Chappie seeks mayor’s seat

John Chappie
John Chappie

BRADENTON BEACH – Vice Mayor John Chappie has filed his resign to run paperwork and intends to run for the mayor’s seat currently held by Bill Shearon.

Shearon declared his intention Monday to seek re-election.

Filing the resign to run paperwork means Chappie will vacate his Ward 4 City Commission seat after the Nov. 7 elections regardless of whether he wins or loses. The vacancy will not take effect until after the elections and there will not be an open race to fill the vacated seat. The commission will appoint someone to fill the Ward 4 seat during its second meeting in November and that appointee will fulfill the remaining 11 months of Chappie’s two-year Ward 4 term.

“We need elected officials that will listen to the people and respect them.” John Chappie, Bradenton Beach Vice Mayor

Chappie returned to the city commission last November after spending eight years as a Manatee County commissioner. Prior to that, he served multiple terms as the Bradenton Beach mayor and as a city commissioner. He has lived in Bradenton Beach for more than 43 years.

Decision 2017

On Sunday, Chappie discussed his decision.

“The bottom line is it’s always about wanting good government, better government, and I know I can bring that to the table. The city, over the last four years, has been through some turmoil. We need to come together and that’s a challenge. As mayor, I would be in a better position to help bring that along. I think I have a pretty good reputation with being open and honest about things. I’ve learned from my mistakes and I’m not afraid to admit to my mistakes,” Chappie said.

“We need elected officials that will listen to the people and respect them. I think it’s important to have those meetings where the elected officials get together and discuss the issues and hear from the people. I think we need to do more of that, and be willing to actually listen to what the people are saying. Government is about compromise a lot of the time. There’s not always one way, and having these discussions opens our minds to other opportunities for our community,” Chappie said.

“We’ve had some tremendous challenges and we’re going to continue having challenges fighting Tallahassee with regards to our home rule rights that are always being challenged. I’ve only been in office this go-around for nine months, but we’ve made some significant changes and progress as a commission. I think I bring to the table an understanding of what the community and the commission is facing, where we are today and where we want to be five, 10, 15 years down the road. We have a beautiful community and we need to plan more for where we want to be,” Chappie said.

“Bradenton Beach is my home and it always will be. I fell in love with it in 1974 and I have never left. My love is for this community and I love serving it and giving back to the community.”

In recent months, Chappie has voiced concerns about Shearon’s reluctance to share information with the four commissioners that are his legislative equals in the city’s weak mayor form of government.

“The commission is made up of five members – the mayor and the four commissioners – and we must never forget that. It’s about bringing things back to the commission to have that discussion, to set policy. It’s not keeping it to ourselves,” Chappie said.