News Section: Local Government
Candidate Profile: City of Bradenton Mayor: Marianne Barnebey
Candidate: Marianne Barnebey
Occupation: Bradenton City Councilwoman Ward 2
Education: Manatee High School (1975); A.A., Manatee Community College (1977); and B.A. in Voluntary Agency Administration, North Carolina’s High Point University (1979)
Barnebey is an ASPO Certified Childbirth Educator. Before her involvement with the city council, she worked for the Girls Club of Sarasota County, Inc., Gulf Coast and Apalachee Bend Girl Scout Councils and Gulf Coast Builders Exchange. Due to city statutes, she's had to give up her city council seat to seek the Mayor's office, a huge gamble for the long-time public servant, who likely could have kept the post as long as she wanted.
A member of the Florida Planning and Zoning Association and American Patriotism Celebration Task Force, Barnebey’s other community involvements include hosting the Bradenton City Scene and METV Show, being a Crimestoppers affiliate and providing downtown Bradenton with Winter Wonderland, Inc., an annual holiday festival she founded. She's also a founding member of the Gold Star Club, supporting law enforcement.
Additionally, Barnebey was the founding Co-Chairwoman of Oktoberfest Suncoast, as well as an initiating member of the Gold Star Club and Bradenton’s Faith United Methodist Church. As a councilwoman, Barnebey has championed such causes as the One Stop Center and led the fight against the proliferation of pill mills in the city.
Barnebey's deep and longstanding ties to the community are an obvious strength. "We will face many challenges in the next few years," says Barnebey. "We will all need to work together and more importantly than ever, we need leaders that listen to and respect you, the citizens."
Barnebey understands the focus on downtown, but thinks the current emphasis might be a bit myopic. "While the redevelopment of our downtown is important, we must protect our neighborhoods which suffer now from foreclosed properties," she explained. "Banks, who made poor business decisions, need to maintain and secure empty houses that they own. Old cast-iron water pipes need replacing and together we need to decide how to pay for it."
Barnebey says she'd like to put both her years of experience and her love for the city to work in the Mayor's office. "I will never stop working on voters' ;behalf," she says. "I will always respect them, listen to their concerns and fight for them and their families. If it's important to them, it's important to me."