REDINGTON SHORES – Commissioner Casey Wojcik will be running in a much changed district when the faces an opponent for the first time in this spring’s election.
All the town’s districts were reconfigured two years ago to conform to election laws requiring that electors be distributed “as equal as possible” among the districts. Wojcik’s District 3 changed the most, gaining the huge Redington Towers condominium complex and losing the residential peninsula bounded by 180th and 182nd Avenues.
Since joining the commission in 2006, Wojcik has staked out a reputation as one who questions and challenges the dominant commission positions on a number of issues. Recently, Wojcik refused to go along with a ban on skateboarding in a portion of the town. Wojcik claimed the ban would “punish kids for doing recreation.”
His election opponent, MaryBeth Henderson, had spoken in favor of the restrictions on skateboarding. The skateboard ban was passed 4-1 by the commission, with Wojcik casting the no vote.
Henderson said she is running for the District 3 commission seat because she believes she offers a fresh perspective that represents the current needs of the residents.
“My agenda will be, not what I want, but what the residents of my district want,” she said.
A member of the town Planning and Zoning Board, Henderson updates residents on current issues facing the community, elicits feedback, and shares those comments with town officials. If elected, Henderson said she will pay particular attention to the town parks and green spaces “to improve the inviting feel to our town that welcomes visitors and prospective new residents.”
Also, Henderson said she is keenly aware of the need for fiscal responsibility in local government.
“I am confident that I can bring a sense of fiscal accountability and creative problem solving to many of the financial issues our town faces today,” she said.
Henderson said she will focus on “carefully listening to the exact needs of the district residents and working diligently to prioritize those needs.”
Wojcik said he plans to continue keeping close contact with his constituents through email, text messages, phone calls and personal visits. He will continue to thoroughly research issues that come before the commission, analyzing alternatives and seeking solutions.
Specific issues Wojcik wants to address include developing a partnership with condominium associations to voice their concerns, improving beach accesses, managing truck traffic in the Commercial Tourist Facility District to meet both business and resident needs, and increasing the number of business parking spaces on Gulf Boulevard.
If re-elected Wojcik pledged to continue to represent the voters of District 3 “in a fair and balanced manner.”
Elections are rare in Redington Shores. The last race was in 2006, when the mayor’s seat and the District 2 commission seat were both contested.