take aim at compromise parking plan
By Laurie Krosney
sun staff writer
ANNA MARIA The citys
compromise parking plan could be in jeopardy.
Commissioners had agreed in principle to a plan earlier
this year that would have allowed parking on alternate
sides of beach access streets.
Commissioner Linda Cramer, who was absent from that meeting,
challenged the proposal at a meeting last month. At the
time, she was ruled out of order.
Now, she is challenging the idea again.
At the commission meeting last week, Cramer declined to
be silenced on a point of order when she began criticizing
the proposal, called Plan C.
"This is going to affect my residence," Cramer
said. "BDI said our streets are too narrow. I want
to take the horseshoe pits and move them and use that
for parking. And we need a new entrance to city hall.
We need a Gulf Drive entrance to city hall."
The commissioner went on to say that the city hall campus
would be the best place for parking and she'd also like
to see some restrooms what she called comfort stations
constructed where the horseshoe pits and shuffleboard
courts are now.
Deputy Mayor John Quam said he thinks Plan C does meet
the original criteria set by the commission for a parking
"It's fair," Quam said. "All the commissioners
agreed they feel this is a fair plan. I feel if a particular
street petitions for open parking, I'd be in favor of
that, but not the other way."
Commissioner Dale Woodland said he wanted to stick to
the agenda and work on Plan C.
"I'd like to move forward. This isn't on the agenda.
It's the same stuff we've heard for years. I'd like to
move forward," Woodland said.
"I represent a fair amount of people," Cramer
came back. "And no one wants Plan C."
Public comment appeared to be primarily against the plan.
"I went door-to-door along Oak and Mangrove,"
said Nigel Brown. "I was able to contact 15 out of
17 residents and they'd like resident-only parking. On
Mangrove, eight out of 12 residents feel the same way.
On Oak, there are 15 spaces on one side and only one space
on the other unless you remove all the intrusions the
residents have placed on the right of way."
Joe Romeo, who lives on Park Avenue, also dislikes the
"It's the most inconvenient of all the plans the
commission has come up with," he said.
Cramer held her position and said that Plan X, which was
a plan that designated specific parking spaces in the
beach access zone, was better than Plan C.
"You are confusing me, Commissioner Cramer,"
Commissioner Duke Miller said. "With all due respect,
because you are the one that canned it. (Plan X)"
Cramer had publicly supported Plan X, but then when the
plan came to a vote, she voted against it. She said at
the time that she hadn't understood exactly what the plan
In the end, Woodland said he'd like to continue discussing
Plan C to work out all the details and put it to a vote.
Commissioners agreed to continue discussions on Plan C
at their next work session, which will preceed the commission
meeting on July 28.
sought for Prelude
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
It all began as a non-commercial event to bring people
together and celebrate the start of the holiday season.
After eight years of producing the Christmas Prelude,
the original sponsor is turning over the reigns, hopefully
to the cities.
The Christmas Prelude is a gathering at the parking lot
of the Bridge Street Pier every Thanksgiving evening to
listen to Christmas and holiday music. John Chappie, Emily
Anne Smith and Lea Ann Bessonette are the principals of
Legacy III, the non-profit group that sponsors the Prelude.
Since its inception eight years ago, Chappie has become
the citys mayor, Smith became a popular designer
and Bessonette, a former city clerk, is her assistant
at OBrien and Smith Architecture. Bessonette said
a heavy workload was behind their decision to seek new
We have been blessed with work, she said.
In the past, Emily allowed me to put in my own time
and my office time to put it together, but we have become
too busy and there just arent enough hours in the
In their letter to the city, the members of Legacy III
said they would donate $1,000 toward the next Prelude
and give more than 50 PVC white chairs used in the past
for performers and guests to the city for the future events,
including Preludes. The letter said they would be happy
to share all the information they have with a new chairperson
or committee in producing the next Prelude. They said
they hoped the city could take over the event, but Chappie
is said to be ready to take it a step further.
