The Town of Ocean View will hold its municipal election next month, and Avon Park resident Don Walsh has added his name to the ballot.
“I’ve been wanting to get involved and have pretty much been going to every meeting every month to see what’s going on,” he said.
Walsh is hoping to serve as District 4 councilman, replacing Councilman Bob Lawless, who will have reached his term limit in April.
“I want to be involved in the community,” Walsh said of his decision to run.
Walsh, who has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and business administration from Temple University, has been working in the food industry since he was 18 and is currently the store manager for the Food Lion in Berlin, Md.
With his experience in business, including budgeting and community relations, Walsh said he would bring a new and different insight to council.
“I’m also working… Most people are retired, so maybe I can give some insight to the working class in the area, as well. I’m seeing this area really grow, and I want to be a part of that.”
Walsh had been appointed to the Town’s Board of Elections but has had to step down, according to Town policy, in order to run for the council seat. He also sits on the board of Avon Park.
“It’s good to have people involved who have the best interest for the area. I think we now have that in the council and in the leadership for a while… but it wasn’t always that way, years ago,” said Wash, adding that he hopes, if elected to the council, to help continue a positive trend in Town leadership. “The most recent years have been very positive, and I want to be a part of that.”
Walsh said he also hopes to encourage more small businesses to open in Ocean View, to help draw more visitors to the town.
“I see continued growth, such as the CVS and the Royal Farms, in the right area within the town limits. I see some more opportunity to grow town business. I think we need to have some more destinations to Ocean View. A lot of people talk in this area about Bethany and not necessarily as much as about Ocean View, as far as a destination.”
Originally from Philadelphia, Pa., Walsh and his family purchased an investment property in the town eight years and later decided to relocate to the area fulltime.
“We really enjoy it down here,” he said. “I find it to be quiet. It’s much more peaceful, and obviously it’s three miles to the beach.”
He and his family discovered the area about 18 years ago, when instead of vacationing in New Jersey, they traveled to Delaware.
“Our neighbors at the time — somebody went online and found Sea Colony, and I’d never heard of it. We decided to come down, and we actually came for a few years.”
Of campaigning, Walsh said he was unsure as to how much he would be doing but that he’s already started speaking to his neighbors.
“I’ll be knocking on some doors — especially my neighbors,” he said.
Walsh said it is important to him to give back to his community, which is why he and his wife, Ruth, volunteer at the VFW, where they are members due to their son’s service in Iraq.
“As the opportunity presents itself, I really like to give back to the community. That’s what it’s all about.”
Walsh said he would be happy to serve the Town and hopes, if elected to the council, to make a positive impact on the community.
“I find council to be the real interesting piece, because it gives different facets of people that live in the community, and you have your meeting, and there’re different challenges. It’s nice to come to decisions and make future investments in the community.”
The municipal election in the Town of Ocean View will be held Saturday, April 11, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at town hall.