Voters go to polls Islandwide Tuesday
Tuesday is election day for Anna Maria Island, the first year all three city governmental bodies will vote together to elect their respective commissioners in the Island's history.
Previously, the city's founding fathers set distinguishable city election dates in three separate months, distinguished even from general county, state and federal elections in November, but charter changes in all three cities have brought accord to the process.
In Anna Maria, five candidates are vying for three seats on the commission, with the top three votegetters taking office. In the running: Incumbent Commissioner John Quam, Carol Ann Magill, Jeff Smith, Randall Stover and Dale Woodland.
In Holmes Beach, four candidates are seeking three seats on the city commission, again with the top three votegetters taking office. In the running: Incumbent Commissioners Rich Bohnenberger, Pat Geyer and Don Maloney and challenger Pat Morton.
Bradenton Beach has 1 percent of its electorate seeking office: nine candidates out of the city's 898 registered voters. Bradenton Beach has three ward seats up for grabs Ñ candidates there must live within their ward but are elected citywide. Mayoral candidates may live anywhere in the city.
For mayor, incumbent John Chappie is challenged by present Commissioners Bill Arnold and Dawn Baker. There are no runoff elections in Bradenton Beach, so the candidate with the most votes will win.
Ward 1 has Rick Bisio and John Shaughnessy on the ballot.
Ward 2 has Tricia Otto and Lisa Maria Phillips vying for the seat.
And in Ward 3, incumbent Commissioner Scott Barr is facing challenger Peter Barreda.
Bradenton Beach voters will also have two non-binding referendum questions to mull:
- "Are you in favor of eliminating R-3 zoning in the City of Bradenton Beach, in perpetuity? Yes or No."
The R-3 designation is the highest level of residential zoning use in the city. According to city codes, R-3 is a multi-family tourist use which allows up to 28 hotel-motel units per acre, or 22 efficiency, one- or two-bedroom uses per acre, excepting three-bedroom units, which are capped at 16 units per acre.
- "Do you want to eliminate any variance to height restriction in the Bradenton Beach code? Yes or No."
Height variances have been a hot topic in other cities on the Island, but have not yet come to the forefront in Bradenton Beach.
Election date changes are expected to produce a greater voter turnout.
Polling locations are:
- Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive.
- Holmes Beach, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 6608 Marina Drive.
- Bradenton Beach City Hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.