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Former Mayor George Spoll seeks Town Commission comeback

After nearly six years off the commission, Spoll seeks the District 2 seat Mayor Jack Duncan will vacate in March.

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  • | 9:18 a.m. October 19, 2016
  • Longboat Key
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Former Mayor George Spoll, 82, will run again for the Longboat Key Commission in District 2.

Spoll, who previously served six years and three months on the commission from 2005-11, will run to succeed Mayor Jack Duncan as District 2 commissioner.

Duncan cannot run for the seat in March due to term limits.

“I’ve been through all the chairs and pieces and parts,” Spoll said.

Fellow Longboat Key Revitalization Task Force member Lenny Landau offered this endorsement: “George goes to every meeting whether he’s on the commission or not,” Landau said. “He understands more about what’s going on here than anybody. Unfortunately, he’s got opinions on lots of things. But usually, he’s right.”

After nearly six years off the commission, George Spoll seeks the District 2 seat Longboat Key Mayor Jack Duncan will vacate in March.
After nearly six years off the commission, George Spoll seeks the District 2 seat Longboat Key Mayor Jack Duncan will vacate in March.

Spoll said he decided to run again after watching the present commission struggle with some tough decisions.

“It has a lot do with how I see decisions being made at the commission,” said Spoll. “A lot of it has to do with the lack of historical perspective. That’s very important. Interestingly enough, Jim Brown has said the same thing.”

Brown, who once served as Spoll’s vice mayor and went on to spend four years as mayor during his six years on the commission, has qualified to run for the at-large Longboat Key commissioner post in the 2017 election to succeed at-large Commissioner Phill Younger, who also reaches his term’s limit in March. Brown left the Longboat Key Town Commission March 16, 2015, after reaching term limits.

“We were there at a time of extreme difficulty on the commission,” Spoll said. “There was a lot of dissension.”

Spoll said he and Brown will work well together to solve some of the town’s “ancient problems” such as density concerns, “monster traffic” and the role of tourism on the Key. 

“The fact that Jim has done it (filed to run) is somewhat encouraging,” Spoll said. “I respect his four years and the things he tried to do and wants to do. We agree on a great deal, and I think I can be helpful.”

One issue Spoll believes is being mishandled is the resurrection of the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort, which he says is supposed to be a tourist facility.

“I’d like to see problems like the Colony solved sensibly and in conformance with what people of the Key have expected to happen,” he said. “I have no sympathy whatsoever for that solution to take place only to the benefit of the people of the Colony itself.”

As of Tuesday, Spoll was the only candidate who had qualified to run for the District 2 seat.

Candidates for the seat must be registered to vote in District 2 and obtain 10 signed petitions from voters within the district to qualify. 

The deadline to file for all commission seats is noon Nov. 21.

“That’s how you fix the problem,” Spoll said. “You get involved and build a counter-constituency.”


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