Holmes Beach drinking water committee sworn in for first meeting

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Holmes Beach Town Clerk Stacey Johnston recites the oath of office on December 15 with members of the ad hoc drinking water committee at the group’s first meeting. Islander Photo: Ryan Paice

Holmes Beach has a new advisory board ready to improve and protect one of Anna Maria Island’s most precious resources: its waters.

The city’s long-awaited ad hoc committee for sanitation met for the first time on December 15 to introduce members, appoint officials and discuss a meeting schedule.

City commissioners first reviewed the committee in November 2020 at the suggestion of Commissioner Terry Schaefer and began accepting nominations in February.

Today, more than a year after the committee was conceived, the group has seven members, including:

  • Robert Carter, resident of Anna Maria, businessman and member of the board of directors of the Mote Marine Laboratory;
  • Jeffrey Drinkard, Holmes Beach resident and retired naval officer;
  • Nancy Flynn, Holmes Beach resident and Food Services Administrator;
  • Ron Huibers, resident of Holmes Beach and member of the board of directors of the National Marine Manufacturers Association;
  • John Kolojeski, a resident of Anna Maria, former Deputy General Counsel and General Counsel of the Office of Pesticides, Toxics and Solid Waste Management of the United States Environmental Protection Agency;
  • Jim McDaniel, Palmetto resident and Director of Development of the Anna Maria Island Center;
  • Holmes Beach resident, former West Manatee Fire Marshal and retired contractor Scott Ricci.

Ahead of the meeting, Holmes Beach Mayor Judy Titsworth thanked committee members for joining the board and underlined its importance.

“It is near and dear to my heart. I grew up playing in this bay everyday when I was a girl, ”Titsworth said. “I still live in the same bay but that has changed a lot.

She said much of the marine life she experienced growing up on the island has been lost in recent years due to increasing water quality issues.

“It’s tragic what happened to our waters,” she added.

After opening the meeting and introducing themselves, the committee members proceeded to appoint the officers for their first year.

Kolojeski appointed Huibers as chairman and, without a competing nomination, Huibers got the post without a vote.

Flynn appointed Carter as vice president. The motion was also approved without a vote due to a lack of other nominations.

Finally, Carter appointed Flynn as committee secretary. Flynn accepted the nomination and won the post without competition.

Schaefer attended the meeting as the commission liaison. He thanked committee members for coming together to protect the island’s waters and expressed hope that the group would inspire other local municipalities to do the same.

“It takes special people like you to step in and say, ‘I’m ready to go and invest my time to find answers,’ Schaefer said.

Committee members have agreed to meet on the second Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m.

The committee will explore the goals and objectives at its next meeting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive. The meeting is open to the public, with face masks recommended.


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