Richard Gatehouse, 60, a resident of the 100 block of Third Street North in Bradenton Beach, is seeking appointment to the vacant Ward 3 city commission seat.
Gatehouse is a volunteer member of Bradenton Beach’s mooring field committee and the board of adjustment, and he earns income as the city’s web designer.
“It’s a good community,” Gatehouse said. “I believe every ward needs representation. Seeing my ward has none, I’m willing to be it. My philosophy is to meet every issue head on, and deal with it with common sense.”
A Bradenton Beach resident for 20 years, Gatehouse is a retired merchant marine, and has 25 years experience in the dredging industry, he said.
Gatehouse describes himself as a “renaissance man,” working as a tugboat master, website designer and junk hauler.
He did not see any problems holding the Ward 3 seat while maintaining his paid position as the city’s webmaster, because, he said, he could recuse himself from voting on related city business.
As far as matters he thinks may come before the city commission, he said the mooring field issues may resurface. The matter previously had been tabled by the city, he said, after the state had a conflict with what the city planned to do to protect the seagrasses and waste-water regulations.
“There’re always challenges in the city,” Gatehouse said. “My approach is to protect the citizens.”
With respect to the ongoing dune project, he said, “as far as flood mitigation, we can save a lot of money for homeowners. If it’s done properly, planted with indigenous plants, I think that it’s the way to go.” Gatehouse added.
On the issue of whether the beaches should be opened to dogs, he said, “It would be great to have a section of beach where it would be allowed.” However, he added “strict rules” need to be imposed on dog-waste clean up.
On the budget, he said, “I don’t want to see us starting to cut services.” If it comes to a choice between cutting services or a new capital improvement project, he favors retaining existing services.
“I think what we need to do is balance the benefit with maintaining the quality of life for our year-round residents,” he said.
Gatehouse is a member of the Sarasota and St. Petersburg chapters of Harley Owners Group. Riding motorcycles is his hobby, and the charities he rides for are important to him.
“Mostly I like to do it for the kids,” he said.