Former city manager will face manager

As Key West Commissioner Barry Gibson prepares for his fourth and final year on the dais before embarking on a countywide race for Supervisor of Elections, two well-known Key West residents have already announced their candidacy for the District IV seat.

Julio Avael is a former city manager who served as the municipality’s top administrator for 12 years before retiring in 2007. He was replaced by Jim Scholl in November of 2007. Avael, who graduated from Key West High in 1962, holds a master’s degree in Public Administration and also served as the county manager in the Nevada counties of Lee and Douglas. He is married with two grown children and five grandchildren.

“I have the institutional memory and experience that will certainly help my friends on the dais make decisions,” Avael said. “There are still some issues on the table, unfinished, to be completed.”

He says signing the transfer papers with the Navy for the Truman Waterfront seems “like yesterday” and cites the new city hall as one issue that occupied his time as city manager that he would like complete is elected to the city commission.

“I poured my heart and soul into the city when I was the manager,” he said. “It’s my community, I was born and raised here and I want to continue to improve the city.”

This October, he will square off against Tony “Fat” Yaniz, who moved to Key West 40 years ago and brings to the race “a fresh approach because I am not apart of the political machine.”

As the sales and marketing manager for the Coconut Beach Resort, Yaniz understands tourism is the “goose that laid the golden egg,” but feels those “who take care of the goose must be taken care of. We need to rely on and take care of each other.”

In the 70s, he created the Cayo Hueso Unusual Bartenders Society (CHUBS) “to bring some recognition to the front lines of the hospitality industry.”

He has also served on the board of the directors for the Rotary Club, founded the Marquis Butler Softball Tournament and created a men’s softball league.

“I am a motivator who wants to make things better,” he said. “I am going to ask the residents to pull together and demand more clarity from our officials.”


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