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Who will be chosen as Longboat Key’s Mayor in 2014?

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

Mayor Jim Brown holds the reins on this one. If Brown wishes to continue in the role he will be a Mayor for a fourth term. It is clear behind the scenes that two Commissioners are ready to nominate and second a vote for Brown as Mayor on Monday and wish that Jack Duncan become Vice Mayor.

And Brown brings a gravitas and calmness to the position. He is not one of the commissioners who cowtows or can be harnessed by community pressures and busy bodies or the press. I believe the Commission is comfortable and not threatened by his leadership and that is why he will remain in the seat.

Another strong candidate is Jack Duncan. Duncan is brilliant and energetic in creating a focused approach to getting many issues accomplished that have stood dormant for years. The Urban Land Institute study, the Town Center initiative, the Cell Tower or no cell tower policy, the change in Town Manager and the fact that we now follow a mission statement and Vision Plan are all due to Duncan’s initiatives and push and methodologies. The Community Center, one of Brown’s desires, was close to a third referendum of voter refusal at Bayfront Park and now it is an exciting development moving forward in a Town Center.

I guess if we want to continue in harmony for the next year, Brown makes sense. If we want to boldly accomplish many of the paths the town has embarked upon, then Duncan makes sense.

The problem is Duncan ironically can come off too strong; he rose to the top of a 20,000-person organization. That is different than making seven members of a small community board feel warm and fuzzy and comfortable.

So in the end, Brown will get the votes. But if Brown wishes to hand over the torch and mentor the future, he can also feel comforted or relieved that he has in Duncan an eager and capable candidate for the job.

 

Time to have a good drink…

Now that we have embarked on insights into who should be and more candidly – who will be Mayor, let’s tip our glasses collectively to newly elected Irwin Pastor and Terry Gans.

Pastor will be an asset to the community with his diplomacy, his Clintonesque instincts for working out of the middle of the aisle and his business acumen mixed with property protectionism. That cocktail is a strong mix for our community.

And in Terry Gans I cannot repeat enough how hard this man works. I have seen him research and struggle and battle in his own mind many key issues. He does not just accept his first reaction. He is open to criticism and questioning all sides of an equation. I also think as time has gone on, Gans has strengthened and that will help him offer the independence in thought and ideation that makes for strong thinkers and a strong counterpoint to what may a prevailing direction.

The two who lost are very significant members of our community.

Ray Rajewski is in love with the Key he seeks to protect and wishes to keep the rules and the regulations that have kept the island a serene community in place. While he did not win this time around, he could be viable in a three-way race that will likely develop next year. But that is another story.

And what about Armando Linde? Armando is charming and a gentlemen and has the best accent on the Key. He is a complete delight and very astute. I believe he will be a Commissioner and make a fine one in the coming years as soon as he pushes his rhetoric past budgets and finances into the many other issues on our Key. We joke about that and I have to say his energetic smile and enthusiasm go far in winning people over. He appears an heir apparent when Lynn Larson leaves the Commission in District One where he lives.

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