Development key issue in Holmes Beach elections

skennedy@bradenton.comOctober 28, 2012 

HOLMES BEACH -- Holmes Beach residents Nov. 6 will choose between candidates vying for the mayor's job and those who are running to fill two city commission seats.

Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

During a recent debate at The Bradenton Herald, incumbent Mayor Rich Bohnenberger emphasized the value of stability and his accomplishments in office for the past eight years.

Challenger Carmel Monti stressed the need for a change in leadership.

Incumbent City Commissioners John Monetti and Sandra Haas-Martens are facing challengers Judy Titsworth and Marvin Grossman.

All are seeking two-year terms. The top two vote-get

ters will win the election.

Much of the discussion in both the city commission and the mayor's race has revolved around development and "good government" issues.

The two city commission challengers complained during the debate about a development trend some people are calling "out-of-scale" vacation rentals that destroy the small-town feel of the area and disturb residents. Titsworth said someone demolished a house next to hers, divided the land, and now there are two homes, two pools and two docks.

Grossman said his position is clear: The outscale duplexes "need to stop." But Haas-Martens defended the city's efforts, saying it has been steadily working on various facets of the problem, such as parking for residents and visitors.

Monetti took a similar tack, noting the city has addressed parking, landscaping, noise, rental agencies and even has attempted to educate visitors about the simple beauties of the area.

Holmes Beach is on Anna Maria Island, with Anna Maria on its north and Bradenton Beach on its south. Its population is about 3,840, according to City Clerk Stacey Johnston.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.com.

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