November 28, 2023

EDGEWATER — With the City Council District 1 race already settled, Edgewater residents turn their eyes to District 3, with incumbent Debbie Dolbow facing a challenge from Morgan Adams.
The City Council appointed Dolbow to the seat in July after former Councilwoman Megan O’Keefe resigned.
O’Keefe steps down:Megan O’Keefe, Edgewater councilwoman since 2018, resigns; city seeks replacement
Charlotte Hope Gillis was elected to the District 1 seat. Former Mayor Mike Ignasiak and 18-year-old Diezel Depew will face off in the mayoral race.
The general election is Nov. 8.
August primary:Mike Ignasiak and Diezel Depew win primary and will face off in Edgewater mayoral race
NSB mayor-elect:Spencer Hathaway drops out of NSB mayoral race; Fred Cleveland new mayor-elect
The News-Journal posed the following questions to each candidate with a request to limit responses to 100 words. Answers that exceeded the word limit were edited for space; otherwise, answers are presented as they were submitted, save for minor corrections to punctuation.
Age: 36
Occupation: AutoCAD technician
Political experience:  Legislative aide in Hawaii State Capitol, intern for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, bachelor’s in political science, pursuing master’s in public policy.
Top three priorities:
1. I want to ensure we’re balancing current issues with the same attention as long-term projects.
2. I want to grow infrastructure and services with the population, not after the fact, now that so many housing projects have already been approved.
3. I want to actively support our local businesses while attracting more employment opportunities for residents.
Why are you running?
I’m tired of seeing council members resign, sitting board members and friends of current council being chosen and then running unopposed for the next election because everyone thinks it’s in the bag. It leads to the same limited wheelhouse of ideas each council session and wondering why residents stay angry. I’m an option that wants to hear every resident who chooses to speak, whether I share their frustrations or not. I’m sick of seeing how condescending those on the platform treat residents who come to meetings to voice their concerns. It’s about everyone, not just those sitting up there.
What is a life accomplishment that illuminates the kind of city council member you will be? 
Through balancing my responsibilities, I excelled in my degree field of political science, graduating with highest honors, while working full-time and being mother of seven. I know how to manage my time, deal with the known and unknown, and do what it takes to get things done. I thrive on challenging myself to achieve more.
My time as a mother and military spouse has instilled flexibility and adaptability into my everyday being. I’m used to handling numerous tasks at once, plus having to change direction and focus quickly. I’d be honored to give the same dedication to my hometown.
What is something about Edgewater you treasure and will fight to protect, and conversely, what is something you will fight to change?
I used to treasure the small-town aspects of Edgewater, with plenty of family activities and opportunities to belong to the tight-knit community. Now with the amount of people the city has approved to cram in while businesses die and having to commute for employment opportunities, we don’t know or care for each other the same. There isn’t time to. It’s become about quantity over quality thanks to past councils and Edgewater is suffering, not thriving. I will fight to bring that back and protect what we do have before more is lost for the sake of a bigger budget.
Age: 57
Occupation: Self-employed (34 years)
Political experience: No political experience (appointed District 3 representative in the Edgewater City Council after former councilwoman Megan O’Keefe’s resignation in June 2022).
Top three priorities:
1. Responsible growth — ensuring what growth happens in Edgewater is best for Edgewater, keeping its hometown charm as we grow.
2. Prioritizing infrastructure — as fast as we are growing, we need to ensure that our current infrastructure can support the growth and that developers are doing their part as we grow.
3. Being good stewards of our land and resources, protecting our Indian River Lagoon and green spaces.
Why are you running?
I am running for City Council because, as I have been very active in our community throughout the years, I feel it is time for me to take that next step, to be part of the process and help with solving problems, addressing issues that affect our residents, neighbors, friends and local businesses.
What is a life accomplishment that illuminates the kind of city council member you will be? 
My most valued life accomplishment is being a part of something greater. As a servant to my country, being a wife, mother, grandmother and entrepreneur, it all boils down to teamwork. I have life experiences that have prepared me and have always given my best in every situation. There have been tough times and challenges along the way, but many days of happiness and accomplishments. I’ve served on our Economic Development Board, provided backpacks for students in need, food for the firemen, fundraising for scholarships, etc. I now know that I am ready to serve the citizens of Edgewater.
What is something about Edgewater you treasure and will fight to protect, and conversely, what is something you will fight to change?
Something about Edgewater that I treasure is our Indian River Lagoon, where many families enjoy walks along the river, fishing, boating and kayaking — making memories in our own backyard. Preserving this for future generations is crucial.
Something that I will fight to change is how we grow. Let’s grow with the best interests of Edgewater, our residents and our small businesses first. Keeping developers accountable. Attracting manufacturing to our area with higher-paying jobs, this will create a more comfortable quality of life for our residents and relieve some of the current tax burden that our citizens currently hold.


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