Marathon has two council seats up for grabs this November. Incumbent Mark Senmartin has said he will run for a third term while current Marathon Mayor Michelle Coldiron is seeking the District 2 County Commission seat currently held by George Neugent. Earlier this week, Neugent field to run for Marathon City Council. [link to neugent story]
Senmartin was first elected in 2013 for a two-year term and during that period the council amended the city charter. In 2015, Senmartin was elected to a three-year term. If elected, he would serve another three years. He said he still has work to do.
“I feel like Marathon residents need to be represented on a personal level,” Senmartin said. “Clearly we still have hurricane recovery to do and that’s going to take a while — not just the recovery in general, but also the rebuilding of people’s homes and lives and businesses. The city needs to give them the tools that they need to succeed.”
Senmartin said he would continue to advocate for policies and fees that keep the city’s costs and services revenue-neutral. He said the city has excelled at hurricane response before, during and after the storm and also at affordable housing.
“The city has been a leader by giving the developers the tools that they need, so they can build more affordable housing,” he said.
The top two vote getters will be elected to the Marathon City Council. As of now, only Neugent and Senmartin have filed to run, but candidates have until June to file.
Meanwhile, Monroe County School District’s John Dick is running for a fourth term serving District 4. He is being challenged by James Doran, a newcomer to politics with a long career in education.
Dick said he is running again because there is more work to do. “We have three new schools to finish, one in each area of the Keys, and the fields to work on,” he said.
Across the state, school officials are reacting to the legislation that grew out of the tragic shooting in Parkland.
He said the school district must work with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Key West Police Department to get school resource officers in place, as mandated by Tallahassee.
“And we have to look at hardening the security situations, especially at older schools. They aren’t unsafe, they just weren’t built to that standard,” he said. The third part, addressing mental health needs, could possibly be the most difficult — finding and hiring and moving professionals here, he said.