HOLMES BEACH – The results are in and the voters have spoken. Holmes Beach has three commissioners elect and all eight charter amendments passed.
About 30% of the city’s 2,751 active voters showed up either at St. Bernard Catholic Church to vote in person or by mail to help choose among four commission candidates vying for three seats on the dais and determine what changes to make to the city’s charter.
Commission incumbents Rick Hurst, Jim Kihm and Carol Soustek all petitioned voters for another two years on the dais while newcomer Terry Schaefer hoped for his first term as commissioner. Kihm and Soustek succeeded, each winning another two years on the dais. Schaefer will join them as a commissioner, meaning that Hurst’s time on the dais has come to an end.
Kihm received the top votes at 658, with Schaefer coming in second with 606 votes. The third and final commission seat goes to Soustek who received 546 votes. Shut out of the top three spots was Hurst who received 471 votes.
The three commission-elect candidates will be sworn into office for two-year terms during the city’s organizational meeting on Monday, Nov. 18 at 9 a.m.
There were eight questions posed to the city’s voters, answered with a simple yes or no, to amend the Holmes Beach charter. The questions were devised by the charter review commission whose members were voted into office in November 2018 by the city’s residents. Voters passed all eight charter amendments.
Question 1, a revision of the city’s legal description, bringing the description of the city’s boundaries in line with the description in other city documents, passed with 767 votes in favor of the amendment and 90 votes against it.
Question 2, governing how city leaders can transfer ownership of or long-term lease city-owned property, passed with 704 votes in favor of the amendment and 152 votes against it.
Question 3, changing how budget amendments of less than $100,000 are adopted by commissioners, passed with 638 votes in favor of the amendment and 218 votes against it.
Question 4, amending how department heads are fired, by the concurrence of city commissioners, not just by the mayor, passed with 616 votes in favor of the amendment and 224 votes against its adoption.
Question 5, changing the job description of the city treasurer to allow for the city’s annual financial statements to be audited by an independent accountant, passed with 790 votes for the measure and 119 against its adoption.
Question 6, removing the building and public works department as a charter department, passed with 493 votes for and 345 votes against the measure.
Question 7, removing human resources as a charter department, passed with 557 votes in favor of and 282 votes against the amendment.
Question 8, transferring the filing of written notices of candidacy from the city clerk’s office to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office, passed with 627 votes for and 228 votes against the amendment.