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The purpose of this site is to encourage comments by Sun readers on topics of the day, especially those affecting Anna Maria Island. We welcome any and all viewpoints and hope to stimulate intelligent discussions. Personal attacks and abusive or vulgar language, however, will not be tolerated. Such comments will be determined by Sun management, then pulled from the site and the posters may be blocked from further use.

Name: Gary McMullen
Date: 2014-10-01 05:58:50
Subject: Moratorium and taxes
Comments: As a resident that lives next to a "big box house",I feel I know the issues they bring to the neighborhood. Having said that, Commissioner Dale Woodland wanting to make it illegal to rent to more than one familt is ludicrous. Commissioner Webb is agreeing because he lives on the street in question that prompted this moratorium. What happened to the rights of property owners? My property was a rental property at one time and we welcomed friends and families without discrimination. The city is being sued now under the Bert Harris act. I guess these Commissioners want additional lawsuits. I would sue if some overreaching and overreacting officials wanted to tell me who I could have in my property also. Next it will be how many people you can invite to stay at your home. This sparring match etween the city and developers must stop for the good of all. The present regulations are sufficient.
The City of Anna Maria and SueLynn are insisting that the tax increase is minimal to residents. I don't consider 10% minimal. What about all the non homesteaded property ownerd? There are more of them in Anna Maria than homesteaded properties. The City is getting much more revenue from the cell tower and still wants to take money out of your pocket. Even a 1.9% increase is dtill a tax increase. Say stop to the money-grubbing officials at election time.


Name: David Johnson
Date: 2014-10-01 02:46:08
Subject: Vice Mayor Clarke
Comments: Per Clarke:
“I also believe the mayor has exceeded the authority granted him by our city charter on many occasions"
These are talking points. Have many times do we have to hear this? This is his and others involved in this garbage strategy. Repeat untruths over and over and over till many outside City Hall finally believe what they are saying. Then take those untruths to this paper and they will be glad to print it. This goes for the harassment claims also against the Mayor.
Clarke agrees with public sentiment regarding the serious nature of a commission attempting to remove an elected official from office.
If anyone should be considering forfeiture of office it should be Clarke. Based on his documented collusion with the Ed Chiles restaurant group his ability to be influenced by private business has been shown. What possible improprieties will take place in the future?
In regard to Shearon being elected, while he ran unopposed, Clarke said, “If no one else ran, the citizens must have felt I offered the best possible representation.
What planet does this guy live on? Citizens can not decide he was the best representation if no one ran against him.
“I want the citizen’s to know that time is of the essence. Prolonging this action will further demoralize the city, its employees and the city’s interaction with other agencies. In addition, it is unfair to the mayor to have this action hanging over his head for an extended period of time.
Why don't YOU drop this then? It's time for Jack to submit his resignation.


Name: Charmaine Engelsman-Robins
Date: 2014-09-30 16:56:24
Subject: unruly dog at the dog park
Comments: I'm writing about this police report: "9/18, 7:55 a.m., assault, 6100 Flotilla Drive, Holmes Beach Dog Park. The complainant said she was at the dog park when a woman’s dog came up and jumped on her." I was on the Sarasota County Animal Welfare Advisory Council 1992-2012, the group that got dog parks down here in SRQ. If you go to ANY dog park you need to knowthat this isn't like obedience class. This is a place for dogs to be DOGS, to rub off steam, to exercise and play and BE DOGS and yes, if they LIKE YOU, that may include jumping up to include you. Please, if you are too old & frail to tolerate that, don't go to the one place where dogs are allowed to be what for them is normal. Easy peasey: just stay away. If as reported you threatened to kick the dog, I sure hope you don't own one. If you do, you shouldn't. Is there an ASPCA office up there that could check on this ? Thanks.


