Residents vie to join town boards

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The Longboat Key Town Commission will soon decide who will fill the shoes of longtime Planning and Zoning Board member George Symanski.

Symanski is moving off the island and five applicants are vying to be appointed to the seven-member board.

First is Longboat Village resident Christopher Carman. Carman lists in his application his occupation as a campaign consultant. He has lived on Longboat Key his entire life and wrote that he will, “bring a younger person’s perspective” and is very active in the community.

Carman is currently working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in Argosy University.

He writes that he is a Republican, a past member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment and a former member of the Manatee County Historic Preservation Board.

The next applicant is Aaron Kleiner who lives mid-key and lists his occupation as an ‘executive.’ Kleiner writes that he has a great deal of experience in finance, having been a Chief Financial Officer for several companies and has served as a consultant ‘at high levels’ in major corporations including Google, Xerox and United Therapeutics. Kleiner earned both an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in Business Administration and attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Sloan School of Management. Kleiner has worked as a volunteer visiting nursing homes and as a mentor for the M.I.T. Venture Mentoring Service as well as a member of the Sarasota/Manatee Bike Club. Kleiner wrote an addendum that he has worked for over 40 years with Ray Kurzweil whom he describes as “the world’s leading technology futurist and the Director of Engineering at Google.”

Longboater and north end resident Randy Langley is also seeking the appointment and lists his occupation as ‘developer, realtor and contractor.’ Langley earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Service Administration from the University of Central Florida. He is a state certified General Contractor, Roofing Contractor, and is licensed for Mobile/Modular Home Installation.

Ken Marsh, who lives at the Moorings 2630 Harbourside Drive, seeks to put his experience to use on the Planning and Zoning Board. He lists his former occupation as a Public School Administrator and Planner and is a member of the Longboat Key Democratic Club. Marsh has lived in the area since 1979 and has worked for 35 years for the Manatee and Sarasota County School Boards. He spent his final 11 years as the Director of Long-Range Planning for the Sarasota School Board.  Marsh received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Georgia. Marsh has numerous professional affiliations including a 10-year member of the American Planning Association as well as the Federal Educational Facilities Planning Association. Marsh has also served as Vice President of House and Grounds for Temple Emanu-El in Sarasota as well as the Accounting Co-Chair for Relay for Life in Sarasota County.

The next applicant, John Weber, is a retired Insurance Adjuster received a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Connecticut. Weber has been both a director and president of the Islander Club on Longboat Key. Weber lists his 2016 achievements as helping to update and reinstatement of the Islander Club’s condominium by-laws and declaration of condominium. He said he spearheaded the effort to place fencing off the north and south tower lawns resulting in an end to trespassing. He also initiated, interviewed and moved forward with the retention of new legal counsel for the Islander Association.


Retirement Board applicants

The Town Commission is due to make another appointment to fill a seat on the Consolidated Retirement System Board of Trustees. Resident Steve Branham’s term ends at the end of September and must be filled. Branham is seeking reappointment to the Retirement Board as is Longboat resident John Weber, who is described above since he is also applying for a Zoning Board seat.

Branham is a retired Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard 7th District. Branham led the Coast Guard’s busiest of 9 Districts worldwide, and led a workforce of over 11,000 employees. He was responsible for a $90 million annual budget and commanded all forces in major mission areas including search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, marine/port safety, regulatory inspection and enforcement activities.

Prior to that he worked as the CFO for the Coast Guard and was responsible for the allocation and expenditure and accounting of a $10 billion annual budget. He has served on many boards including the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the Board of Directors of the U.S. Naval Institute, and is a past Director of the Sarasota Yacht Club Charitable Foundation Board. Branham is currently President of the Board of Directors of Suncoast Blood Bank and the Longboat Key Kiwanis Club and served as Chairman of the Retirement Board he is applying to continue serving.

Branham’s education includes a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a Master’s of Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of National Security Strategy from the National Defense University.


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