Election Day in Holmes Beach is a month away and the campaigning is underway, with two commission seats up for grabs.
Voters will cast ballots for two of three candidates — Don Purvis, Kim Rash and incumbent Pat Morton.
The winning candidates will serve two-year terms and receive a $500 per month stipend.
As of Sept. 28, there were 2,798 registered voters in the city.
Voters will cast ballots Tuesday, Nov. 6, at precincts 303, the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 6608 Marina Drive, and 305, St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 Harbor Drive S.
Early voting will begin Oct. 24 at select locations in the county.
Incumbent Pat Morton, 69, has served on the commission 15 years and is seeking his eighth term.
“I believe in working for the citizens … and for the best of the city,” Morton said in a phone interview Sept. 26. “It’s what I have been doing for the last 15 years.”
Born in Morgantown, West Virginia, the 22-year Holmes Beach resident is focused on solving the vacation rental problem, as well as improving safety on bicycle paths.
Morton stressed the importance of community members getting involved to improve the city.
“This is your city, you need to step up and not be afraid to say something to somebody. Come into our city meetings, tell us what’s going on instead of standing around and talking behind everybody’s backs,” he said.
“Step up and let’s get something done,” he added.
Morton reported $890 in contributions for his campaign as of Sept. 27, according to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections website.
Don Purvis, 43, hopes if elected to bring communication and cooperation skills to the commission to quell tensions between commissioners and citizens.
“I think that the commission could use some fresh perspective and a leader that’s rooted in cooperation and communication,” Purvis said.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Purvis has bounced around — from the Bahamas to Fort Lauderdale. He settled in Holmes Beach eight years ago.
He is a board member of the Center of Anna Maria Island but, if elected, Purvis said he would resign that post to avoid any conflict of interest.
He’s also owner of Beach House Realty, and said Sept. 25 his professional experience and expertise might help the commission resolve issues with vacation rentals.
Purvis also said he wants to address pedestrian and cyclist safety issues as a commissioner and he’s concerned with the city’s infrastructure.
The city, he said, has grown and the infrastructure needs to catch up with the development.
Purvis had raised $600 as of Sept. 25, according to SOE reports, and he took in $2,000 at a fundraiser Sept. 30.
Kim Rash, 64, was born in Louisville and raised in Crestwood, Kentucky. He has lived in Holmes Beach for 17 years, moving to the island after visiting over 22 years.
Rash owns and manages rental properties in Kentucky and Florida, as well as acts as the owner of Kentucky-based Kimberly Rash Fencing and Construction.
He said Sept. 26 he wants to eliminate “wasteful” spending in the city budget, implement community policing in Holmes Beach neighborhoods and continue commission support for home rule authority.
Rash said he also wants resort taxes to support the city financially and to create a plan to improve traffic flow at Key Royale and Marina drives and traffic lights leading off the island.
Rash reported $3,500 in contributions as of Sept. 26 and spent $1,518.83, according to the SOE.