Meet your candidate – Merritt Matheson for Stuart Comm. Group 3

Merritt Mattheson, candidate for City of Stuart Commission, Group 3
Martin County native. Proud father and husband. Devoted civil servant.Biography
I am a proud life-long resident of Martin County and a multi-generational Florida native. My parents relocated to Martin County from Miami, following in the footsteps of my great-uncle Bill Matheson, who had settled in Palm City in the 1950s. I was born at Martin Memorial Hospital and raised in Palm City. I was privileged with an upbringing that allowed me to enjoy the aspects of this community that make it special: natural beauty, good schools, quiet neighborhoods and close-knit communities.My first great love was the sea. I have been an avid fisherman for as long as I can remember. As a young teenager, I also began scuba diving and surfing. Growing up along the South Fork of the St. Lucie River, I’ve witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. My love of nature was not isolated to aquatic ecosystems. I spent many days exploring, camping, fishing and hunting in the wild hammocks, savannas, creeks and wetlands of western Martin County and beyond.I attended the University of Colorado Boulder where I studied Environmental Biology. In 2003, I earned my captain’s license. After college, I settled in Maui, Hawaii, where I worked as a charter fishing boat captain. It was during this time that I discovered I have LHON, a rare hereditary condition that degenerates my optic nerve. There is no treatment for the condition. Within a year, I became legally blind.I moved to the City of Stuart in 2010 with my wife, Chelsey, whose own family ties to Martin County stretch back more than 100 years. Since returning to Florida, I have worked for West Marine in Stuart as the Fishing Manager. I have also purchased and managed investment properties. I currently serve on the LPA advisory board for the city. Though my disability prevents me from continuing to run charter fishing boats, I am still able to do some work as a saltwater fishing guide for friends and clients who own their own boats. My wife and I are now raising a daughter and a Jack Russell Terrier. We have another child expected at the end of August.Though I left Martin County in my early twenties to gain an education and explore the world, I was drawn back here when I knew it was time to settle down and raise a family. My roots here are deep. I am grateful to the generations before me who worked hard to preserve the small-town charm of Stuart, and I am ready to make my own contribution to ensure that my children are able to enjoy and appreciate it the way I did.