I was very disappointed that the Bradenton Herald did not endorse Jean Peelen for Holmes Beach City Commissioner, because as commission chairperson, Jean has shown true leadership in the way that she has listened to constituent concerns and led the commission in addressing these concerns.
Jean ran in part on a platform of addressing the problem of the construction of large rental houses in residential neighborhoods. The development of these mini hotels was making it impossible for residents in affected neighborhoods to peacefully enjoy their homes.
Under Jean's leadership, this problem was addressed by passing the land-area ratio regulations, passing other regulations on construction of houses on lots designated for duplexes and tightening up enforcement of existing zoning and construction statutes.
Jean Peelen led the way in addressing this problem. Others share the credit for this progress, but Jean provided leadership.
A broader contribution Jean has made has been to open up dialogue and encourage participation of citizens in their government. She has done this by listening one-on-one with citizens, by holding informal gatherings where constituents could raise and discuss issues and by encouraging participation in commission meetings. Jean's actions and manner have told citizens that their input was welcome and would be heard.
Jean has put her heart into the job of commissioner and has accomplished much. I view the supposed negatives the Herald has noted as both trivial and bogus. We should re-elect Jean Peelen as city commissioner so she can continue to work with us to make Holmes Beach a better place.