Years in Marathon: 22
Education: High School and some college
Occupation: Flats Fishing Guide, Small Business Owner
Family: Wife, Laural and two sons, Glenn, 24, and Richey, 14
Biggest Weakness: Speaking in front of crowds
Local flats guide and family man Richard Keating decided to throw his hat in the ring because he was “tired of standing on the sidelines.”
“I really think there’s a need to be more transparency in the local government,” Keating told The Weekly. “There also needs to be more accountability for the decisions being made. Our small businesses are really starting to suffer.”
Keating said since he answers to no one in town and does not have a personal agenda, he’s anxious for his first venture in local politics.
When asked how he would try to promote greater involvement and awareness concerning local political actions, Keating admitted that unfortunately, most people don’t get involved until an issue affects them directly.
“It is time consuming and overwhelming for me to protect the sanctity of our neighborhoods,” Keating said, adding that after years of fishing, coaching little league sports and raising his family, it’s time to begin working on behalf of the community that’s given so much to him.
Running on platforms of transparency in government as well as the need for responsible, controlled development, Keating said that after the sharp drop in property values, “hopefully things are going to start making sense again. Everything shouldn’t be going the way of the multi-million dollar condo.”
“I’m new to this, and I’m learning as I go. The job of a good councilman is someone who weighs all sides and then makes decisions. It’s important to gain consensus from people with opposing ideas, and I’m fairly good at consensus building,” he concluded.
Keating and son
Flats guide and political candidate, Richard Keating helped his 14-year-old son, Richey, land his first tarpon.
Years in Marathon: 25
Education: One semester shy of a Marine Biology degree from the University of South Carolina
Occupation: Musician/Entertainer; Publisher; Marketing Consultant; Broadcast Producer; Local Business Owner
Family: Wife of 13 years, Marlene
Biggest Weakness: I truly believe the best about people until they prove otherwise.
He’s often considered one of the city’s founding fathers, and now John Bartus has decided to jump back into the political foray with gusto.
“My only special interest is the people of Marathon,” Bartus has repeatedly confirmed. “I love my town.”
After serving as mayor and past councilman, Bartus served as board member and past president of the Chamber of Commerce as well as other benevolent organizations such as Rotary and the United Way.
Bartus said if elected, he wants to move the city’s beautification efforts to the front burner.
“We don’t need ruins and piles of rubble in this town, especially along the highway,” Bartus said. “The city needs to be more prudent about enforcing property owners to clean up their property.”
Economic revitalization is at the top of his list of priorities to prevent “an exodus of our work force families.”
“All aspects of our economy are intrinsically connected,” he continued.
The $3 per pound price for commercial lobster fishermen creates a trickle down effect. They’re spending less money on fuel, people who repair their boats have little work and they’re not taking their families out to spend money in the community.
“You hear about moms living in their cars with their kids, and it’s hard to believe that kind of stuff is going on here,” he lamented.
“Our town is going through some economic hard times, and when one part of town suffers, we all do. Marathon needs leaders with vision, committed to working together to ensure the survival of our families, our town and our future,” he concluded.
Years in Marathon: 35, originally from Totowa Borough, NJ
Education: High School diploma
Occupation: Small Business Owner
Family: Wife of 30 years
Biggest Weakness: “My honesty. I’m open, and I say what I think.”
Cinque said he is running for re-election because he wants to see the projects started during his term through to completion, specifically the sewer project, financing for the system and construction of the entire system all at one time. He added that the completion of the sewer system is critical to revitalization of “Old Town” Marathon, “not for big redevelopment, but for small businesses. Those are the places that will get relief.”
“The city’s comprehensive plan and land development regulations are something that needs to continually evolve, and I’d like to continue working on those,” Cinque affirmed.
He added that since tourism is the only industry that still has a stronghold in the Keys, he’d like to see the city purchase Boot Key and promote more eco-tourism.
On the topic of city beautification, Cinque said he’d like to continue the council’s efforts to landscape and spruce up the center of town around the airport and eventually work towards each end of town.
“As far as revitalization of Old Town, we need to develop a plan to deal with the lack of parking,” Cinque said.
Responding to accusations of transparency with the current council, Cinque said he’s always very vocal with his opinions and there’s little doubt about his position on issues.
“I’m always open to better solutions,” he added.
Years in Marathon: 10, originally from Connecticut
Education: B.S. in Math from Central Connecticut State University; extensive post-graduate work in Business Administration
Family: Married 25 years to his wife, Ginny
Biggest Weakness: Sometimes, I’m too outspoken.
Vasil ventured south to fulfill his dreams of retiring in Florida and enjoying the quality of life provided by the tropics. But in 2007, he said he was extremely unhappy with the direction the city government was taking, “and I felt I could do something about it.”
“Improving the look of the city is essential to economic development and revitalization,”
Vasil said, noting that since the city’s beautification committee was first appointed, the council has supported their efforts.
“We need to continue to support the efforts of that committee and pursue all possible grant money available. Period.”
He continued that as part of the city’s future economic development, he’s always felt the waterways and harbor create a unique lifestyle and fabulous opportunities for Marathon’s growth.
“This is a critical time in the city’s history,” Vasil affirmed. “We must all continue to work together to position Marathon for an economically bright future as soon as the economy turns around. I’m thrilled with the new spirit of cooperation I sense between the council, chamber of commerce, benevolent organizations as well as our non-profits.”
In the meantime, Vasil pledged he would continue to fight for the most fiscally conservative policies possible.
Kevin Kenny [did not respond to repeated requests] However, courtesy of the Marathon Florida Keys Journal who recently interviewed Kevin Kenny please go to
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Joanie Nelson [did not respond to repeated requests]
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