MADEIRA BEACH – Nancy Oakley has served on the Madeira Beach commission for the past six years. She was looking forward to campaigning to win a fourth term.
But her husband’s illness has interrupted that plan.
Jon Oakley has melanoma, an especially aggressive form of skin cancer. The Oakleys recently learned the disease had progressed to his brain and urgent treatments are needed.
In a conversation on Feb. 10, Nancy Oakley said her husband’s care is now her No. 1 priority. She must divide her time between her job with the city of Clearwater and being with Jon. That leaves no room for a political campaign.
“Running for re-election requires demands I cannot meet at this time,” Oakley said. “I need to take care of my husband.”
Oakley added, “I did everything I could to try and make this (re-election effort) work out, but I just couldn’t do it.”
Being a commissioner for three terms, and also serving as vice mayor for a year, Oakley said she is proud of her service and feels she worked in the best interests of the citizens of Madeira Beach. She cites the commission’s efforts to reduce personnel and administrative costs, hire capable new staff members, and make the budgeting process more transparent.
“We have had significant accomplishments, especially within the past two years,” she said.
Though she will be leaving the commission in March, Oakley said she will continue to be involved with Madeira Beach issues. As to her future in city politics, Oakley vowed, “I will be back.”
Elaine Poe, who also was running to represent District 3, will take Oakley’s seat on the commission.
Poe is best known for her work as a Neighborhood Watch activist. She was active in advising the city on recently passed ordinances dealing with chronic nuisance properties and the abatement of drugs and prostitution.
The nuisance law is seen as one of the toughest in the nation and is being copied by other local communities.
Poe has said she wants the city’s neighborhoods to be free of fear and crime.
On becoming commissioner-elect, Poe said, “My deepest sympathies go to Nancy and Jon. I would rather see my election take place for any other reason than this. But I am looking forward to being on the commission and working with the mayor and commissioners and the city manager to move our community forward.”