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Date of Issue: November 15, 2007

Parks committee chair resigns

Holmes Beach Parks and Beautification Committee chairman Jim Dunne has announced his resignation effective with the new year.

Dunne said he needed to resign to pursue a master’s degree in business administration, as well as devote time to family.

He informed Holmes Beach Mayor Rich Bohnenberger of his decision in early November.

“I am asking the committee to select a new chairman at the December meeting to take over in January,” Dunne wrote the mayor. “I’ve had the job four years. Also, I will be resigning from the committee after the December meeting. I have chosen to complete the MBA which I had begun when I retired.”

Dunne said he is cutting back his extracurricular activities around the Island.

He said he had the advantage of age and experience in his academic pursuit, but “I find I must study twice as hard for the assignments, tests and computer exercises. A daunting challenge.”

The mayor, accepting Dunne’s notice, said, “Jim, your service to the city is deeply appreciated and I understand your desires to focus on your commitment to your educational goals. I wish you well in your quest.”

Dunne informed the committee of his plans during a meeting Nov. 7 at city hall.

Committee members seemed surprised, but wished Dunne success.

The resignation creates a vacancy on the committee, as well as the vacancy in the commission chair.

Dunne suggested that the committee consider appointing a chair and a vice chair.

The committee’s agenda last week also included brief discussions on building three new trolley shelters, plans for hosting an outdoor holiday movie, maintenance of the canal ends along Marina Drive and repairs to the Anna Maria Island Butterfly Garden. (See separate story.)

The committee plans to further explore the best locations for new trolley shelters at its Dec. 5 meeting, after receiving statistics from Manatee County Area Transit regarding the most-used stops.

As for the holiday movie, the event will take place Saturday, Dec. 1, with the committee showing the original black-and-white version of “Miracle on 34th Street” in the field to the north of Holmes Beach City Hall.

“Everything looks like it is on order,” said committee member Pam Leckie.

In keeping with tradition, the committee will serve hot chocolate and cookies provided by the Beach Bistro.

Refreshments will be available at 6 p.m. and the movie will begin at about 6:30 p.m.

Committee members advised moviegoers to bring lawn chairs and blankets because the ground can get wet and the air can get chilly.

The discussion on beautifying the canal ends along Marina Drive was prompted by a question at a previous meeting about whether residents can improve public property in their neighborhood.

There is a procedure to follow for adopting an area, but beautifying the canal ends poses some issues because vehicles pulling boats must have access to the rights of way, Dunne said.

“Right now the issue is who is going to take care of the property,” Dunne said. “You have people who want to beautify the area, but can they and what can they do?”

Committee members agreed to continue exploring the issue. Leckie suggested that, in the meantime, a quick and inexpensive fix is to keep the grass mowed.

The committee’s next meeting will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

For more information about the beautification committee, call city hall at 941-708-5800.