Name: Leah
Date: 2014-09-30 04:57:41
Subject: Wow
Comments: Karen Hodges "personal friends and colleagues" SHE IS "circulating a petition to show citizen support for moving the forfeiture forward. If you would like to sign it let me know".
WHO ON THIS LIST IS A CITIZEN OF BRADENTON BEACH? I BET SHE LED THE RECALL HARRY STOLTZFUS BRIGADE TOO


From: Caryn Hodge <chodge@chilesgroup.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2014 19:09:30 -0400
To: Dorothy Blum <drumbunny@aol.com>, Kim Davis <KimD@sarasotamagazine.com>, Deborah Wing <debbie@amichamber.org>, Diane Phinney <dianephinney@hotmail.com>, "DLaBell@tampabay.com" <DLaBell@tampabay.com>, Darcie Duncan <darcie@teamduncan.com>, Tracey Dell <kathleend3@gmail.com>, David Teitelbaum <david@teitelbaumdevelopers.com>, Billi Gartman <billirhea@gmail.com>, Debbie Miller <scoutblueeyes@msn.com>, Diana Bogan <db.bogan@gmail.com>, Deborah Webster <debandlex@gmail.com>, Dorothy Burkhalter <lunamax.inc@gmail.com>, Judy and Dave Stephens <smilingpj@yahoo.com>, Gina Spicer <dsgs19@verizon.net>, Joan Voyles <Carvoy@aol.com>, Kate Atkin <kate@freshoriginals.com>, Kenny_Heidt <Kenny_Heidt@yahoo.com>, Richard Bergere <rick@madisonave-advertising.com>, SAMANTHA BRUNO <samantha@creatingarippleeffect.com>, Toni Lyon <tlyonami@gmail.com>, "C. Melissa Williams" <Melissa@SteamDesigns.com>, Kim Darnell <darnellkim1@gmail.com>, Katy Demick <katy01@tortugainn.com>, Kelli Gray <gulfdrivetiki@gmail.com>
Subject: Fwd: AMI Sun poll


Name: Tammy Johnson
Date: 2014-09-29 16:49:50
Subject: Bradenton Beach Mayor
Comments: So let me get this straight. . . Ed Chiles’ minion asks for his blessing in sending out an email endorsing the removal of Bradenton Beach Mayor Shearon from office. He gives his support with the caveat that she removes her “corporate” affiliations from the signature. She carelessly sends it out with not only her corporate tag in place, but also Chiles’ approval attached. Wow, talk about being caught with your pants down! We are supposed to believe that there hasn’t been any illicit cooperation or communications between Vice Mayor Clarke (or other malcontents in the City) and representatives of The Chiles Group, yet Caryn Hodge is circulating a petition in support of Vice Mayor Clarke’s efforts to pursue forfeiture of office? Really!!!
Caryn Hodge’s email contains blatant, egregious lies and exaggerations. There is no harassment suit. There have only been complaints, which have yet to be substantiated. Mayor Shearon has never made any email records requests of any Commissioner or staff member, nor hired a lawyer to investigate them. That is an absolute fabrication.
Don’t believe everything you hear.



Name: Jo Ann Meilner
Date: 2014-09-29 10:09:00
Subject: survey
Comments: WOW !!! That shows the validity of this survey, Chiles group telling people to vote every day. NICE.


Name: Jo Ann Meilner
Date: 2014-09-29 08:44:16
Subject: mayor
Comments: This "process" you seem to be encouraging will take THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of taxpayer dollars to complete and many months of continued mudslinging. This will be a misuse of City's money when the citizens have not called for this.... only 3 commissioners. There has not been a citizen's petition, a number citizen's public comments at meetings asking for this, no letters to the editor calling for this, no warning of this coming, just 3 commissioners trying to change the results of a true election process and waste lots of our money.


Name: Leah
Date: 2014-09-29 08:12:57
Subject: How do you spell deceit? Looks like Commission Has Already Decided I wonder where the Jack Clarke letter is?
Comments:
Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Ed Chiles <echiles@chilesgroup.com>
> Date: September 28, 2014 at 11:15:29 AM EDT
> To: Caryn Hodge <chodge@chilesgroup.com>
> Subject: Re: AMI Sun poll
>
> Yes. Just use your name at the bottom and not all the corporate info.
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Sep 27, 2014, at 5:32 PM, "Caryn Hodge" <chodge@chilesgroup.com> wrote:
>
>> Can I send this without getting in trouble?
>>
>> I am sending it to personal friends and colleagues.
>>
>> Hello everyone,
>>
>> I encourage you to please visit www.amisun.com <http://www.amisun.com> and vote yes to help move the forfeiture of Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon forward. Bradenton Beach cannot afford the damage he is and continues to do to the city. I have attached a letter from Commissioner Jack Clarke which is supported by commissioners Jan Vosburgh and Ed Straight. In addition to the fact that his girlfriend is running for a commission seat on the commission he presides over, he has put unnecessary strain on city staff and caused the public works department to bring a harassment suit against his bullying tactics. He requested email records from every commissioner and staff personnel and then hired a lawyer, on city money, to investigate the records. Bradenton Beach has come too far to let him ruin everyone’s hard work.
>>
>> You can vote once a day until Monday. Please share with your friends. We are also circulating a petition to show citizen support for moving the forfeiture forward. If you would like to sign it let me know.
>>
>> Thank you.
>>
>> Caryn V. Hodge
>> Marketing Director
>> Chiles Restaurant Group
>> PO Box 1478
>> Anna Maria, FL 34216
>> 941.778.8705(office)
>> 941.713.3105 (cell)
>> 941.778.3997 (fax)
>> www.groupersandwich.com <http://www.groupersandwich.com/>


