I have been a commissioner for Key Pen Parks District for over eight years. I have been elected twice to Position 1. I’ve been president of the board four of the last six years. In an effort to make the board better by defeating a divisive and ineffectual commissioner, John Kelly, I chose to switch to Position 3 and run against him myself.

Because this is my third campaign for the board and our positions are not tied to where we live on the Key Peninsula, I assumed I was running to be “re-elected;” however this is the first time I am running for Position 3. I was made aware of my minor error Oct. 7, after I put up campaign signs. I immediately covered every “Re-” I could find on my signs and sent an email to the Public Disclosure Commission alerting them to my mistake. I was relieved when their reply was friendly and said nothing about an investigation.

On Oct. 9, my opponent claimed in a social media post that I “was under investigation by the state,” even though I had been in contact with the PDC and they had not notified me I was being investigated. Late afternoon on Oct. 10, I got an email from PDC saying my opponent, John “Pat” Kelly, had filed a complaint with the PDC, regarding the use of “Re-Elect” on my campaign signs. Again, the PDC has been kind, but because of Kelly’s complaint I am now under investigation for the use of “Re-” on my signs.

I apologize for having put “Re-Elect” on my signs and in my ad in the September KP News — it is not technically correct. Since Mr. Kelly is running as the incumbent for Position 3, I encourage him to promote his accomplishments as a commissioner, stack them up against mine and not quibble over technicalities. This is a unique race where you have the ability to vote on the best commissioner, not just the best candidate. Thank you for making an informed decision. I look forward to seeing you in a park, or on a trail, soon. 

Mark Michel, Lakebay