As a full-time resident of Holmes Beach for the last eight years and homeowner for 10, I applaud the Bradenton Herald's endorsement of David Zaccagnino and Melissa Williams for election as Holmes Beach commissioners.
On the other end of the endorsement spectrum, I agree with the Herald that Jean Peelen is the least qualified candidate. I remember early in Ms. Peelen's term she was quoted in the newspaper saying that while she would make mistakes as commissioner, they would be "honest" mistakes.
Hold on to your wallets, Holmes Beach citizens! Those "honest" but careless mistakes have cost our town plenty in both good will and monetary terms.
Her idea to hold community meetings was valid, but unfortunately, and as might be expected, those meetings attracted the most dissatisfied citizens among us. Rather than balance those complaints with the feelings of other Holmes Beach residents, Peelen took them as a rallying cry to forge blindly into initiatives and public statements that continue to haunt us.
These are not the actions of a seasoned or thoughtful leader. Ms. Peelen's represents neither me nor what I think Holmes Beach should be.
Please consider David Zaccagnino's impressive record of service and experience bringing differing factions to workable compromises during his eight years of service as city commissioner. We need someone who knows what efforts have already been tried and failed, someone who can help us avoid the expensive missteps of several of our less seasoned commissioners.
And please note that Melissa Williams, as a resident with a successful local business and a resume including important leadership roles on the boards of several AMI non-profits, is a candidate who, refreshingly, will not need to recuse herself from votes on zoning issues that could potentially favor herself.