BRADENTON BEACH – Michael Pierce shocked those attending the regular monthly meeting of the city commission last night by resigning, turning over his office to vice-mayor Bob Bartelt and having the city commission appoint Janet Vosburgh, who recently served on the city’s Charter Review Commission, to replace Bartelt as fourth ward city commissioner.
Pierce had city clerk Nora Idso read his letter of resignation, dated June 3.
“While I had hoped to continue to serve out my term as Mayor, recent family needs have arisen that require my personal attention, time and focus,” the letter read. Pierce would not specify those family needs, but he said that it had nothing to do with his wife, Diane’s, health or his.
Bartelt, who was facing re-election this year, said he would now seek election in November to his first full term as mayor. He had said earlier that he would run for re-election to the city commission. He now says he will seek his first elected term as mayor.
Bartelt served on the city’s WAVES committee before running for city commission in 2008. He defeated Bill Shearon, who had run earlier against John Chappie as mayor. Chappie is now a Manatee County Commissioner.
Pierce defeated Shearon in 2009 for the seat he was appointed to in 2008 when Shearon quit to run against Chappie.
Vosburgh served at least twice on the city’s charter review board. She said Friday that she would take out papers to run for her first full term as city commissioner.
Candidates have from Monday, June 14, at noon, to Friday, June 18, at noon, to turn in their papers for candidacy.
One other commissioner faces re-election. Second ward commissioner Bob Connors is in his first full term as commissioner. He served one year before that as an appointee to replace Pierce who ran successfully for mayor.