The residents of Anna Maria Island joined the rest of the country in feeling huge relief that the elections held on November 6 had finally come to pass. For weeks, as they were bombarded by coverage of the national elections, they also witnessed aggressive campaigns on the local level.
In Holmes Beach, the issue of large rental duplexes and their multiple impacts on neighboring residents spurred three challengers to run for the position of mayor and the two available seats on the city commission. City meetings leading up to the election sometimes erupted into angry confrontations involving members of the sitting commission, challengers, and various members of the public who were concerned about how to handle the proliferation of large duplexes without infringing on property rights.
The argument for supporting the challengers was that the incumbents had taken far too long to discourage the building of large rental duplexes, which many feel are ruining the character of the island. The argument in favor of the incumbents was that they were working skillfully within a lot of very demanding state-level requirements, and were in the process of achieving a lot, if only they could be allowed to continue. The implication was that the new people may have had good intentions, but their lack of experience and lack of connections would ultimately delay good solutions for these issues. There were additional concerns, by some, that the challengers might not respect the rights of developers and property owners as they try to limit further large rental properties from having such a great impact on others.