Name: B. Wortman
Date: 2014-09-29 08:11:07
Subject: BB Mayor
Comments: Why not let the VOTERS who elected the mayor to do this. I am a voter and I am afraid that other voters will be upset and sue the city and we cannot afford that because we need the money for IMPORTANT things.


Name: David Johnson
Date: 2014-09-29 02:35:49
Subject: BB Response
Comments: I just want to make sure this response remains there to be seen since this paper does not even see fit to publish Mayor Shearon's response to this nonsense.

On point
In reviewing Bradenton Beach Vice Mayor Jack Clarke’s agenda back up for the Sept. 22 meeting, which was called with the sole purpose of initiating the process to remove a duly elected mayor from office, I was struck by the fact that his diatribe was long on personal opinion and short on facts.
As someone with more than a little insight into the situation, I feel compelled to comment.
In the fashion of Clarke, I would like to do a point-by-point review of his assertions:
First of all, Clarke’s Sept. 16 workshop agenda item was a calculated, premeditated ambush and was the definition of a personal attack. His agenda request, which appeared to request discussion on how to practically execute the requirements of Resolution 14-812 — which he drafted with city attorney Ricinda Perry — purposefully cloaked his real intension of unseating the mayor. This intentional misrepresentation on the part of the vice mayor prevented the mayor, the press and the public from being properly noticed or prepared. This is a clear demonstration of his un-interest in having informed public input on the issue. He then launched into his prepared attack.
Here are my comments on his monolog:
• A new server was absolutely a time-sensitive necessity. The previous server was incapable of handling the needs of the city and had been cobbled together for years from used components to avoid necessary upgrades. Server outages routinely affected staff productivity.
• The Microsoft 365 program was never an “unusable” component. Hundreds of thousands of users successfully utilize this software. In spite of that, commission voted 3-2 to scrap it in favor of purchasing redundant software at an additional unbudgeted cost of over ,000.
• No additional “components” have been required. There are no “non-operational” components. There are two components that require the allocation of additional staff time to fully implement. The only additional expenditures have been for annual renewals on maintenance agreements for the city financial software (Asyst).
• One of the first tasks the previous city clerk initiated was obtaining a detailed IT status report from an amply qualified IT provider to determine “big picture” technology requirements for our municipality. The entire technology package was well thought out, properly planned and could have been professionally executed by qualified personal. But due to political maneuvering, commission over-ruled the recommendations of the qualified provider and the city clerk and decided to continue working with a vendor with no formal education or experience in providing services to government entities. In addition to ensuring a continued stream of income for a former commissioner, this was primarily motivated by ensuring that he continues having full access to all incoming and outgoing city emails.
• The previous city clerk identified fatal flaws in the system and attempted to rectify it to ensure all city public records were being preserved. Prior to her interventions, the city webmaster/email vendor — Ric Gatehouse — had made absolutely no provisions for maintaining city public records sent/received via his email system. That is egregious malfeasants by a vendor who represented himself as being qualified to provide such services to a municipality. It is also interesting that Gatehouse failed to register a fictitious name filing with the state of Florida for more than 10 years and he only did so when questioned by city clerk Jamie Anderson.
I also question: If Clarke is so satisfied with the current email system, why does he still routinely use his private gmail account to correspond with Commissioner Jan Vosburgh, city attorney Ricinda Perry and Joe Hendricks? Can it be to avoid the correspondence being included in the public record read file at city hall?
I also question what possible reason public works director Tom Woodard, who has an office, a city computer and a city cellphone, had to create and continue to routinely use a private gmail account to conduct city business? What correspondence is taking place that has not been captured by city public records?
Speaking of IT cost overruns, how about the ,000-plus unbudgeted dollars that commission approved in early summer to replace the woefully outdated and largely unusable city website? At that time, Gatehouse assured the commission that the new city website would be up and running in 30 days.
We are now much more than 90 days out and kissing the heels of fiscal 2014-15. As far as I can tell, the website has not been fully updated and Gatehouse was paid in full long ago. Where is the concern for fiscal accountability here?
