Carter and York named Citizens of the Year

Carter and York named Citizens of the Year
Deputy City Clerk Debbie Haynes presented Bob Carter with his Citizen of the Year award. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

ANNA MARIA – Bob Carter and Dick York are the city of Anna Maria’s Citizens of the Year for 2019.

Carter and York were selected by the Citizen Recognition Committee that consisted of Deputy City Clerk Debbie Haynes and city residents Kathy Patten and Alan Tripp.

York and Carter were recognized at the Thursday, Jan. 23 city commission meeting, which York was unable to attend.

Haynes detailed York and Carter’s contributions to the city by reading aloud their nomination forms.

York is the retired president and CEO of an information technology firm. He and his wife, Sally, moved to Anna Maria in 1999.

“Mr. York has been actively involved in the Island and the statewide initiative aimed at preserving home rule. He has contributed not only his time and talent, but he also personally funded and maintained a website dedicated to this effort,” Haynes said.

She was referring to the Home Rule Florida coalition and the www.homerulefl.com website.

“Each legislative year, for the past eight years, Mr. York has updated, expanded and improved the website, transforming it into the most effective web presence in the state of Florida to address the issue of erosion of home rule. The site highlights the latest news on pending bills impacting home rule, identifies the sponsors of these bills and the committee hearing process, and provides an easy and instantaneous method for constituents to communicate with legislators on this important issue.

“By providing this effective tool to the residents of our Island community and citizens throughout the state, Mr. York has been instrumental in stopping the erosion of home rule and making known the concerns of grassroots constituents. Mr. York has become a principal crusader in maintaining the rights of cities to determine their own destiny, and for these reasons he is recommended as Anna Maria’s resident of the year. We congratulate Mr. York,” Haynes said.

Carter is the founder and chair of Carter Global, an international philanthropic fundraising consulting firm. He moved to Anna Maria in 2006 and has been married to Anna Maria Commissioner Carol Carter for 36 years.

“Mr. Carter has been very active in city affairs, contributing not only his time and talent, but also personally funding programs of importance to the residents of our city. Over the past two years, Mr. Carter has been active in ensuring responsible government and preserving home rule.

“He served on the Planning and Zoning Board, providing valuable input on issues such as the city’s comprehensive plan. Mr. Carter also personally funded two public presentations by prominent authors and speakers: Peter Kageyama, an expert on cities and how each of us can play an important and vital role in establishing and improving the quality of life in our hometown, and John Englander, an international authority and noted author on sea level rise and its implications for barrier island communities and other coastal environments.

“For these reasons and more, Mr. Carter is recommended as the Anna Maria Citizen of the Year,” Haynes said.

She then presented him with a wooden plaque commemorating his award.

“I want to thank the committee and whoever nominated me,” Carter said. “I think all of us have certain capacity, talents and skills and I feel we’re obligated to put them to good use for the greater good. We want to make this a better place for future generations. We don’t know how long this Island will be viable because of sea level rise, but we want it to be the best it can be, and that includes home rule.

“Working with Dick on home rule started by three guys meeting on his porch every Sunday night at 5 o’clock. I named it the “coalition” and Tallahassee actually thought it was a coalition, which is the only reason they listened to us,” Carter said, noting he appreciates the award and will honor it.