ANNA MARIA – Despite concerns that the gloves could come off, candidates
were on their best behavior in The Sun’s forum last week at the Island
Incumbents Christine Tollette, John Quam and Dale Woodland joined
challengers David Gryboski and Harry Stoltzfus on the Center’s stage
to answer questions submitted by residents in advance. Candidate
profiles appeared in last week’s Sun.
Gryboski: I’ve noticed an unnecessary focus on residents versus
businesses. We’re a community with a well-defined business district
and we need to support it. Instead of focusing on that, I want to
focus on issues that are important to all of us.
Quam: I’ve been a commissioner for seven years and I have worked
with many dedicated commissioners to preserve the Anna Maria we all
moved here for. I’m committed to maintaining the integrity and quality
of life of the residential neighborhoods and the business district.
Stolozfus: I will do everything I can to ensure Anna Maria maintains
the single-family residential character, which our comp plan declares
is our aim. Now more than ever, our commission needs another voice
that speaks for our businesses and our residents but against unchecked,
irrational, too rapid development.
Tollette: I promise to preserve and protect the comprehensive plan,
to continue to advocate for residential property rights, insist that
the business district remain within the bounds of ROR and commercial
districts and vigorously oppose any encroachment into residential
districts and any efforts to increase building heights.
Woodland: I read the profiles in The Sun and if they didn’t have
pictures with them I would have trouble picking out who was who.
We all love the comp plan, support the infrastructure and are fiscally
responsible. All of us want to protect the character and quality
of life in the residential neighborhoods and support business.
Q: There seems to be a hysteria regarding business owners versus
residents in the community. Why and how would you bring the two
Quam: It is the case, and I think it has been brought out by the
business group. They have designated who they are going to back and
circulated various documents. It’s very clear to the majority of
the residents. I don’t think it’s right, but I don’t think there’s
anything we can do about it.
Stoltzfus: Some of what has been going on is horrible. I’m taking
the high road every time there is a chance. I had a conversation
with someone who said as the election gets closer, it will get worse.
I don’t think denigrating your opponents adds anything to the conversation.
Tollette: All of us all feel passionate about the city and the
residents. We understand the importance of having a community. The
definition of a community is having a vital residential component
and a business component. That’s what we have here and that’s what
I’m fighting to protect.
Woodland: I’m one of those passionate people, too, but it’s a negative
thing I’ve seen here lately. I’m disappointed to see the city so
polarized. There are things we all agree on like the jewel we have
here. We need to work on those and have legitimate discourse.
Gryboski: We’re a community. We have the elementary school, the
library, the Community Center. Every community has a business district.
Ours happens to be much smaller than others. I’m going to focus my
efforts on things that are important to all of us.
Q: Would you allow a motel at the corner of Pine Avenue and North
A: All said they would not.
Q: How do you feel about the Angler’s Inn being put in a special
zoning district and used as a community gathering place?
Stoltzfus: If it comes to the commission, I’ll be looking very
closely because I’m not sure I trust these people (Pine Avenue developers)
Tollette: It’s wonderful historic building but it’s in a residential
area. You could move it and there are areas on Pine Avenue where
you could do that.
Woodland: I agree with Christine.
Gryboski: I applaud the efforts to restore and preserve it, however,
I’m not for encroaching into that residential district.
Quam: How do we know that a new owner would not renovate it? Also
I’ve suggested that the developer move it.
Q: Should there be limits on residential rentals?
A: All candidates said no.
Q: What ways would you improve how the city budgets its money?
Gryboski: I plan to take a closer look at the budget and eliminate
as much waste as possible.
Quam: We are near a bare bones budget this year. The only area
we could work on would be the consultants.
Stoltzfus: There are two ways to deal with the deficit – there’s
the cowardly way to do an across the board percentage cut or looking
for areas to save money.
Tollette: We will comb through it and find ways to save money while
continuing to protect and serve our constituents.
Woodland: The problem with government budgets is that they match
the revenue to their spending. They should be matching the spending
to the revenue that’s available.
Q: Should city support increase or decrease for the Community Center?
Stoltzfus: As far as I know, it’s doing fine financially.
Tollette: They have a financial problem because they are getting
less donors and have more people to serve. We need to find some partnerships
outside the Island.
Woodland: Our revenues decreased approximately10 percent and so
did our contribution to the Center. I support their efforts to find
all different sources of funding.
Gryboski: The three cities need to support it as much as we can.
We need to come up with creative ways to do that.
Quam: We have been decreasing our donation due to less ad valorem
revenue. We are giving our fair share.
Tollette: I want to be your commissioner and continue to help make
this the city that we’re proud of and continue to live in.
Woodland: You can count on the fact that I’ll be the same guy I’ve
Gryboski: I will focus on issues important to all of us and help
bring the community together.
Quam: I have the experience and commitment to perform to the best
interest of the city’s residents and I hope you vote to maintain
the integrity and quality of life for the residents while supporting
the business district.
Stoltzfus: What’s being proposed for Pine Avenue is not a small
wave. It’s a tsunami and if we allow it to go unchecked, the Anna
Maria you know will never be the same. I intend to fight. I’d like