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Three incumbents sweep City Council election

By Staff | Mar 4, 2009

In Tuesday’s City Council election, a stunning 54 percent of island voters turned out at the polls and re-elected Mick Denham, Kevin Ruane and Marty Harrity following a heated campaign between the three incumbents and two challengers, former Planning Commission member Dr. David Berger and political newcomer David Bath.

Denham, the city’s current mayor, received 27.73 percent (2,259 votes) of the total vote, followed by Ruane (23.47 percent, or 1,912 votes) and Harrity (20.60 percent, or 1,678 votes).

“First of all, I want to thank the voters because it’s a great honor to serve this community,” Denham said on Wednesday. “As for the next four years, my focus will be on the financial management of the city, continuing my fight for the quality of our water to be improved and the redevelopment challenges and appropriate solutions.

“I also want to reach out to the various factions of this community,” he added. “As a community, it is very important for us to work together and find solutions that will solve our problems.”

“Thanks to everybody for participating in the best system in the world, and thanks to everyone who voted for me,” said Harrity. “I’m looking forward to the next four years and working together to make Sanibel a better place to live.”

Dr. Berger garnered 15.40 percent (1,254 votes) of the votes, followed by Bath’s 12.79 percent (1,042 votes).

A total of 2,971 ballots were cast – 358 of which were absentee – from among the island’s 5,477 registered voters.

In the two referendums on the ballot, Sanibelians narrowly rejected the proposed swap of a 1.6-acre parcel from the city’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Conservation District for use as a dog park, with 52.06 percent – or 1,517 votes – against the idea.

Also, the referendum proposing an exchange of land from the conservation district and the city in order for the Sanibel Gardens subdivision to be consolidated was overwhelmingly approved at 69 percent (or 1,983 votes).