A candidate for Anna Maria’s vacant commission seat has stepped up to the plate.
Doris “Deanie” Sebring, 54, applied Oct. 8 for Amy Tripp’s now-vacant seat, which will remain empty until her two-year term expires in November.
Tripp resigned at the end of August to move to Black Mountain, North Carolina, but the commission delayed naming a successor until after her term expires.
The window to apply for the position opened Oct. 1 and, as of Oct. 15, only Sebring had applied.
Sebring told The Islander Oct. 15 that she was raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, where she helped run her father’s interior design store until she moved to California, where she lived for 15 years and became the general manager of an auto dealership.
She then moved to Florida, where she created a company that helped reunite people with their lost keys before selling the business.
In 2017, Sebring wrote a children’s book, “Skip and Deanie’s Flying Bike Trip,” which is based on the imaginary adventures of herself and her real-life diabetic alert dog, Skip.
Sebring touted her business acumen in her application.
“With my strong background in business, business development, employee and customer service experience, I feel I would be a real asset to the city commission,” she wrote.
Sebring said her priorities as a commissioner would be to maintain the city’s home rule in regulating short-term vacation rentals and improving pedestrian safety.
Sebring said she was interested in getting involved when she moved to the city in 2014, but first wanted to learn more about the community.
After six years in Anna Maria, she said she’s ready to serve.
“I love Anna Maria and plan on living here for the rest of my life,” Sebring wrote in her application. “I would like to have a hand in shaping the future of my city. I have a strong sense of community and am passionate about helping to make Anna Maria a better place to live, work and visit.”
A couple of city commissioners encouraged residents to apply for the open seat.
“It’s been very rewarding for me,” Commission Chair Carol Carter told The Islander in an Oct. 14 interview. “It’s been a steep learning curve because I’ve never done anything of this sort before, but I think we should always be learning.”
Carter encouraged “leader-type people” with open minds to apply for the vacant seat.
“I’d love to see people get interested in serving,” Commissioner Jonathan Crane said Oct. 14. “It’s rewarding. You get to know what’s going on, and you get to make a difference for your city.”
“If you’re going to complain about how your city is run, you ought to step up and help change it rather than complain about it,” he added.
Application forms can be found at the city’s website, www.cityofannamaria.com.
Applicants must be Anna Maria residents of at least two years, registered to vote in the city and at least 18 years old. They are asked to provide 2-3 reasons why they should be considered for the commission seat on the application form.
Completed forms must be submitted to city hall, 10005 Gulf Drive, or firstname.lastname@example.org, before the application window closes at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16.
Commissioners make $4,800 per year.