KCB COMMISSION CANDIDATES: WHAT IS KEY COLONY’S BIGGEST ISSUE?

In an effort to provide greater familiarity and communication between the Key Colony Beach City Commission candidates and our readers, the Marathon Weekly sent each of them a series of questions concerning their backgrounds and stances on pressing city issues. The Weekly will continue to print each candidate’s responses in a Q&A series leading up to the Nov. 8 election. Have a question you’d like to see answered by the candidates? Send it to [email protected] for potential inclusion throughout the series.

Answers are printed exactly as submitted by candidates, with responses limited to 100 words.

This week: What is the largest issue facing KCB’s citizens, and how can you aid in pursuit of a solution?

FREDDIE FOSTER

Rapid growth is affecting how Key Colony Beach is evolving.  We are faced with the fallout of Hurricane Irma, rising insurance rates, changes in building codes, and property development.  The commission must ensure these forces are not burdening residents and homeowners with additional expenses or degrading the quality of life.  Many homes are being purchased by nonresident investors seeking appreciation and rental income.  They now make up approximately 68% of the KCB population.  We must be proactive in managing this trend or we will lose even more neighbors and our identity as the “Gem of the Florida Keys”. 

JOHN DENEALE

Global Warming and associated sea level rise present many challenges for KCB and the Keys.  First, we must work with the county and state to ensure we can safely evacuate in the face of storm flooding.  Secondly, we want to update our land development regulations to support renovations and reconstruction in the face of new FEMA flood maps.  Third, we must protect our infrastructure and environment to ensure resiliency.  My many years working with local, state and federal politicians will help us navigate the legal and governance hurdles required to obtain solutions and most importantly funding to mitigate these challenges.

BETH RAMSAY-VICKREY

As with our Keys neighbors, vacation rentals, FEMA, flood maps, insurance, hurricanes, and storm hardening remain on the top of the list.  I hope to aid in solutions through networking, lobbying, and the pursuit of grant monies to help address these County-wide issues.

But of particular concern to our KCB residents are rebuilding City Hall and issues with our Post Office (staffing, relocation, and continued operations).  

I have already taken steps to address our post office problems through my face-to-face conversation with our Congressman, alerting him to the current and projected issues.  

Relevant experience, good relationships, and networking are key.

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Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.