BELLEAIR - Tom Shelly was returned to his seat on the Town Commission in Tuesday’s voting and Karla Dee Rettstatt became a new face on the commission.
Running third was Virginia Donahue.
Both Shelly and Rettstatt stressed their experience in town affairs in their campaigns.
Shelly was the top vote getter with 421 votes. He replaced Ernst Upmeyer who resigned last year so the vote was a ratification of his performance.
Rettsatt had 383 votes and Donahue had 336.
Shelly’s past involvement in town activities also includes serving as the past president of Belleair’s civic association and as a member of the town’s historic preservation board.
He volunteers for Belleair Recreation and Civic Association events. He is a sales manager for Century 21 Beggins Enterprises.
Shelly identified the issues he felt were the most important in a March 2 Gazette article. He stated that he thought Belleair’s most important challenge concerns the town’s comprehensive land use plan. He said he felt the plan requires a complete review & update in order to preserve Belleair’s character.
He also listed negotiations with Progress Energy as an important issue Belleair faces as well as the need for town government to work with the owners of the Belleview Biltmore to continue to make the hotel & golf course financially feasible.
Rettstatt is currently Belleair’s vice chairperson of the Planning and Zoning Board and is also vice chairperson of the Recreation Board.
Like her running mate Shelly, she has also served on the Historic Preservation Board and the Civic Association. She is a former area sale manager for Kraft Foods.
In a previous interview, Rettstatt said she felt the most important issue facing the town is the impact on Belleair’s infrastructure should renovations on Belleview Biltmore properties be approved.
She may have endeared herself to voters in that interview in part when she suggested that the town needs to find ways to generate revenues for improvements to the infrastructure without raising taxes.
Rettstatt also said she is concerned that the town needs to prepare residents for emergencies and make sure vulnerable residents receive assistance.
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