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Date of Issue: July 16, 2008

No contest for Holmes Beach offices

Come November, it will be business as usual at Holmes Beach City Hall - and for the city commission.

The general election will take place Nov. 4, but Holmes Beach voters will not find a contest for mayor or two city commission seats on the ballot.

Only the incumbents - Mayor Rich Bohnenberger and Commissioners Sandy Haas-Martens and John Monetti - qualified for office as of the noon deadline July 11.

“Right now, we’ve got a real good team,” Bohnenberger said the day he qualified to seek another two-year term. “There’s a harmonious relationship between the city commission and myself. I think it has produced benefits for the community as a whole.… We seem to be on the same page.”

Haas-Martens and Monetti agreed.

The incumbents viewed the lack of challengers as a good sign.

“Hopefully it means that we’re doing a good job,” Haas-Martens said. “I think we have a commission that works really well together.”

There also was a consensus that, given the troubled economy and state-mandated tax reforms, financial issues will continue to be a primary concern for the next two years.

“That looms large,” said Monetti, adding that he didn’t hesitate to seek a second two-year term.

“I think we have a good opportunity to hone our management skills to produce a leaner, meaner machine here,” Bohnenberger said.

“Dredging is a priority,” the mayor said. “But it’s one of many. We’ve got storm water improvements, which are essential.

“As for future issues, well, nobody has a crystal ball.”

Haas-Martens said she decided to seek another term to complete a number of projects, including an update to the comprehensive plan, continuing to build a coalition with the other Island cities and the county and dredging work.

In Bradenton Beach, there will be one city commission contest on the Nov. 4 ballot - for the Ward 4 seat being vacated by John Chappie, who is making a bid for a county commission seat. Bob Bartelt and Bill Shearon are seeking the spot on the board.

In Anna Maria, there also will be a contest with two commission seats to be awarded to the top vote-getters from among Mark Alonso, Robert Barlow, Chuck Webb and incumbent Jo Ann Mattick.

Closer on the calendar is the Aug. 26 election in which Islanders will cast final votes in two county commission races - for District 3 commissioner between incumbent Jane von Hahmann and Chappie and for the at-large District 7 race between incumbent Joe McClash and challenger Greg Witham. There are no Democrats in these races, so there will be no November contest.

Also on Aug. 26, Islanders will cast final ballots in the District 2 school board race between incumbent Harry Kinnan and challenger Dave Miner.

For more information about the elections, visit www.votemanatee.com.

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