I have had several inquiries recently asking why I will not campaign for election to the Longboat Key Town Commission. I think people have a right to know the reasoning behind my decision.
The economy here on the Key, as well as universally, has been and still is calamitous. Unemployment is at a catastrophic high, more than 12% each in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Businesses are failing, and foreclosures are at a tragic ceiling.
Here on Longboat, we are witnessing a depression that is marked by diminished tourism and closing commercial establishments.
Bearing all this in mind, the town still faces an election in March. There are still candidates vying for the office of commissioner. I might add, they are candidates who deserve the recognition of the voters.
How can these candidates make their presence known to the electorate if not by campaigning? The answer is by advertising their attributes to the public. This is where I divert from the usual campaigning norm.
I will not campaign. My reasoning is quite simple. I refuse to solicit funds from friends and acquaintances at a time when the economy is dreadful. I refuse to ask for money from people I know at a time when it would be totally unfair to do so. I will not expend my own money for the same reason.
My friends and I have far better places to put our hard-earned cash than in an election campaign. If my friends want to contribute, let them do so to the poor people of Haiti, not to a man running for a voluntary office on Longboat Key.
I believe the voters on Longboat Key know my record. My 10 years on the commission stand out, and the voters know it. My record and service speak for themselves.
Hal Lenobel is an at-large commissioner on Longboat Key.
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