Vol. 14 No. 50 - October 8, 2014
Forfeiture proceedings to continue
BRADENTON BEACH – The forfeiture of office proceedings initiated against Mayor Bill Shearon will continue, but at a slower pace than hoped for by Vice Mayor Jack Clarke.
By declining to act on six potential alternatives presented by Commissioner Janie Robertson, the commission committed itself to moving forward with the forfeiture process. More...
Sun sponsors candidate forums
The Island Sun will hold forums for mayor and city commission seats in Anna Maria on Tuesday, Oct. 21 and Holmes Beach on Wednesday, Oct. 22. There will be meet and greets at 6:30 p.m. and the forums will begin at 7 p.m.
Candidates will respond to questions submitted by residents in advance. E-mail your Anna Maria questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and in the subject line put “AM forum question.” E-mail your Holmes Beach questions to email@example.com in the subject line put “HB forum question.” More...
City to seek declaratory judgement
ANNA MARIA – Commissioners met again last week to continue discussing a building moratorium aimed at homes that contain four or more bedrooms. The moratorium is an attempt to prevent large homes from being operated as short-term rentals in city neighborhoods.
During the Wed., Oct. 1 work session, the commission clarified the moratorium resolution enacted on Wednesday, Sept. 22. The resolution now temporarily prohibits both the acceptance of new building permit applications and the issuance of new building permits for homes with four bedrooms. The resolution also pertains to building plans that include rooms, such as dens and offices, that could be used as bedrooms. More...
Whitmore and Wonder square off
BRADENTON – The claws came out during the Manatee Tiger Bay Club’s “Whitmore-Wonder Wrangle for the Top” luncheon Thursday, Oct. 2, at Pier 22 in Bradenton.
The capacity crowd saw Carol Whitmore and Terri Wonder debate numerous topics related to the campaign for the at-large Manatee County Commission seat held by Whitmore and sought by Wonder.
Whitmore, a Republican from Holmes Beach who formerly served as mayor, is seeking her third term as a county commissioner. More...
Mayor cleared of hostile workforce claims
BRADENTON BEACH – Labor attorney Matthew Westerman said last week that hostile workplace complaints filed against Mayor Bill Shearon by Public Works Director Tom Woodard are, in his opinion, unsubstantiated.
“I do not find that Mr. Woodard has been subjected to an illegal hostile work environment,” Westerman concluded in the report he submitted to the city last week.
According to Westerman, it was not proved that Shearon engaged in retaliatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult severe enough to alter the conditions of Woodard’s employment, or create an abusive work environment. More...
Bumpy bridge caused by repairs
CORTEZ – The Cortez Road bridge will be bumpy until about mid-November, due to repairs that require portions of the bridge to be jacked up temporarily, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.
Workers must install 12 new expansion bearings and remove the old ones, and must jack up, or lift, each span while they’re doing it, said Brian Bollas, public involvement officer with engineering firm Parsons Brinkerhoff, adding that the section under repair will be raised an inch or so during the process. More...
Residents learn about charter changes
HOLMES BEACH – Interested residents came out last week to hear a presentation on the 18 proposed amendments to the city charter that will be on the Nov. 4 ballot.
“This is an information exchange to help us become more aware of these charter amendments that will be on the ballot,” Bob Johnson, who chaired the Charter Review Commission, told the group. “This is about the city and the role the citizens have in the city.
“The charter establishes the municipality and defines the city, its structure of government and the nature of that government. It is there to provide clear information about the citizens’ powers and responsibilities.” More...
Gulf Front Park plan meets resistance
ANNA MARIA – Rob Barron, of Coastal Management and Consulting, presented his plan for restoring the beach terrain at Gulf Front Park last month.
The city hired Barron after Commissioner Doug Copeland pushed for finding a plan to prevent the area from being overrun by exotic, invasive plants.
Barron said his job is to improve areas that have been “beat up” by misuse.
In assessing the park, Barron divided the park into areas by the adjacent street. More...
Shake off the summer heat at Bayfest
ANNA MARIA – Summer is on the wane and it’s time to get outside, out of the air conditioning, and party.
It’s also time for the first festival of the season, Bayfest.
This year, the 14th Annual Bayfest, which is sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17, and continues through Saturday, Oct. 18, on Pine Avenue. Friday’s kickoff starts in the city of Anna Maria on the six lots field, at the corner of Pine Avenue and South Bay Boulevard. More...
Sarasota Bay Watch conducts cleanup
On Oct. 4, members of Sarasota Bay Watch teamed with Save Our Seabirds, the Sarasota Sailing Squadron and Audubon Coastal Islands Sanctuaries to conduct a monofilament clean up in Sarasota Bay. The event was organized to remove fishing line from mangroves during the season when birds are not nesting.
The occasion was a great success despite threatening weather that cleared just in time for the volunteers to depart. During the morning project, participants collected yards of line, trash and recyclables from Sarasota to Manatee County.
The day’s activities began at Sarasota Sailing Squadron, on City Island where Sarasota Bay Watch event coordinator Ronda Ryan and volunteers had assembled charts of areas to be cleaned up, tally sheets and equipment including gloves and safety glasses as well as bags for garbage, recyclables and line. More...
The dog days of August are gone
August is the month that Florida real estate goes to sleep and this August was no different. With the exception of school children much of Florida is dozing under a shady tree just trying to get through the month so don’t take the following August statistics too seriously.
According to the National Association of Realtors in August sales of previously owned homes fell 1.8 percent from July to an annual rate of 5.05 million with the median sale price at $219,000 up 4.8 percent from a year earlier. This was the lowest rate in four months of gains due in part to fewer purchases by investors. Although home prices continue to go up it is at a more moderate rate when you compare the earlier part of the housing recovery. More...
Should we fear inflation or deflation?Investment Corner
Most people love to go on a rant about how bad inflation is. Deep down we just hate not being able to buy a particular good or service for what we bought it for just a few years ago. Of course, we never complain about the things that haven’t gone up in price or those that have dropped in price. Our focus tends to be on the items that negatively impact our wallet – a very human perspective.
According to the inflation statistics generated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been muted for the last several years and currently is sunning at a rate of about 2 percent. The CPI is calculated as a basket of goods and services commonly purchased by households included in a group defined as “all urban consumers” which represents about 87 percent of the U.S. population. More...
Fall sports in full swing at Center
The fall sports season at Anna Maria Island Community Center is in its second week, and the fields and gym are buzzing with activity.
Adult basketball sponsors this season are Poppo’s, Duncan Real Estate, Sugar Beach Digital, Island Real Estate and Gator Man Pools. Basketball games will be on Tuesday evenings through Nov. 25. More...