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Hundreds Gather on AMI for Save Home Rule Rally


Last Saturday, May 4, Holmes Beach City Field was hot, and it wasn’t just the sun! A Save Florida Home Rule rally ignited the enthusiasm of over 300 citizens who came out to learn the facts about the move to consolidate or dissolve the Anna Maria Island cities and actions to take to make their voices heard.

Organizers planned this rally as a follow-up to the April 13 Hands Across the Sand demonstration, which also drew over 300 people from on and off AMI. Florida voters and visitors alike do not want to see the charming, unique coastal communities of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach lose their identities and become prey to developers.

Rally-goers heard from city officials, residents, and Diana Shoemaker, a strong home rule candidate for the District 3 county commission seat. They were reminded that current Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge got this ball rolling by instigating the Florida statute overruling Holmes Beach ordinances to build a parking garage on Manatee Beach.

They were informed that the garage, which nobody wants, is no longer the major issue. The threat to the existence of the island cities is. If they are consolidated or dissolved and brought under the control of Bradenton or Manatee County, as has been suggested, all bets are off regarding building height and density restrictions. Current ordinances have kept the old Florida feel that residents and visitors prize. Nobody wants to see what happened in St. Petersburg Beach happen here.

Rally-goers echoed the message of the Hands demonstration to county commissioners and state legislators “Keep your hands off our Island cities.”


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  • WTF

    The BOCC can't run the county much less sticking their noses into home rule. Such bad behavior by our County elected officials. KVO...One and Done

    Thursday, May 16 Report this

  • bbenac

    The Island Parking Garage is still a major threat to the beauty and serenity of AMI. The County BOCC just approved $1.25 Million for the Garage design! Don’t get complacent. Vote out KVO-the ring leader of this effort. Change your party to vote in the Republican Primary before June 22. This is the most important election in Manatee County History,

    Friday, May 17 Report this

  • sandy

    bbenac: Unfortunately not in District 3 but I definitely would vote against KVO. His ego exceeds his stature. Only commissioner race I can vote in this year is District 7. I switched so I can vote in primary for Scott Farrington for SOE against Satcher in the primary. He is way more experienced and should have been appointed. I don't trust Pedicini. He plays dirty. I retired from the county before the 2022 primaries but they were already closed by write-ins so I couldn't vote in the primaries for District 4 and 6. Handwriting was on the wall and at my age I didn't need it.

    Friday, May 17 Report this