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Grove re-elected to Apalachicola city commission

Apalachicola City Commission
Anita Grove swept into her second term of office Tuesday night, capturing
two-thirds of the citywide vote.

Grove, 61, of 174
Avenue C., tallied 443 votes, or 65.9 percent of the total, to 229 votes for challenger
Amy Hersey, 40, of 451 25th Street.

Grove won in all three
voting categories – vote by mail, early voting and on Election Day.

The largest chunk of
votes were cast by mail, and Grove pocketed 223 of them, nearly 70 percent, to
Hersey’s 100.

Among Election Day
voters, who cast ballots at the National Guard Armory, she gathered in 141 of
them, or 58 percent, to Hersey’s 101 votes.

Among those who cast
votes at the Supervisor of Elections office in the week leading up to Election
Day, Grove received 79 votes, or nearly 74 percent, to Hersey’s 28 votes.

In all, the turnout
was about 39 percent, as 672 registered voters, out of the 1,731 in Apalachicola,
cast ballots. Turnout for the last city election in 2019, when there were
several races on the ballot, including for mayor, was better than 60 percent.

Still, Grove, who had
waged a vigorous door-to-door campaign, said she was impressed by the turnout for
the single race on the ballot.

The other seat, which
had been held for but a few months by Tami-Ray Hutchinson, who replaced Brenda
Ash after was appointed by the commission to be mayor, will now be held by
Donna Duncan, who was unopposed in her bid to fill the seat.

Ash was also unopposed
in her bid to finish the last two years of a four-year term as mayor, so she will be sworn in, as well
as Duncan and Ash, next month.

“I’m happy to be
serving on an all-women commission,” said Grove. “Our new mayor seems to be
doing very well.”

The non-partisan
election was held at the National Guard Armory.

Grove said she is tallying her final totals, but it looks like she’ll have raised more than $800 for her campaign, while Hersey will have raised more than $2,000 for her effort.

Grove said she campaigned on the achievements of the city’s stewardship in getting its water and sewer debt under control and its finances on solid ground.

“We’ve been actively working on these issues,” she said. “They weren’t put aside.”

She said one of the toughest challenges the city is now facing is how to deal with the shrinking options for workforce housing, and the growing numbers of short-term rentals that have cut into the number of units available for those who want to secure a year lease.

“It’s a heavy lift,” said Grove. “It’s a hard, hard issue.”

She said she would like to see the city pursue workforce housing on the 12 lots it owns on 25th Avenue, but that may call for help from the community land trust.

“It’s a critical need for the average person.” Grove said. “I want them to be able to live here.”

Out of a total of 1740
registered voters with the city limits, 1,032 are registered Democrats, 428
Republicans, 38 with small parties, and 241 with no party affiliation at all.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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