And there is more:
• The only reason the outcome of the previous city clerk was unsuccessful was because Jamie Anderson attempted to stay apolitical and would not be a “team player” with Clarke, Vosburgh, Perry and other department heads to try to remove the mayor from office. That is the true reason she was let go. It had absolutely nothing to do with her qualifications or leadership abilities.
• Examination of the innumerable emails between Clarke and Perry on his private gmail account belie his statement that he gave the mayor his full trust and support. It is evident that he has been working against the mayor with the city attorney since soon after he was sworn into office.
• The “discretionary” spending of the mayor has finite limits. Department heads can spend up to ,000, the mayor can authorize up to ,000 — but every check/expenditure issued by the city is signed by two elected officials and every expenditure over ,000 comes to commission for approval either under the consent agenda or new business.
Every expenditure passes through the auditor’s recommended system of checks and balances. There is no hidden, secret spending. Clarke is woefully uneducated on how city spending occurs. Perhaps he needs to meet with the city treasurer again to acquaint himself with the procedures.
Comments on point-by-point
• The March 20 policy was initiated by Clarke with the city attorney, what is the concern?
• The mayor is the executive head and directly supervises department heads. What is the issue?
• Complete monthly financial reports and on-demand reports have been provided since the new city treasurer came on board. Total rhetoric. Commission has absolute control. Due to requirements initiated by this Mayor, one commissioner is required to sign every single disbursement the city issues. This never occurred in previous administrations. The city clerk and the mayor signed all checks with no oversight or involvement at all by commissioners.
• Hiring. The city attorney participated in the hiring process in both the previous and the current city clerk. In fact, she was responsible for verifying the references of the current city clerk. Due to the shoddy treatment of the previous city clerk, there was not a pool of certified municipal clerk’s with experience with Florida Sunshine statutes to choose from. It was Gia or re-post.
• As for the loss of four employees in the past nine months, the loss of the staff member with more than 10 years ten experiences was no detriment to the City. Even the previous commission was aware that she could and would never be the next city clerk. The mayor did not unilaterally do anything. Karen Cervetto resigned after being reprimanded for failing to execute her duties as required. Then the commission unanimously voted to appoint myself and Audra Lanzaro into the two open positions in the clerk’s office.
Now Clarke is whining about the waste of time, effort and dollars regarding something that he and everyone else on the commission unanimously voted in favor of? Jamie Anderson and I were both causalities of the vendetta of a couple of bitter department heads and two disgruntled commissioners who all thought there was no way Mayor Bill Shearon or Commissioner Janie Robertson would ever be elected. From the time Shearon announced, the department heads (with the singular exception of the building department) and the city attorney all stated that there was no way that he would win, and that they couldn’t/wouldn’t ever work for him. While no one put their money where their mouth was, it is clear that they have all stuck true to their statements and have never worked for him, but only against him. It is unclear what Clarke is stating regarding the mayor causing one of the employees to be terminated. The only terminated employee was Jamie Anderson, and that was at the hands of Clarke.
The claims of a hostile work environment from the public works department stems from resentment for being asked to be accountable for their time and resources. If public works employees are routinely seen outside of city limits, and in places where it is unlikely they are conducting city business, someone should be asking why. That would be being fiscally responsible for city resources. If an entire department is absent from the public works building, and no one is answering their city provided cellphone, someone should be asking why. Why does the city pay for cellphones for city employees unless it is to be able to contact them as needed? There have been repeated concerns that timecards are being falsified and that all employees are not working full eight-hour days. There should be accountability – that is not hostility.
In my experience working in the clerk’s office I have never heard of any allegation or concerns from any vendor, contractor or county representative regarding the mayor.