He met with the other Island mayors at the Anna Maria
Island Chamber of Commerce Monday evening to discuss coordinating
all the holiday season activities with the Chamber.
We want to be the point person for the
full holiday season, said Chamber President Don
Schroder, who originated the idea. We will need
help from the three cities in the form of a staff person
or an elected official.
All three mayors were for the idea, he added,
but they will have to get the approval of their
city commissions to take the next step.
Chappie asked the Chamber to include the Prelude because
it kicks off the holiday season, according to Schroder.
Holmes Beach Mayor Carol Whitmore said Chappie told the
group he would ask the business community to support the
Prelude financially. Whitmore said the idea of the Chamber
serving as a liaison between the holiday events is a good
They asked us to get copies of our calendars to
(Chamber Executive Director) Mary Ann Brockman and we
are going to get together again in two weeks to discuss
it, said Whitmore. He wants the other two
cities to encourage their residents to attend the Prelude,
just like they do events in their cities.
consolidation debate tonight
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
There will be a debate
among Island mayors and others on Bright House Network's
Manatee County Television channel 21 on Wednesday, June
15, from 7 to 8 p.m.
In addition to Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn, Holmes Beach
Mayor Carol Whitmore and Bradenton Beach Mayor John Chappie,
Holmes Beach City Commissioner and former mayor Rich Bohnenberger
is expected to argue against it. SueLynn and Whitmore
have expressed their support of it while Chappie said
he leans against it but is open to explore it. If the
elected officials agree to put the proposal on the ballot,
voters would decide whether to recommend combining all
three Island cities into one. One of the most discussed
proposals is to have a city manager over one Island government
with three boroughs representing the same territory the
cities represent now.
The Herald Editorial Page Editor David Clement will moderate
the debate, which will be broadcast to Bright House Cable
customers on channel 21.
removed from Davis construction site
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH In
a flurry of events last week, the city was told that it
had issued a building permit in error and red tagged a
construction site, then it learned that it was not in
error and removed the red tag.
It was the latest event in a more than two-year struggle
by Frank Davis to build a four-unit condominium at 5622
Gulf Drive. Attorney John Shubin, representing Ruthanne
McLean and Barbara Coloney, of 5620 Gulf Drive, has consistently
opposed Davis plan by filing a series of lawsuits
involving the project beginning in August 2003.
Last week, Assistant Building Official Bill Saunders said
he issued a building permit to Davis in November of 2004.
Saunders said he received a call on June 7 from Shubin
protesting the permit because one of the lawsuits he filed
has not been resolved yet.
Greg Hootman, the citys attorney in the issue, told
Saunders to red tag the site on June 8. However, on June
9, Hootman reversed his decision.
"He said the city did nothing wrong," Saunders
said. "The fact that a lawsuit is going on doesnt
affect the city. Frank Davis can build a four-plex as
far as the citys concerned."
Davis contractor Brent Whitehead had protested the
red tag in a letter to the city on June 8 noting, "If
this project is stopped, this will result in a significant
cost to our company for breach of contracts we have with
our subcontractors that we will need to buy out of. We
are talking tens of thousands of dollars of cost and we
will be forced to pass this on to the owner that Im
sure will be looking to the city."
The issue began in February 2003, when the board of
adjustment granted height and setback variances on the
property. However, when Davis presented the site plan
to the city commission, Shubin objected and maintained
that the 68-foot wide lot is too small and must be 80
The city hired a special counsel to rule on the issue.
He said that in order for non-conforming lots to be utilized
to a different use, the owner must obtain a variance because
the city had no savings clause. A savings clause would
allow a non-conforming lot to remain buildable.
The board of adjustment then granted a lot width variance
to Davis in February of 2004. Shubin filed an appeal from
the board of adjustments decision in March 2004,
and in April he filed a petition for writ of certiorari
seeking a reversal of the boards decision to grant
the variance to Davis.
