Former Islamorada mayor Sante running for Village Council again

dgoodhue@keysreporter.comAugust 16, 2014 

Upper Keys property and business owner Chris Sante is running for a seat on the Islamorada Village Council.

Sante, 59, served on the council from 2002 to 2008. He was mayor for three years. His colleagues on the dais named him mayor emeritus shortly after he decided not to run for re-election because he was vying for the elected county property appraiser's job, which he did not get.

Sante is competing against hotelier Paul Bates, real estate agent Janet Wood and former mayor and retired marina owner Bob Johnson for Seat 4 on the Village Council, now held by Mayor Ted Blackburn.

"I feel that I've been out of politics long enough, and now is a good time to get back in," Sante said Friday.

He added that he chose Seat 4 because it is open since Blackburn decided not to seek re-election. "It's an open seat, so we'll see who the public picks," Sante said.

Among Sante's chief concerns is that he feels the village government has too many employees.

"I think we're too staff heavy for what we do," Sante said.

He said now that the village allows chain stores, proper architectural standards for those businesses will be a priority.

As far as the current council goes, Sante said all members "seem to be doing a good job."

But he said council members could do a better job paying attention to what the public says during meetings. "I never feel like they're trying to listen," Sante said. "You don't see them fighting for issues you or I bring up."

Candidate qualifying in Islamorada to get on the Nov. 4 ballot runs through noon Tuesday.

Filed to run in Seat 1 is incumbent Deb Gillis. For Seat 2, incumbent Dave Purdo and former county State Attorney Dennis Ward filed. Seat 3 has incumbent Ken Philipson filed. In Seat 5, incumbent Mike Forster filed.

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