From my experience, the allegation that department heads can’t make agenda requests without the “blessing” of the mayor is totally fabricated by Clarke. Staff routinely makes agenda requests. The PD, public works and building/planning department submit agenda requests for nearly every commission meeting. The only scrutiny by the mayor is to ensure they include adequate backup so that commission and the pubic is educated on the request.
The meeting issue is interesting. The handful of meetings that were rescheduled thus far in Shearon’s tenure have all been at the request of Clarke. In an attempt to keep scheduling to a minimum and respect commissioners’ and department heads’ time, Shearon initially scheduled work sessions immediately ahead of commission meetings. Clarke is the one who initiated scheduling them on another day.
Regarding reports, this ordinance was orchestrated by Clarke. It was from its inception met with resistance from the mayor and department heads. The only detailed reports came from admin/finance and the building department. If the mayor attempted to push for reports from the PD or public works, he was accused of bullying!
Again, his attempts to hold all departments accountable were called heavy-handed and micro-managing. Commissioners have the ability to meet with individual department heads on a rotating monthly basis, and more often if necessary. Neither the mayor nor the vice mayor can force fellow commissioners to meet with staff if they aren’t inclined to do so. Regarding Clarke’s request to identify how much time is devoted to providing mayoral assistance, he needs to immediately acquaint himself with the requirements of ADA compliance. Upon election, Shearon could have requested from the city ADA accommodations for his visual impairment. That could have been for a dedicated staff member to provide him assistance as needed. The city would have been required by law to provide him that support. He chose to make due with the current clerk’s office staff. Should the commission decide that his need is too onerous, he could demand the support of additional qualified support, which the city is mandated to provide by ADA regulations.
I believe Clarke very much enjoys his attempts to discredit the mayor. It is clear Clarke has been plotting and manipulating city staff and resources with the sole purpose of unseating the mayor and putting himself in his place. It began long before the orchestration of attorney Robert Lincoln attending a commission meeting to recall the liaison appointments, whereby Clarke was elected vice mayor. It is clear when he repeatedly interrupts from the dais and attempts to take charge steering the direction of the meeting that he wants to be mayor. If that is his desire, he should work with the mayor and commissioners to productively complete his tenure as commissioner with a little dignity and decorum, and then seek the mayor’s position at the next election. May the best person win.
There is a hostile work environment in the city, but it is not at the hands of the mayor. I was harassed at the hands of Tom Woodard in retaliation for daring to object to a public works employee illicitly taking pictures of a public record which were in my possession (as city clerk pro tem) and leaking it to an attorney who is suing the city. He encouraged her to do it, when interviewed by law enforcement lied not once, but twice. For some reason, the PD intentionally omitted the involvement of both Woodard and Clarke in this incident. Why would that be? As a result of that, I became a target of harassment.
While Clarke derides the mayor over lawsuit costs, I would caution that Clarke and Vosburgh should have better guarded their own actions. They have opened the city up for another very costly lawsuit for making libelous statements about me under the pretense of evaluating Jamie Anderson. While the evaluations were anonymous, it is clear who submitted each, and it isn’t really irrelevant, since the fact is that the “commission” as a body submitted the evaluations. The only employees commissioners have the authority or responsibility to critique are department heads. They grossly overstepped their authority by publicly commenting on their perceptions of my performance in an evaluation of my supervisor.
As a final thought, I hope the citizens will take note that many of the decisions commission renders come down to a 3-2 vote. The thee being Clarke, Vosburgh and Ed Straight — none of whom were elected by the citizens for their last term because they ran unopposed. Not one person voted for them. The only two members elected by the people were Mayor Bill Shearon and Commissioner Janie Robertson.
Clarke and Vosburgh are attempting to overturn the will of the constituents. I also contest Vosburgh’s statement that she desired to take the high road and not be disrespectful to her opponent. In a public record email correspondence, she called her opponent an idiot on the record. That doesn’t sound very much like she is taking the high road and running a respectful campaign to me. Remember that on Election Day.
Tammy Johnson.




