Aubry to run for Stoltzfus seat
Anna Maria architect and 24-year Island resident Gene Aubry plans to qualify as a city commission candidate on the Sept. 7 ballot for the recall election of Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus.
Under Florida law, any candidate seeking to fill the remaining term of a recalled commissioner runs for the office on the same ballot as the recall vote. If the recall effort is defeated, Stoltzfus retains his seat, regardless of the number of votes any candidate receives.
“I was thinking, if nobody else runs, I might run,” Aubry said, but he has now firmed up his decision.
“A number of friends and acquaintances suggested I consider seeking a commission seat. I thought about it and am going through the first steps to be a candidate,” he said.
He picked up his qualifying papers from city hall last week and has until noon July 30 to submit the paperwork.
Although active in the city since he moved to Anna Maria in 1986, he has never sought public office. He has served on several city committees and recently volunteered at the request of Commission Chair John Quam to design a parking plan for Pine Avenue.
Aubry said he is seeking the possible unfulfilled term of Stoltzfus because “the city is in a mess, no thanks to him. Stuff has boiled up and it’s time to calm down, look at the facts and make good decisions.”
Aubry said he would dedicate himself to “making building codes and ordinances and the land-development regulations simplified, clarified and compatible with the comprehensive plan.”
He also gave the “assurance that all development in the ROR district is done in strict accordance with the comp plan and maintains a lower density than what is allowed.Aubry said it’s time to “mend fences by listening to everyone with an open mind.”
He said his goal is to “maintain the residential areas of the city as they are and to support and respect the property rights of all, whether single-family, duplex owners or vacation rental properties.”
Aubry said he also would bring stability to the commission.
“I don’t like to make hasty decisions. I like to ponder all sides of a question,” he said.
Aubry has a strong interest in history, Island living and historic buildings, a professional knowledge of building codes and an “enthusiasm” for working as a “team member with everyone involved in all levels of city government to serve the people of the city of Anna Maria,” he said.
Aubry is a licensed architect in both his native Texas and Florida.
He and wife Janet reside on Spring Avenue.