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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jul. 29, 2009 8 years ago

Commission interest emerges

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

With more than eight months to go until the town’s March 2010 election, both current commissioners and potential candidates are already making moves to either secure their seats or consider a run for one.

Last week, former Planning and Zoning Board Chairman David Brenner confirmed he is considering running for one of the four commission seats that are either up for re-election or will become available due to term limits.

“I have been talking to friends of mine about whether or not they think it makes any sense for me to think about running for a commission seat,” Brenner said. “I will make up my mind by September and take the summer to contemplate the possibility.”

Brenner’s news comes on the heels of three commissioners who have already begun the process to secure their seats for another two-year term.

Longboat Key District 3 Commissioner Peter O’Connor has already submitted his election paperwork at Town Hall and officially been certified as a candidate for his final two-year term.

Town Clerk Trish Granger also confirmed At-large Commissioner Hal Lenobel and Vice Mayor Robert Siekmann, District 5, have picked up paperwork at Town Hall for additional two-year terms.

If both become certified and are re-elected, it will be Lenobel’s second two-year term and Siekmann’s final term.

Commissioners term limit out after three two-year terms, which means Mayor Lee Rothenberg’s District 1 seat is also up for grabs this March.

Granger also said that an inquiry was made to her office to see if candidates could run together on one ticket.

“A potential candidate had asked if a group of four candidates could form a political action committee to run their campaign, requiring only one financing report for the four candidates,” Granger said.

After looking into the matter, though, Granger said that the town charter and the state’s election office would not allow such activity.

“It’s been confirmed that each candidate must file individual reports,” said Granger, who said a committee could still form to support a candidate and file its own reports to Town Hall. “They can’t run as a party ticket, though, because it’s a non-partisan election.”

Granger said no one else has made an inquiry at Town Hall to run for any of the seats coming available next year.

Meanwhile, former Commissioner Randall Clair said he has no plans to attempt to re-join the commission after losing his at-large seat to incumbent Gene Jaleski in March.

“I have no interest in running for office again,” Clair said.

But, at least one other Key resident is contemplating a campaign run for the second year in a row.

Charles Nechtem is considering picking up paperwork for one of the four seats.

“I live here full-time, enjoy the people and feel like I can bring different groups together,” Nechtem said.

Candidates have until noon Thursday, Dec. 21 to become certified for one of the four eligible commission seats.

Any interested candidates can contact Granger at 316-1997.

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