Manatee County commissioner's remarks lift candidate's low profile

November 16, 2013 

Terri Wonder of the Bay Life Preservers addresses a group gathered in August at the Bayshore Gardens Recreation Center to discuss organizing protests against a project proposed for Long Bar Pointe. TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald

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"I am not a crook!" "I did not have sex with that woman!" "Gotcha journalism!" The Sigh. The Scream. Just a few of the more memorable moments that our politicians have given us.

And now we have Manatee County's very own Vanessa Baugh offering us some relief from the tedium of the commission meetings with her observation that "It's a sad day" when declared candidate Terri Wonder presented her carefully prepared comments on removing the Urban Services designation from the coastal part of Long Bar Pointe.

In her rush to show that she continues to deserve the real estate endorsement, Commissioner Vaughn accused Ms. Wonder of making a campaign speech. I hope that it was.

I'm pretty sure that I saw Ms. Wonder's incumbent opponent, Carol Whitmore, cringe at Ms. Baugh's outburst. And Commissioner Robin DiSabatino continued to win our hearts by pointing out that hearing comments from the citizens at commission meetings was helpful to her in understanding what the community was thinking.

A Google search of Ms. Baugh's campaign literature cites her regular attendance at commission meeting as a qualification. But I guess that speakers can be annoying when you are on the other side of the dais.

If I were Terri Wonder, who up until the Long Bar Pointe dust-up was not especially well known, I would send Ms. Baugh candy, flowers and a bottle of really good wine -- for raising her profile.

Another fine reporting job by the Herald's Charles Schelle!

Bill Burggraf

Bradenton

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