Incumbents not rushing to file for Lakewood Ranch election

kmoschella@bradenton.comApril 24, 2014 

Bob Burstein, former CDD 6 chairman, explains why he resigned while Michael Finney of District 2 listens.KATHRYN MOSCHELLA/Bradenton Herald

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Although the qualifying period to run for a Community Development District seat in Lakewood Ranch in the November General Election is little more a month away, no incumbents have officially announced their intent to seek re-election.

An informal Herald survey conducted by phone this week indicates many will.

Thirteen supervisor terms in districts 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 are expiring and coming up for re-election Nov. 4.

Incumbents Phyllis Troy, assistant secretary for CDD 1, and Richard Williams, chairman of CDD 6, have announced they will not seek re-election.

Eight of the 11 remaining supervisors, whose terms are expiring, said they intend to run when reached for comment Wednesday.

Supervisor Bob Burstein of CDD 6 said he is still considering it. Burstein resigned as chairman of CDD 6 in March, but still serves on the board as assistant secretary and an IDA alternate. He was the target of criticism in March following the passage of a controversial interlocal gate agreement between districts 2, 5 and 6.

The newest supervisor, Jery Twiggs, former president of the Watercrest Condo Association, was appointed April 17 to the CDD 2 seat vacated by the resignation of treasurer Kathleen Grant in March. He will run for re-election.

So far, no one has officially filed for re-election or as a challenger for any of the seats with the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections, which could result in some appointments following the general election.

The qualifying period to officially announce a candidacy begins at noon June 16 and runs through noon June

20. Candidates can also declare candidacies during a prequalification period starting June 2.

The life of a community development district supervisor at Lakewood Ranch requires a lot of energy and time along with negotiation and people skills, which could be a reason so few run for office, said Bob Swiatek, treasurer of CDD 1 and president of the Summerfield/Riverwalk Village Association. Swiatek intends to run for his seat again.

"We live in a very busy time," Swiatek said. "People are recovering from the recession and family is taking a paramount position."

Keith Davey, vice chairman of CDD 4 in Greenbrook, said it's imperative people find the time to attend daytime meetings.

"If you have a job with no flexibility, this will present a challenge, People who are working have done in the past though," Davey said.

At the last April board meeting, all CDDs approved a resolution allowing the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections to conduct the district supervisor elections at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall in conjunction with the November general election.

Special rules and regulations require candidates seeking office in Manatee County to file qualifying papers and report campaign contributions. Check the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Web site at votemanatee.com.

Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.

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