by SC Reporter Reese Holiday
Mary Bondurant’s journey brought her to Sanibel 24 years ago.
At that time, she was a young mom who was taking care of her two kids with her husband. Now, Bondurant has established herself as a realtor, community server and island lover, all through her well-known dedication.
“Those that know me know that I have dedication, I have compassion for this island and I absolutely love it,” Bondurant said. “Though I’m not a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant by trait, I believe I bring the voice of the people to the city of Sanibel.”
When Bondurant first came to the island, she took care of her kids and served her community. She got involved in the Children’s Education Center of the Islands, The Sanibel School and Girl Scouts while her kids grew up on the island.
When her kids moved on to college, Bondurant went back to the realtor business in 2006. It was here where she developed communication and listening skills, something that she said needs to be prominent on city council.
“We need to be great listeners on city council, which I think is something that I’m very good at,” Bondurant said. “We need to be able to negotiate, which I feel my negotiation skills from my business have come a long way and give me a great advantage to be able to talk with people and understand what they’re saying.”
Bondurant said some have pointed out to her that realtors on city council may want to push an agenda to develop more houses on the island. However, Bondurant said realtors on the island want to sell Sanibel not for money, but for others to experience paradise.
“I believe in the Sanibel Plan, and I believe we don’t need to change anything that causes more development on this island,” Bondurant said. “It’s been brought to my attention that maybe a realtor shouldn’t be sitting on city council because that’s what relators want. Realtors do not want that.”
“We’re selling Sanibel because we love Sanibel for what it is,” she said.
Bondurant said the most important issues on Sanibel are the COVID-19 pandemic and water quality. She said in order to solve these issues, communication needs to happen between not only Sanibel and its citizens, but Sanibel and higher authorities.
“I’ve already had the experience of going to Tallahassee with the Chamber of Commerce and we were able to take these issues to Tallahassee and speak to our legislatures,” Bondurant said. “As city council, we have to keep our relationships with not only listening to what Sanibel’s needs are, but we also need to keep our relationship with Lee County, state and federal agencies.”
In the 24 years that Bondurant has been on Sanibel, she has dedicated herself to the island’s community. While her children grew up, she served Sanibel and eventually gained valuable business experience through real estate. But even with those skills that she has gained, Bondurant just wants to give back to the community.
“I’m a resident of Sanibel and I’ve lived on this island for 24 years, and I appreciate everything that the island offers residents and people who come here and visit,” Bondurant said. “I have a dedication to this island, and I’d like to give back to this island.”