Six candidates running for local political offices in the Nov. 8 election answered a series of rapid-fire questions about issues facing Manatee County during the monthly Manatee Tiger Bay Club meeting Thursday.
The luncheon featured candidates vying for the Bradenton City Council Ward 1 and Ward 5 seats and the Manatee County Commission District 3 seat.
Tiger Bay previously held similar rapid-fire forums featuring other candidates running for other offices.
Manatee County Commission
Three candidates are vying to succeed Commissioner John Chappie as the District 3 commissioner on the Manatee County Commission. Chappie elected to not run for re-election to the seat, which covers West Bradenton and Anna Maria Island.
Republican candidate Steve Jonsson and independent David Zaccagnino participated in Thursday’s luncheon. Independent candidate Matt Bower was supposed to attend but an emergency prevented him from participating.
Both candidates in attendance agree the Cortez Bridge should be replaced, the proposed county half-cent sales tax is necessary and attainable housing is needed.
On the large development recently approved in West Bradenton
Jonsson: “West Bradenton has definitely got a lot of issues with those projects coming up. A lot of transportation issues. It’s going to be a challenge for the county to address all the issues and protect quality of life out there. It is just going to be a collaborative effort.”
Zaccagnino: “I wish things were like 17 years ago but it’s not. That’s reality. ... You can’t say ‘yes, yes, yes.’ You can’t say ‘no, no, no.’ I’ve done this on the island. It’s like a microcosm out there. What happened out on island is now happening in the county.”
Bradenton City Council
Candidates vying for the Ward 1 and Ward 5 seats on the Bradenton City Council answered a series of questions during Thursday’s luncheon.
Incumbent Gene Gallo and opponents Devon Davis and Tami Spyker Goudy are all running for the Ward 1 seat. Keenan Wooten was the only Ward 5 candidate to participate as incumbent Harold Byrd Jr. did not attend.
The candidates agree that City Hall needs to be sold and moved to a different location and that red-light cameras should be used in Bradenton.
On noise ordinance and whether to adopt Manatee County’s
Goudy: “It allows our officers to do what we need to do and it also allows certain areas that we have that are specific to the city of Bradenton and our specific streets are a lot different than Manatee County as a whole, so I would like to see us adopt a different one but very, very similar.”
Davis: “I believe we definitely have to have a different noise ordinance for the city of Bradenton because we are trying to develop the entertainment district especially in our downtown areas and our Ninth Street corridor and 14th Street, so we really have to have something that will work for those businesses.”
Gallo: “I also believe that we need to have our own noise ordinance because the entertainment district within the city limits is much different from what you find in the county.”
Wooten: “I believe we should adopt a different noise ordinance plan to fit the businesses and entertainment district within the city of Bradenton. Our needs are not the same and we need to do a little bit more research on what our entertainment district and what those business owners need.”