In June 2004, the city commission adopted a savings clause,
which would allow any lot of record to be used as permitted
by the district regulations in the zone in which the lot
is located, even if the lot fails to meet requirements
for width or parcel size. However, all other requirements,
such as setbacks, must be met.
In another twist, on June 8, Shubin filed a petition with
the city requesting that the city declare the land development
code inconsistent with the comprehensive plan.
Beach woman organizes walk for cancer
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH This
year, more than 200,000 women and men will be diagnosed
with breast cancer and more than 40,000 of those will
lose their life.
Nancy Sanders wants to help in the fight against the disease
and she found a way last year. This year, she and several
friends and relatives will do something to help fund research
for a cure.
Sanders and at least 15 other women will be participating
in the Breast Cancer Three-Day Walk for the Susan G. Komen
Breast Cancer Foundation from Oct. 7 to 9, 60 miles from
Clearwater to Tampa, as the Team Hope for Hooters.
The team currently has 16 members, and she hopes for more.
"We hope to have 20," she said. "We have
already raised $19,000 and we hope to get $30,000."
It all began when she heard about the event held last
year in Manatee County.
"I started organizing a team for this year's event,"
she said. "I started recruiting neighbors, friends
Five of the walkers are from Holmes Beach, including Sandee
Pruett, Peggy Douglas, Ilona Kenrick, Michele Schenk and
Sanders. They have been practicing by walking on the Island.
"We have a training schedule posted on our website,"
she said. "We have been averaging 15 to 20 miles
Sanders has done volunteer work at hospitals and for food
banks over the years, and she feels this is something
she can do to help fight a problem that affects many people.
"I have four sisters and many nieces," she said.
"Any one of them could be affected, so it's important
She hopes to start something that will become an annual
event for herself and others who participate on the team.
"We might walk in another city next year," she
said. "It would be fun to go somewhere different
To sign up for the team or to donate money, call Nancy
Sanders at 778-7979 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on the three-day walk, log on to www.the3day.org.
Rudacille retires after 40 years of teaching
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH For
John Rudacille, its always been about the children.
"My niche was being with the kids," he said
of his 40-year career teaching band. "Music is part
of everyday life. When they help produce it, they have
a better appreciation for it."
Rudacille spent the last 27 years teaching band at King
Middle School, which gave him a chance to meet many Island
"Every sixth-grader had to take three weeks of band
and three weeks of orchestra," he explained. "The
ones who stayed in band were with me for three years.
All the time I see my Island kids that I taught through
Rudacille said he began playing in the band in high school
and loved it.
"My friend and I took off to college to become band
directors. I got my undergraduate degree at Concord College
in West Virginia and my masters degree in music
education at Radford College in Virginia."
He taught for five years in Virginia before moving to
Manatee County in 1970.
"My parents brought us to Florida when we were kids
and I had my heart set on coming here ever since,"
he explained. "I loved the beach and the sunshine.
My friends said I was crazy because they were having problems
with integration here at the time."
He began his Manatee County teaching career at Braden
Middle School. He was there for four years, then moved
to Sugg Middle School when it opened.
Nancy Carson, who was the principal at King Middle, hired
him to open King in 1978. That was where he met his wife,
Chris, who was teaching orchestra there.
"I had a great career," he said. "I was
teaching an elective class, so I dealt with a lot of super
students. It makes a big difference."
Rudacille said he was especially pleased when students
came back to visit.
"When the kids come back and tell you that you made
a difference in their lives, thats what makes it
Rudacille said he has no specific plans for retirement.
"I dont know what Im going to do. I have
things in the house and yard that have been neglected
that I have to take care of first, then Ill decide
what I want to do. Chris will have to support me,"
he said with a laugh.
The Rudacilles have two sons, Scott, an attorney with
the law firm Kirk Pinkerton in Bradenton, and Mark, a
student at the University of Florida.