ANNA MARIA – Mark Short has been appointed to fill the Anna Maria City Commission seat formerly held by Brian Seymour, who resigned in August.
Short will serve the remainder of the two-year commission term that expires in November 2020.
On Thursday, Sept. 26, Commissioners Carol Carter, Doug Copeland, Amy Tripp and Dale Woodland unanimously selected Short over fellow candidate Jack Bergbom.
The appointment process began with a request for public comment, but there was none. Mayor Dan Murphy introduced the two candidates who applied to fill the vacant commission seat, noting that Bergbom was not present, although the clerk’s office had notified him of the meeting.
Turning to Short, Murphy said Short was currently a member of the city’s Planning and Zoning Board and has lived in Anna Maria long enough to have “sand in his shoes.” Short also served on the city’s Charter Review Commission earlier this year.
Short addressed the commission before the selection process took place. He said he and his wife, Pat, have owned their Anna Maria home since 2012. Two years ago, he retired after a 38-year career in the field of mergers and acquisitions and also as a Certified Public Accountant.
“I’ve always been one to get involved wherever we’ve been,” Short said, noting that he also became a member of The Center’s financial committee in 2018.
In addition to his financial background, Short said he thought being a newer resident of the city would bring a new perspective to the commission.
City Clerk LeAnne Addy then provided the four commissioners with a ballot form on which they were asked to individually rank the two candidates in terms of their first and second choices. The ballot also contained a “none of the above” option.
All four commissioners ranked Short as their first choice and Bergbom as their second choice.
“Congratulations Mr. Short,” Murphy said after Addy tallied the results.
Before being sworn in, Short tendered his written resignation from the Planning and Zoning Board. Addy then administered the oath of office and Short took his seat on the dais to participate in the rest of the meeting.
During the commissioners’ reports toward the end of his first meeting, Short said, “I’m looking forward to being on the commission and working with all of you.”
“Thank you for stepping up,” Murphy said.
“Yes, absolutely. Thank you,” Carter added.
Another appointment pending
After the city elections conclude in November, Short, Tripp, commissioner-elect Carter and commissioner-elect Jon Crane will appoint someone to fill the seat to be vacated by Woodland.
Carter and former Planning and Zoning Board Chair Crane are running unopposed in the 2019 city elections. Woodland sought re-election but failed to qualify when he paid his qualifying fee with a personal check instead of with a check issued from a registered campaign account.
After the two-week qualifying period closed, Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Mike Bennett told Woodland he’d been withdrawn from the race for the city’s three available commission seats.
Woodland said he hopes to be reappointed to serve another term. After the November elections, Woodland’s newly-vacated seat will be filled using the same application and appointment process used to fill Seymour’s vacant seat.