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Date of Issue: September 23, 2009

Five for three in Anna Maria city commission race

Two political newcomers face three incumbent Anna Maria city commissioners in the Nov. 3 municipal election.

Challengers Harold “Harry Stoltzfus” of Poinsettia Drive and David Gryboski of North Shore Drive qualified to face incumbents Dale Woodland, Christine Tollette and John Quam.
Mark Alonso, who lost his 2008 bid for a commission seat, picked up an election packet at city hall, but chose not to mount another challenge.

The office of Anna Maria city commissioner pays $400 per month. The stipend has not changed in more than 10 years.

Commissioners are elected for a two-year term.

Harold “Harry” Stoltzfus

This is the first time Harold Stoltzfus has sought political office.

He said he is running for a seat on the commission because he believes in the “uniqueness of Anna Maria as a residential community and would like to protect that uniqueness.”

Stoltzfus, 55, owns Harcon Corp., a company that provides access equipment to people working on bridges. The company’s head office is in Pennsylvania.

He and wife Kathy moved permanently to Anna Maria from Lancaster, Pa., six years ago. Daughter Molly is a freshman at Manatee High School.

David Gryboski

David Gryboski, 29, of North Shore Drive also is seeking his first-ever political office.

A four-and-a-half year resident of the city, Gryboski said he is running for city commissioner to “get more involved in the community and have a better Anna Maria.”
He said he can bring a fresh approach to government and is dedicated to keeping Anna Maria a residential community.

Gryboski attended Emory University in Atlanta and is involved in commercial property leasing with an office in Holmes Beach, he said.

John Quam

Incumbent John Quam has been a city commissioner since 2002 and is seeking his fifth consecutive term.

He is a retired businessman and moved to Anna Maria about 10 year ago.
He is the chairman of the city commission, and has been elected to that position by other commissioners every year since joining the commission.
Quam also is the vice mayor of Anna Maria.

Christine Tollette

Incumbent Christine Tollette was first elected in 2005 and is seeking her third consecutive term in office.

She and husband Tom moved to Anna Maria from Tampa 10 years ago.

Prior to her first election, she was active with the Anna Maria Island Community Center and was a volunteer with several Tampa-area nonprofit organizations.

Dale Woodland

Dale Woodland, also an incumbent commissioner, was first elected in 2003.

Prior to becoming a city commissioner, Woodland was a member of the city’s planning and zoning board, capital improvements advisory committee and ad hoc comp-plan committee.

He owns a pool servicing business on Anna Maria Island and has lived in Anna Maria since he was about 8 years old.

Woodland is seeking his fourth consecutive term as a city commissioner.