The Marathon Keys Weekly and the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce hosted a meet-and-greet on Sept. 16 for the six candidates competing for three seats on Marathon City Council. Dozens of citizens and a smattering of elected officials — including Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay and Monroe County Commissioner Michelle Coldiron — joined the group as well. Each candidate was invited to make five minutes of remarks, and the order was determined by chance.
The Marathon city election stands alone this year and does not coincide with county or general elections. Marathon voters may begin casting ballots on Oct. 21 and early voting ends on Nov. 1. The election is on Nov. 5.
John Kissick has lived in Marathon for 14 years. He and his wife, Angelika, have two young children, and he owns and operates Fazoli Brothers Inc., building swimming pools. He ran for Marathon City Council in 2018, but lost to Councilmen Mark Senmartin and Luis Gonzalez.
“People say they want fresh faces in politics. It’s time for new ideas and to do away with the good old boys in public office. Please check the box next to my name.”
All together, John Bartus has served on the Marathon City Council for 11 years, both as an appointee, as well as winning regular elections. He is currently the mayor, a working musician and a publisher of a local magazine.
“People want to turn the calendar back to the date they fell in love with the Keys and preserve it forever. Sadly, the only constant is change. My job is to manage change as best as possible.”
Steve Cook moved to the Keys permanently about 15 years ago and has since joined multiple service clubs. He is married to Sheila, has three grown children and six grandchildren. He first ran for office in 2016. If elected, it would be his second term.
“This community is a nice team, but we need a bigger team because we have to go up against Tallahassee and FEMA. I am proud of how we stand together.”
A graduate of Marathon High School, Adam Geaneas worked as the City of Marathon’s fire marshal for 12 years before resigning. His wife, Heather, is a schoolteacher at Stanley Switlik Elementary. This is his first run for elected office.
“This city was built by families and it should remain that way. I am seeking your vote in November because I just want to make a better Marathon.”
If elected, this would be Dan Zieg’s third term in office. He was first elected in 2014 with 20.91% of the vote, and again in 2016 with 23.3% of the vote. Zieg is a retired orthopedic surgeon with grown children.
“I want to hold the millage rates, build our general fund reserves, build workforce housing to keep families, and rebuild and restore 33rd Street.”
A Marathon resident since 2012, Eugene Gilson is the manager of the Marathon Bealls Outlet store. He is a native of New York, married as of this weekend (!), and is raising three grandchildren he adopted. This is his first run for elected office.
“It’s hard for people in Marathon; I know of people working two or more jobs to stay afloat. I want to bring this perspective to the council.”
Voters will have another opportunity to hear from the candidates at a forum on Monday, Oct. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Marathon City Hall.
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