Mayoral candidates speak out

Holmes Beach mayoral candidates
Holmes Beach mayoral candidate Judy Titsworth answers a question while fellow candidate Joshua Linney looks on during The Sun’s candidate forum held at city hall. - Gail Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – Mayoral candidates Joshua Linney and Judy Titsworth are ready for the November election. The two took to the dais at city hall to answer questions from Sun readers during the 2018 candidate forum held Sept. 19.

Abbreviated answers to some questions from the forum are below but, to hear all the questions, answers and rebuttals, visit The Sun’s social media page.

In your opinion, what is the job of the mayor?

Linney: “The job of the mayor is to dutifully execute the will of the commission and represent the city in a legal capacity. I think that I am pretty much trying to mimic that now without even having been elected.”

Titsworth: “The mayor is the chief executive officer of the city and he’s administrator of all the city affairs as it relates to our city charter. He’s a leader and it’s important that he’s a responsive leader and that he speaks with the residents, the businesses, embraces the commission and their legislative duties and administrates the staff effectively.”

How do you think the three Island mayors can work together to better address common issues?

Linney: “Well I think it’s very important that we work together.”

Titsworth: “I’ve seen a lot of improvement and I want to thank them all for that… I think consolidation on the loss of home rule and things that we’re all dealing with together, consolidating ideas, consolidating solutions, sharing things, but I don’t think it’s just our only three Island cities, I think we need to reach out farther.”

What do you think is the biggest issue facing the city today and how would you approach dealing with it?

Linney: “There’s a number of them. First, there’s management. Nothing matters if you don’t do it right and if all we keep doing is changing the problem or shifting the problem or not actually addressing the problem we’re not going to get anything done. I think the management of the city is key and that’s number one.”

Titsworth: “The biggest challenge is water rise and stormwater management because we’re a barrier island… An issue is the loss of home rule. Our hands are tied on so many avenues that we used to be able to use to effectively police our communities.”

How would you help reduce the effects of red tide on the community?

Linney: “Shifting the algae into the ocean isn’t a solution, it’s just a different pileup… why haven’t they found a solution to redistribute the algae onto the land, letting the water run through and then taking the product that is the result which is nutrient rich because it’s blooming and use it to fertilize the cane fields it’s coming off of. It seems like solutions like this would be easier than pumping it all the way over 300 miles to the west just so we can push all the other algae north. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Titsworth: “As mayor get to Tallahassee. As mayor get to Vern Buchanan. As mayor just get the word out as best as possible about the amount of loss from our restaurants, from our motels, from our resort housing. Yes, we’re all enjoying the no one on the streets right now but we had to pay a really hefty price for that and that’s not right. We have to find a solution.”

How would you describe your city today to a stranger?

Linney: “Paradise. I don’t care what you say or where you go, all the things the city’s been through in the 43 years I’ve been here it’s still paradise.”

Titsworth: “It’s home. Period.”

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