sago & Sago had submitted a similar scope of work, and Gilbert said the proposals are very different from one another.

“Sago’s was much less detailed,” he said.

Gilbert recommended commissioners consider capping the price at $30,000 rather than amending the contract, with the understanding that the final price would likely be substantially less.

“I’d like to see something more definitive before it comes to commission,” said Gatehouse. “My experience is that if there is $30,000 available, they will spend what they can.”

Mayor John Shaughnessy has been pushing for the project to get underway before tourist season begins and made his push one more time.

“We can cut where we can cut,” he said. “I hate to say this, but we are sort of over a barrel here because we only had one bidder. We need to get this pier done, period.”

“We can meet with them and then come back to you with a figure we are all comfortable with,” said Gilbert.

Commissioner Gay Breuler asked if the negotiations would hinder the estimated timetable to have the project done before tourist season.

Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale said it would depend on the negotiations, but expressed confidence that it could be done on schedule.

Speciale supervises pier-related projects.

Readers tapped to vote ‘best of the best’

The Islander newspaper announces the “best of the best” awards for Anna Maria Island: “The Islander Star, Best of AMI Award.”

Voting will be available only to those readers who receive home delivery on Anna Maria Island, postal subscribers and registered online subscribers.

Web voting by subscribers will be limited to registered web subscribers with only one vote allowed per IP address. Ballots will not be provided in bulk quantities to any source in order to provide the most credible preference contest, with secret balloting and accountability by an outside agency.

Publisher Bonner Joy said the paper waited 20 years to provide awards that the Island business community could pride itself on, that readers would be excited to participate in, and that ended with reliable results not skewed by bulk entries, advertising dollars spent or solicited, or questionable balloting.

The awards will be announced at a red carpet event in late January 2013.

Event tickets will be limited to finalists, and winners will be announced in a special section that will include photographs of the winners featured at the red carpet event.

Balloting begins in the Nov. 14 print edition of The Islander.

For more information on the Best of AMI, call 941-778-7978 or email news@islander.org.

Restitution judgment entered for Connelly

A final judgment of restitution of $387,191 has been entered against ex-Key Royale Club bookkeeper Holly Connelly.

    She was sentenced July 27 to three years in state prison and 25 years of probation by 12th Circuit Court Judge Thomas Krug for scheming to defraud her former employer.

    Connelly is serving time in Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala, and has a release date of May 16, 2015, which may be adjusted for “gain time,” Florida Department of Corrections protocol to promote good behavior.

    Last month, the assistant state attorney and Connelly’s public defender, Jennifer Fury, stipulated to the $387,191 restitution, and Krug entered the final judgment, adding the legal rate of interest.

    Krug previously ordered the attorneys for the state and Connelly to confer on the restitution number and come to an agreement, or face a restitution hearing.

    The SAO indicated Connelly would be required to begin making restitution when she is released from prison.

    Assistant state attorney Anthony DaFonseca said club members were consulted on the restitution number.

    The number was a product of conversations with the KRC president, someone from the club’s insurance claims department and the defense, he said, adding that while the club’s insurance paid a large amount of the club’s loss, KRC still had to pay a deductible.

    Connelly was arrested by the Holmes Beach Police Department in June 2011 after the department investigated reports from the Key Royale Club about irregularities in the club’s finances.

    According to HBPD reports, Connelly wrote some 370 checks to herself from the Key Royale Club account between June 2008 and April 2011, embezzling $10,000 a month.

        At the sentencing hearing, Krug estimated Connelly was responsible for $387,000-$487,000 in improper transactions during her KRC employment.