Name: Janie Robertson
Date: 2014-09-28 19:37:44
Subject: Bill Shearon poll
Comments: If the actual taxpayers and voters in the City feel it is more important to spend your money for this effort rather than our streets and flooding problems, I invite you to attend the meeting Oct.6, at 11am, and support Comms. Straight, Clarke and Vosburgh in their costly effort to oust our duly elected Mayor [at the polls]. This power play will cost thousands of dollars, as it will involve multiple attorneys and unknown hours, for possibly years in letting the process "play out". I will never vote to spend your money for this egregious and self-serving effort. If VM Clarke wishes to become mayor, he should do it at his own expense and be elected by a vote of the people, not by default at the cost to the people. Please note that Comm. Vosburgh supports Clarke without question, while Comm. Straight has reservations.



Name: jo ann meilner
Date: 2014-09-28 18:20:41
Subject: ethics
Comments: This survey has the ethics of a reporter who would take an email from a City commissioner's then send that email to other commissioners and members of the City staff. certainly not as background for a story, but more to inflame.


Name: B. Wortman
Date: 2014-09-27 11:36:01
Subject: BB Mayor
Comments: I would like to know how many BB VOTERS answered the survey, The voters are the ones who should have the say not anyone from the whole county or island community!!


Name: David Johnson
Date: 2014-09-26 12:52:59
Subject: Bill Shearon Poll
Comments: Comments: Hello there unequivocally biased SUN newspaper. Your paper posting a poll about Bill Shearon is equivalent to asking viewers of the "Al Sharpton" show on MSNBC whether or not Barack Obama should be impeached.
Hey where are you guys headed out to dinner tonight. I know a place. How about the BEACH HOUSE.


Name: David Johnson
Date: 2014-09-26 12:49:52
Subject: Bill Shearon Poll
Comments: Hello there unequivocally biased SUN newspaper. Your paper posting a poll about Bill Shearon is equivalent to viewers of the "Al Sharpton" show on MSNBC whether or not Barack Obama should be impeached.
Hey where are you guys headed out to dinner tonight. I know a place. How about the BEACH HOUSE.


