With just a month to go before the Nov. 8 general election, the race for two seats on the Carrabelle city commission is hitting its peak.
With the death earlier this year of Frank Mathes, former city commissioner Keith Walden ran unopposed to complete the last two years of that term, so he won’t be on the ballot this time.
The two seats that are being contested in the non-partisan election are those now held by Cal Allen, who decided not to seek re-election, and by Tony Millender, who is seeking another four-year term.
How it all works is that the top two vote getters will be elected, regardless of the percentage they receive. Each of the 951 eligible Carrabelle voters will be able to cast two votes.
The four candidates, in alphabetical order, are Sharon Glaze, 63, 122 Bragdon Street; Bill Gray, 44, 1658 Highway 67; A.C. (Tony) Millender, 68, 202 12th Street NE; and David Printiss, 54, 212 East Meridian Ave.
If voters are unable to make it to the polls, they can request a ballot be sent to them by mail, but that must be done by Saturday, Oct. 29.
Voters everywhere in the county have until Oct. 11 to register to vote if they are not already registered.
Early voting for the general election runs from Monday. Oct. 24 through Saturday, Nov. 5, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the Courthouse Annex at 912 NW Ave. A in Carrabelle. In Apalachicola, early voting is at the Supervisor of Elections office at 47 Ave. F.
On election day, voters in Carrabelle vote at the senior center. The rest of the county’s eight precincts all vote at their usual locations, although those who have voted at the Armory, which is now under construction, will vote at the Holy Family Senior Center.
The following are statements prepared by the candidates, listed in alphabetical order.
I believe Carrabelle is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is truly a privilege and a blessing to live here. I believe that all the residents of Carrabelle, not just a few, deserve fair and equal standards and protection for all they have worked for.
We deserve to have a clean environment. We should be free to open windows without smelling toxic fumes from illegal trash burning. We should be able to enjoy a walk without being attacked or threatened by unleashed dogs without veterinary care. We should be free from meth users squatting in abandoned houses, living in campers cooking meth near our children.
I was in favor of a K9 dog. We should have allotted some of our huge grant money to provide the protection we all deserve, but our current commissioners disagreed, with no expense or facts presented. I spoke with a K9 handler with 29 years of experience.
It is becoming increasingly more obvious that our city is getting out of control. People cannot be left to their own devices. We need boundaries in place to protect All citizens.
We have slumlords in our city, with decreasing choices for affordable housing. These slumlords must be held accountable to provide a home they themselves would live in. We can only accomplish this through code enforcement. I offered to get certified at my own expense and code enforce as a volunteer at no cost to the city, but was denied.
I led the charge to clean up Jordan Bayou. The residents have no representation. They have an entry door but are raised on blocks with only a window to escape from. Small children would be thrown out a window in a fire. Unacceptable. This is only one problem. Foundations are cracking. No landscaping. This disaster will be repeated at the old school.
We need revenue and commerce without breaking the backs of our residents. Change does not always mean hotels and fast food. Sometimes it means increased opportunity.
Our children need motivation for a future, perhaps through technical skills programs.
Please Stand With Me!
Bill cares about Carrabelle because he has lived here most of his life and most of his family lives here. He has made a 23-year marriage, two sons, and a career here. He started working in construction at the age of 17. When he was 24 he started his own construction business. He currently co-owns and operates Gander’s Hardware. He knows from experience what it takes to have a career and a business in Carrabelle.
Bill is running for city commissioner because he believes that Carrabelle is poised for growth. He wants to make sure his kids and their kids are able to have a prosperous life in Carrabelle. He wants to help Carrabelle develop jobs, housing, and businesses while keeping the things that make our community home.
Bill believes in Carrabelle and believes that the citizens deserve more opportunity than what is available to them now. He wants Carrabelle to be a place that is known for its opportunity and sense of community.
Please consider voting for Bill Gray for Carrabelle city commissioner.
A.C. (Tony) Millender
I am a lifelong resident of 68 years of the awesome city of Carrabelle. My wife Beverly and I, who are both graduates of Carrabelle High School, have raised our two grown children together here in Carrabelle. Now we have the pleasure of watching our grandchildren grow up in our wonderful hometown.
Both my wife and I have worked in the community throughout our adult life. I worked my way up the ladder with the State of Florida, Division of Forestry, retiring at 30 years as area supervisor. After my retirement, I was employed by The St. Joe Company for over five-and-one-half years. I also co-owned and operated a small business, M&M Services for eight years.
Since my election to the Carrabelle City Commission in September 2017, I have had the honor of proudly serving as your city commissioner. As a Carrabelle resident and five years as your seated commissioner, one of the most important issues for Carrabelle is the business community. Building a stronger, more vibrant business community would only add to the vitality of our already great business district. I will continue to promote and encourage new and improved businesses for the city of Carrabelle.
Several other equally important interests I will continue to work on include, but are not limited to, the CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) projects, water and sewer projects, street and road projects, administrative support, along with cemetery, airport, fire department, and police department improvements.
My goal is and will always be to represent the interest and welfare of the residents of Carrabelle. I continue to be available by phone at 850-567-3320 or by email at anthonymille[email protected], or stop by at 202 12th Street NE, Carrabelle.
Please remember to vote on or before Nov. 8 for A.C. (Tony) Millender for Carrabelle city commissioner. A voice that Does speak up! Thank you for your continued support.
I have lived in North Florida since 1981. I grew up in Pensacola and went to college in
Tallahassee where I graduated with honors from Florida State University in 1993. Before living in Carrabelle for the last 10 years, I resided just to the north in Bristol since 2001.
I live with my wife Angie who is a local contractor. My daughter and mother in-law are also in Carrabelle; my daughter is a forester at Tate’s Hell State Forest. I am a land manager. I have worked for a large conservation non-profit for 30 years and am currently the organization’s Florida fire program director. I have been a wildland firefighter since 1998 and a Florida certified burner since 2005.
In my off-time I enjoy hunting, fishing, mountain bike riding, playing fiddle and spending time with my family. Angie and I also enjoy working on historic homes. We are currently restoring our third in Carrabelle – the Yent – the oldest house in Carrabelle, built in 1887.
Why should you vote for me?
I am running for a Carrabelle city commission seat because I am compelled to. I believe our city is at a crossroads and decisions made over the next five to 10 years will forever decide the fate of what kind of city Carrabelle is to become. It is my belief that smart development with an eye to maintaining our local charm is where we need to go. We need a strong tax base, and we need to ensure Carrabelle continues to be an inviting destination for visitors and new business.
Also, I want to do what I can to grow a greater sense of community; I want to work together with my neighbors to take on shared challenges. I live here, I will retire here, and I care.
That is why you should vote for me.