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Date of Issue: November 11, 2005

Tollette, Woodland, Quam win Anna Maria commission seats

AM Election Pic
Christine Tollette, left, looks knowingly away from the vote totals held by Anne Marie Thorpe, Anna Maria administrative assistant. Tollette won a seat on the Anna Maria Commission in Tuesday's election. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

Anna Maria voters yesterday elected political newcomer Christine Tollette to the city commission and returned two incumbent city commissioners to office.

Tollette finished as the top vote-getter with 451 votes, while current commissioners Dale Woodland and John Quam polled 424 and 419 votes respectively. Challenger Jo Ann Mattick had 361 votes.

Turnout among the city's electorate was moderate in this non-presidential election year as 43 percent of the city's 1,483 registered voters cast a ballot.

Quam won election to his third term in office, while Woodland will enter his second term.

Tollette said she was extremely pleased at the results and is looking forward to her first-ever term as an elected official.

"I'd like to thank the voters of Anna Maria for electing me to office and I promise that I will listen to the people and make the best decision possible in the interest of the city," Tollette said. "We have a number of issues to deal with and I'm anxious to begin, especially with the comprehensive plan."

Quam thanked the electorate for returning him to office and pledged to continue moving forward to solve the city's long-standing stormwater drainage and road problems.

"I'm looking forward to this next term in office," he said. "The commission has really moved forward with a number of projects and I believe the people wish us to continue in that direction." He cited the upcoming commission review of the comprehensive plan and land development codes as a major issue the new commission will face.

Woodland accepted the mandate from the voters to continue working on revising the comprehensive plan to keep Anna Maria as a residential community, completing capital improvement projects, while at the same time keeping taxes at a minimum.

"I'd like to thank all those who voted and the candidates. It was a good, clean campaign and this will be good for the city," he said.

Woodland also noted that one of the major issues facing the commission is the comprehensive plan.

"I'm glad to be a part of that process. I think the city is on the right track," he concluded.

Mattick was gracious in defeat.

She thanked those voters who had cast a ballot in her favor and congratulated Tollette on winning a seat on the commission.

"Chris will do a fine job. She was the top vote-getter and I think this sends a message that the people want change."

The swearing-in and organizational meeting for the new commission will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 at city hall.