SEBASTIAN - Each candidate was asked the same three questions and given 150 words to respond.

Diana Bolton:

Q: What do you see as the most important issues facing Sebastian over the next year?

A: Protecting and encouraging the health and safety of our residents, our existing ecotourism economy, our natural resources, local jobs and real estate values.

I have been asked to run for Sebastian City Council in order to bring a more balanced approach to local government encouraging peaceful civil discourse, public input and democracy. We may not agree on 100% of issues but there are urgent matters on which we share common ground. We can constructively collaborate with one another, our neighboring cities, our county and our city residents to improve our peace and quality of life.

Our immediate needs are playing catch-up on years of deferred maintenance of our stormwater and drainage system as well as fixing our crumbling neglected roads.

Rather than looking to double our population with annexations and $8.5 million new buildings, we need to take care of our people already living here and the property we already own.

Q: Do you support a citywide mask mandate?

A: No. I think it should be left up to individuals on a voluntary basis. If you are sick, stay home. We should also be educating on health, encouraging fitness and healthy living by removing toxins from our environment, improving pedestrian and bicycle paths, fixing our stormwater system in an environmentally sound manner. Encouraging healthy living leads to better community health results which is what most residents want.

Q: How do your qualifications and experience make you the best candidate for this position?

A: Educational background: BS Business Administration and Military Science-APSU, AS Business Management-Eastern Florida State University, Associate of Science Environmental Marine Science and Technology-College of the Florida Keys, USCG Merchant Marine Sea School, 100 Ton Master.

Work history: U.S Government Civil Servant for Armed Forces- Bremerhaven, Germany. Florida Real Estate License 20+ years- Unaffiliated Mortgage Banking and CEO of Mortgage Banking firm for 25+ years - Retired US Coast Guard Merchant Marine, 100 Ton Master Captain 12 years.

Environmental advocacy 15 years to present.

Volunteer and civic engagement: Public Speaker, educator and advocate for environmental issues and natural resources. Focusing on cleaner water for Indian River Lagoon and State of Florida. Board of Directors- Friends of the St. Sebastian River, Education Committee. Board of Directors- Sebastian Property Owners Association, Education Committee. Member/Supporter/and or Advocate of Clean Water Coalition of Indian River County, Indian River Keepers, Indian River Lagoon Council, Audubon Society, Florida Keys Environmental Coalition.

Bill Simmons:

Q: What do you see as the most important issues facing Sebastian over the next year?

A: A: Infrastructures- Drainage, (Proper cleaning & maintenance of ditches, canals), add sidewalks in certain areas that force walking in the street.

B. Maintain budgetary commitments making the most of eligible grants that may be available.

C. Future Annexations including Finalizing COS Comprehensive Development Plan 2040. The COS and IRC must come together to plan the future not only of the failed Graves annexation but also land extending north/west.

Q: Do you support a citywide mask mandate?

A: Yes and No. In theory a citywide mask mandate could be implemented, but enforcement of that mandate would be virtually impossible. Local business and public facilities usually require their employees to wear masks, also most require customers/visitors to wear same. I think this is about as good as will get.

Q: How do your qualifications and experience make you the best candidate for this position?

A: Financial background (CPA), Resident since 2000. Planning/Zoning 2004-2011 and 2017-2020. Volunteer SPD 2007-2020. I am retired, fully vested in Sebastian and have the time, talent and motivation to make a positive impact on our community. I can analyze, compromise and move on.

Jim Hill:

Q: What do you see as the most important issues facing Sebastian over the next year?

A: Protect our heritage, environment and quality of life. Keep taxes as low as possible by controlling the cost of government. Remain a strong proponent for economic development. Protect and improve conditions in the Indian River Lagoon and St. Sebastian River.

Q: Do you support a citywide mask mandate?

A: I do not support the government’s imposition of a mask mandate.

Q: How do your qualifications and experience make you the best candidate for this position?

A: US Air Force Veteran. Two Degrees in Environmental Horticulture. Successful Business Owner for 13 years. Mayor of Sebastian - 4 terms. Vice Mayor of Sebastian - 9 terms. Sebastian City Council 16 years. Sebastian Charter Review Committee 1999. Many Local and Regional Boards. Strongly supports our Police.

I have served Sebastian on the City Council for a combined 16 years and have lived in this great community for over 30. I have served on multiple city, county, and state committees representing the City of Sebastian and advocating for a brighter future, with an innovative approach to each of the issues that affect our community.

Candidate Ed Dodd did not respond to our questions.

(1) comment

Terry McGinn

As a Graduate of Massachusetts Maritime Academy class of '64, USCG licensed officer unlimited tonnage, merchant mariner for Gulf Oil Corp, US Navy LtJg (6 years) and blue water skipper of cutter rigged sailing vessels I have to say that a Coast Guard "6 pack license for sailboat delivery is not the same as a merchant marine unlimited Tonnage license.. The candidate should be more explicit. Yes she is a licensed Real Estate sales person working for Damien Gilliams. That is a true fact. As far as replacing Mayor Dodd and Vice Mayor Hill all I can say is "If it ain't broke don't try to fix it". We just spent 9 months extricating our City from the chaos from the candidates group.

Terry McGinn

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.