Name: David Johnson
Date: 2014-09-26 03:26:30
Subject: Bradenton Beach response.
Comments: On point
In reviewing Bradenton Beach Vice Mayor Jack Clarke’s agenda back up for the Sept. 22 meeting, which was called with the sole purpose of initiating the process to remove a duly elected mayor from office, I was struck by the fact that his diatribe was long on personal opinion and short on facts.
As someone with more than a little insight into the situation, I feel compelled to comment.
In the fashion of Clarke, I would like to do a point-by-point review of his assertions:
First of all, Clarke’s Sept. 16 workshop agenda item was a calculated, premeditated ambush and was the definition of a personal attack. His agenda request, which appeared to request discussion on how to practically execute the requirements of Resolution 14-812 — which he drafted with city attorney Ricinda Perry — purposefully cloaked his real intension of unseating the mayor. This intentional misrepresentation on the part of the vice mayor prevented the mayor, the press and the public from being properly noticed or prepared. This is a clear demonstration of his un-interest in having informed public input on the issue. He then launched into his prepared attack.
Here are my comments on his monolog:
• A new server was absolutely a time-sensitive necessity. The previous server was incapable of handling the needs of the city and had been cobbled together for years from used components to avoid necessary upgrades. Server outages routinely affected staff productivity.
• The Microsoft 365 program was never an “unusable” component. Hundreds of thousands of users successfully utilize this software. In spite of that, commission voted 3-2 to scrap it in favor of purchasing redundant software at an additional unbudgeted cost of over ,000.
• No additional “components” have been required. There are no “non-operational” components. There are two components that require the allocation of additional staff time to fully implement. The only additional expenditures have been for annual renewals on maintenance agreements for the city financial software (Asyst).
• One of the first tasks the previous city clerk initiated was obtaining a detailed IT status report from an amply qualified IT provider to determine “big picture” technology requirements for our municipality. The entire technology package was well thought out, properly planned and could have been professionally executed by qualified personal. But due to political maneuvering, commission over-ruled the recommendations of the qualified provider and the city clerk and decided to continue working with a vendor with no formal education or experience in providing services to government entities. In addition to ensuring a continued stream of income for a former commissioner, this was primarily motivated by ensuring that he continues having full access to all incoming and outgoing city emails.
• The previous city clerk identified fatal flaws in the system and attempted to rectify it to ensure all city public records were being preserved. Prior to her interventions, the city webmaster/email vendor — Ric Gatehouse — had made absolutely no provisions for maintaining city public records sent/received via his email system. That is egregious malfeasants by a vendor who represented himself as being qualified to provide such services to a municipality. It is also interesting that Gatehouse failed to register a fictitious name filing with the state of Florida for more than 10 years and he only did so when questioned by city clerk Jamie Anderson.
I also question: If Clarke is so satisfied with the current email system, why does he still routinely use his private gmail account to correspond with Commissioner Jan Vosburgh, city attorney Ricinda Perry and Joe Hendricks? Can it be to avoid the correspondence being included in the public record read file at city hall?
I also question what possible reason public works director Tom Woodard, who has an office, a city computer and a city cellphone, had to create and continue to routinely use a private gmail account to conduct city business? What correspondence is taking place that has not been captured by city public records?
Speaking of IT cost overruns, how about the ,000-plus unbudgeted dollars that commission approved in early summer to replace the woefully outdated and largely unusable city website? At that time, Gatehouse assured the commission that the new city website would be up and running in 30 days.
We are now much more than 90 days out and kissing the heels of fiscal 2014-15. As far as I can tell, the website has not been fully updated and Gatehouse was paid in full long ago. Where is the concern for fiscal accountability here?
And there is more:
• The only reason the outcome of the previous city clerk was unsuccessful was because Jamie Anderson attempted to stay apolitical and would not be a “team player” with Clarke, Vosburgh, Perry and other department heads to try to remove the mayor from office. That is the true reason she was let go. It had absolutely nothing to do with her qualifications or leadership abilities.
• Examination of the innumerable emails between Clarke and Perry on his private gmail account belie his statement that he gave the mayor his full trust and support. It is evident that he has been working against the mayor with the city attorney since soon after he was sworn into office.
• The “discretionary” spending of the mayor has finite limits. Department heads can spend up to ,000, the mayor can authorize up to ,000 — but every check/expenditure issued by the city is signed by two elected officials and every expenditure over ,000 comes to commission for approval either under the consent agenda or new business.
Every expenditure passes through the auditor’s recommended system of checks and balances. There is no hidden, secret spending. Clarke is woefully uneducated on how city spending occurs. Perhaps he needs to meet with the city treasurer again to acquaint himself with the procedures.
Comments on point-by-point
• The March 20 policy was initiated by Clarke with the city attorney, what is the concern?
• The mayor is the executive head and directly supervises department heads. What is the issue?
• Complete monthly financial reports and on-demand reports have been provided since the new city treasurer came on board. Total rhetoric. Commission has absolute control. Due to requirements initiated by this Mayor, one commissioner is required to sign every single disbursement the city issues. This never occurred in previous administrations. The city clerk and the mayor signed all checks with no oversight or involvement at all by commissioners.
• Hiring. The city attorney participated in the hiring process in both the previous and the current city clerk. In fact, she was responsible for verifying the references of the current city clerk. Due to the shoddy treatment of the previous city clerk, there was not a pool of certified municipal clerk’s with experience with Florida Sunshine statutes to choose from. It was Gia or re-post.
