Fourth Anna Maria seat opens as election qualifying ends

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Vice Mayor Brian Seymour

A fourth city commission seat opened in Anna Maria, but it won’t be filled in the city election.

In fact, there will be no city election.

At the 11th hour for candidate qualifying for the Nov. 5 city election ballot, Vice Mayor Brian Seymour resigned his seat on the commission.

Seymour had a year remaining on his term and was not up for re-election in November.

There already was low interest for the three commission seats with terms ending in November.

Only one new candidate qualified to run by the Aug. 30 deadline, leaving two incumbents unchallenged.

Candidate Jonathan Crane, the current chair of the city’s planning and zoning board, will fill the seat held by Doug Copeland, who declined to run for another term.

Commissioners Carol Carter and Dale Woodland automatically retain their seats for another two years.

Seymour resigned the morning of Aug. 30.

“It is with regret that I tender my resignation as City Commission Chairman/Vice Mayor effective immediately,” he wrote in his resignation letter to Mayor Dan Murphy.

“I have learned a tremendous amount over the last three years from (Murphy) personally, especially the last year being the chairman of the commission, and I offer my best wishes for its continued success.

“It is time for me to return and focus on my private life and private business ventures.”

Murphy said Seymour’s seat would be filled through appointment, just as Commissioner Amy Tripp was appointed to complete the remainder of Commissioner Nancy Yetter’s term in February 2018.

The mayor said he would address the matter at a future meeting.

“I was shocked (regarding Seymour’s resignation),” Woodland said. “That’s all I’m going to say.”

Carter will begin her fourth two-year term as city commissioner in November.

“I’m pleased to retain the seat,” Carter said in an Aug. 30 interview with The Islander. “I think the fact that other people hadn’t come forward means that most people have some confidence in what we as a commission has been doing and what we’re accomplishing, so that makes me feel good, too.”

Woodland will enter his eighth two-year term as commissioner.

“Obviously, I love doing the job,” Woodland said in an Aug. 30 interview with The Islander. “I think the most important thing, from my perspective, is that I am not a politician. I’m a public servant.”

“I’m never going to change that, since that, to me, is the only good thing to do if you’re involved in government,” he continued.

Crane will serve his first term as commissioner after the swearing-in of officials in November.

“I am very pleased to make it on the commission,” Crane said. He continued that he loves his role on the zoning board and believes the experience will help him as a commissioner, but “I won’t really know until I sit on the commission for a little while.”

“I’ve enjoyed serving with him,” Carter said of Seymour. “I think he has conducted the meetings of the commission as chair adequately, and I’m sure he’ll continue to be a very active member of our community.”

Commissioners earn $4,800 a year, and the election assessment fee was $48 for a commission seat.

Anna Maria had 1,076 active voters as of Aug. 30, according to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office.

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