I was disappointed that the Bradenton Herald did not endorse me for re-election this year and shocked by the stated reasons.
You cited my "remarks against day-trippers" as a primary reason for not endorsing me. I am a member of the Manatee County Tourist Development Council. The county commission would not have selected me for that council if I were "against day-trippers." I cannot recall any time that I have made remarks against day-trippers.
In fact, in the context of discussing paid parking in the regular email newsletter I send to constituents, I said: "Because I am not trying to deny access to day trippers or reduce the number of folks coming to the beach for the day, I also would insist on free trolleys or buses from 75th Street to the beach and back. Leave your car and ride the beach bus!" I have always said that my problem is not people, it is cars.
The other reason stated for not endorsing me is that I have been sued for libel. That is true. The suit was filed at a very politically charged time and for political reasons. In one of my constituent newsletters I confused a father's first name with his son's first name. I did not "attack a developer. Anyone can sue anyone.
I believe I have been a positive force over the last two years. I promoted openness and accountability in government, positive solutions for problems, and greatly increased citizen participation in governmental decisions and plans. A year ago, I was voted chair of the Holmes Beach City Commission. Three of my four fellow commissioners are supporting my re-election. I'm sorry the Herald did not see me in the same light.
I appreciate the support of my fellow residents and look forward to another term serving Holmes Beach.