Deadline to qualify for town's March commission elections is Nov. 19.
One thing for certain when the March election rolls around, Longboat Key voters will find the name Jim Brown on their ballot.
Brown, a longtime Longboat town commissioner, filed for re-election in August.
George Spoll, Longboat’s current mayor, said he “has no idea” whether he will seek another two-year term. Candidates have until Nov. 19 to file election papers. Jack Daly's seat also is up for election.
But for Brown, 73, it is all about giving back to the community. It was a no brainer to file, he said.
“I feel you need to contribute something,” said Brown, a retired architect and urban planner who moved to Longboat from Alexandria, Va. in 2000. “I find it very interesting and I like to get involved with the issues.
Brown, who served on the commission from 2009-2015 before sitting out two years because of term limits, said his priority remains traffic on the 11-mile island. He ran for re-election in 2016.
Tourist-season traffic, and working with other jurisdictions to fix it, remains one of Brown's top priorities, he said, adding that a proposed roundabout at U.S. 41 and Gulfstream-John Ringling Parkway will make a bad traffic situation even worse if eventually built as planned.
“I am frustrated about our inability to control traffic,” he said. “It seems to get worse. We have one road and when it goes over a bridge, then we lose all control. We don’t influence what goes on in Sarasota and Manatee counties, but they accept our tax dollars.”
“We have gridlock every day, and I don’t know if there is any solution.”
Brown also said he would like to see the island continue to be mostly residential, giving the town a controlled growth.
“We have some retail, but mostly support services,” he said. “It’s a quiet community, fairly low key.”