There was no chair swapping for the mayor and vice mayor seats for the third year in a row. The Longboat Key Town Commission repealed a resolution Tuesday night to make sure of it.
At its Tuesday, March 19 statutory meeting, the commission voted 7-0 to keep Jim Brown as mayor and David Brenner as vice mayor for a third time.
Before that vote, the commission repealed a resolution that’s been intact since 1998, when the sitting commission at that time agreed a mayor should serve no more than two years in a row.
The meeting came seven days after Brown kept his District 4 seat in the March 12 election for his third and final consecutive term as commissioner. Brenner is in the middle of his second term.
Once he was sworn in, again, as mayor, Brown expressed his gratitude.
“I don’t know what I’ve done that’s given me the appreciation of my fellow commissioners,” said Brown, who was a little emotional and had trouble collecting his thoughts at first. “I really appreciate this and I am honored to do everything I can to live up to every standard that’s expected of me.”
Commissioner Jack Duncan nominated Brown, and the vote was unanimous.
“Jim Brown has done an excellent job of leading, and I would like to see that continue,” Duncan said.
Brown nominated Brenner as the town’s vice mayor.
“Jim and I work together incredibly well together, and I would like to think that shows,” Brenner said. “I thank my colleagues to allow us to serve as part of this leadership committee.”
Brown and Brenner have led the commission through a series of changes the past two years, including the resignations of former Town Manager Bruce St. Denis and Planning, Zoning & Building Director Monica Simpson and the approval of a new Publix in 2011.
This past year, they oversaw a new three-year contract with the Longboat Key Fire Rescue Union that’s led to the freezing of the current unfunded pension plan, and they hope to get a similar contract approved with the Longboat Key Police Department Union.
“This is probably the only commission in the state to have four town managers in one month,” Brown said. “We have achieved some pretty significant things together. I am so glad this commission is still together.”
The town’s mayor and vice mayor serve one-year terms.
The mayor and vice mayor seats, though, aren’t the only seats to stay the same this year.
The commission stays intact after an election that saw three challengers running against three incumbents and one close race. Commissioner Terry Gans beat challenger Irwin Pastor by 27 votes for the one year left in his at-large term.
Duncan was the only commissioner not to be challenged for his seat.
At the meeting, Brown, Duncan and Commissioner Phill Younger were sworn in for new two-year terms.
Gans was sworn in to fill the one year left on the remainder of a term that Commissioner Hal Lenobel vacated.
During campaigning for the recent election, the incumbents urged voters to keep them in office for several reasons.
Those reasons included more pension modifications, overseeing a beach project this summer, revamping the town’s zoning codes and Comprehensive Plan and addressing the future of the shuttered Colony Beach & Tennis Resort.
“My only hope is when we all go to bed tonight, we take the election with us, but the only thing we think about in the morning is the future of Longboat Key,” Brenner said.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].