The Longboat Key Commission appointed Ken Marsh to a vacant spot on the town's Planning and Zoning Board by a 7-0 vote during its rescheduled Sept. 15 meeting.
Marsh, a retired public school administrator in Sarasota and Manatee counties, has been a full-time town resident since 1996. He spent more than 10 years working as the director for long-range planning for the School Board of Sarasota County.
Marsh was selected among five candidates. He replaces the retiring George Symanski, who was appointed in 2015, on the seven-person board.
In another appointment, Steve Branham was reappointed to the Consolidated Retirement System Board of Trustees in a 7-0 vote. Branham is a retired rear admiral for the U.S. Coast Guard.
In other actions during the meeting, which was rescheduled from Sept. 11 because of Hurricane Irma, the commission uninamously approved the proposed 2018 legislative priority list. Top issues include supporting state funding for beach nourishment and updating existing laws relating to vacation rentals.
Longboat is among a handful of Florida towns with grandfathered clauses in their local ordinances permitting them to regulate short-term vacation rentals, including through such services as Airbnb. The state legislature has discussed stripping that authority from towns such as Longboat Key.
As Town Manager Dave Bullock noted during the Sept. 15 meeting, much of the town's priorities focus on maritime issues, as these issues have significant effects on the island. These include supporting legislative efforts to reduce red tide blooms and encourage water quality preservation.
These priorities will be presented to the Manatee and Sarasota County legislative delegation meetings. The Sarasota County legislative delegation hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20. The Manatee County meeting is scheduled for Oct. 19.