And the winners are…

And the winners are…
Candidates Renee Ferguson and John Monetti gather with supporters at the polls Nov. 2 at St. Bernard Catholic Church. - Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – After months of campaigning, the 2021 election results are in and Anna Maria Island’s biggest city has three commissioners to swear in later this month.

The night’s big winners are former Commissioner Pat Morton and incumbent Commissioners Carol Soustek and Terry Schaefer.

Schaefer came in as the night’s big winner with the top number of votes at 655, while Soustek came in second with 637 votes and Morton came in third with 629 votes.

Though there were five candidates, only three seats were available on the city commission dais, leaving Renee Ferguson, who received 608 votes, and John Monetti, who received 473 votes, as the fourth and fifth place candidates with no seat on the dais for the coming year.

For Schaefer, this will be his second two-year term on the city commission dais. Morton will be returning to the dais for an additional term after losing his bid for re-election in the 2020 election. This will be Soustek’s fourth full term on the city commission after being first appointed in November 2014 to fill the unexpired term of David Zaccagnino.

A swearing-in ceremony and organizational meeting for Holmes Beach commissioners is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 15 at 9 a.m.

The other item on this year’s ballot for Holmes Beach residents was the consideration of a land swap with Jon Cooper and his family. The land swap received voter approval with 851 votes in favor or 69.64% of votes cast in the matter.

The swap means that, in exchange for a 50- by 100-foot section of right of way, the Coopers give the city of Holmes Beach a section of beachfront property along with $10,000 for dune restoration or another environmental project of city leaders’ choosing. The city right of way, part of an undeveloped street, bisects two sections of the Coopers’ beachfront property.

Now that the land swap is approved, it will go before commissioners to be ratified before becoming official.

Holmes Beach has 2,757 voters. Approximately 45% of Holmes Beach registered voters cast their ballots in this election.

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