• As for the loss of four employees in the past nine months, the loss of the staff member with more than 10 years ten experiences was no detriment to the City. Even the previous commission was aware that she could and would never be the next city clerk. The mayor did not unilaterally do anything. Karen Cervetto resigned after being reprimanded for failing to execute her duties as required. Then the commission unanimously voted to appoint myself and Audra Lanzaro into the two open positions in the clerk’s office.
Now Clarke is whining about the waste of time, effort and dollars regarding something that he and everyone else on the commission unanimously voted in favor of? Jamie Anderson and I were both causalities of the vendetta of a couple of bitter department heads and two disgruntled commissioners who all thought there was no way Mayor Bill Shearon or Commissioner Janie Robertson would ever be elected. From the time Shearon announced, the department heads (with the singular exception of the building department) and the city attorney all stated that there was no way that he would win, and that they couldn’t/wouldn’t ever work for him. While no one put their money where their mouth was, it is clear that they have all stuck true to their statements and have never worked for him, but only against him. It is unclear what Clarke is stating regarding the mayor causing one of the employees to be terminated. The only terminated employee was Jamie Anderson, and that was at the hands of Clarke.
The claims of a hostile work environment from the public works department stems from resentment for being asked to be accountable for their time and resources. If public works employees are routinely seen outside of city limits, and in places where it is unlikely they are conducting city business, someone should be asking why. That would be being fiscally responsible for city resources. If an entire department is absent from the public works building, and no one is answering their city provided cellphone, someone should be asking why. Why does the city pay for cellphones for city employees unless it is to be able to contact them as needed? There have been repeated concerns that timecards are being falsified and that all employees are not working full eight-hour days. There should be accountability – that is not hostility.
In my experience working in the clerk’s office I have never heard of any allegation or concerns from any vendor, contractor or county representative regarding the mayor.
From my experience, the allegation that department heads can’t make agenda requests without the “blessing” of the mayor is totally fabricated by Clarke. Staff routinely makes agenda requests. The PD, public works and building/planning department submit agenda requests for nearly every commission meeting. The only scrutiny by the mayor is to ensure they include adequate backup so that commission and the pubic is educated on the request.
The meeting issue is interesting. The handful of meetings that were rescheduled thus far in Shearon’s tenure have all been at the request of Clarke. In an attempt to keep scheduling to a minimum and respect commissioners’ and department heads’ time, Shearon initially scheduled work sessions immediately ahead of commission meetings. Clarke is the one who initiated scheduling them on another day.
Regarding reports, this ordinance was orchestrated by Clarke. It was from its inception met with resistance from the mayor and department heads. The only detailed reports came from admin/finance and the building department. If the mayor attempted to push for reports from the PD or public works, he was accused of bullying!
Again, his attempts to hold all departments accountable were called heavy-handed and micro-managing. Commissioners have the ability to meet with individual department heads on a rotating monthly basis, and more often if necessary. Neither the mayor nor the vice mayor can force fellow commissioners to meet with staff if they aren’t inclined to do so. Regarding Clarke’s request to identify how much time is devoted to providing mayoral assistance, he needs to immediately acquaint himself with the requirements of ADA compliance. Upon election, Shearon could have requested from the city ADA accommodations for his visual impairment. That could have been for a dedicated staff member to provide him assistance as needed. The city would have been required by law to provide him that support. He chose to make due with the current clerk’s office staff. Should the commission decide that his need is too onerous, he could demand the support of additional qualified support, which the city is mandated to provide by ADA regulations.
I believe Clarke very much enjoys his attempts to discredit the mayor. It is clear Clarke has been plotting and manipulating city staff and resources with the sole purpose of unseating the mayor and putting himself in his place. It began long before the orchestration of attorney Robert Lincoln attending a commission meeting to recall the liaison appointments, whereby Clarke was elected vice mayor. It is clear when he repeatedly interrupts from the dais and attempts to take charge steering the direction of the meeting that he wants to be mayor. If that is his desire, he should work with the mayor and commissioners to productively complete his tenure as commissioner with a little dignity and decorum, and then seek the mayor’s position at the next election. May the best person win.
There is a hostile work environment in the city, but it is not at the hands of the mayor. I was harassed at the hands of Tom Woodard in retaliation for daring to object to a public works employee illicitly taking pictures of a public record which were in my possession (as city clerk pro tem) and leaking it to an attorney who is suing the city. He encouraged her to do it, when interviewed by law enforcement lied not once, but twice. For some reason, the PD intentionally omitted the involvement of both Woodard and Clarke in this incident. Why would that be? As a result of that, I became a target of harassment.
While Clarke derides the mayor over lawsuit costs, I would caution that Clarke and Vosburgh should have better guarded their own actions. They have opened the city up for another very costly lawsuit for making libelous statements about me under the pretense of evaluating Jamie Anderson. While the evaluations were anonymous, it is clear who submitted each, and it isn’t really irrelevant, since the fact is that the “commission” as a body submitted the evaluations. The only employees commissioners have the authority or responsibility to critique are department heads. They grossly overstepped their authority by publicly commenting on their perceptions of my performance in an evaluation of my supervisor.
As a final thought, I hope the citizens will take note that many of the decisions commission renders come down to a 3-2 vote. The thee being Clarke, Vosburgh and Ed Straight — none of whom were elected by the citizens for their last term because they ran unopposed. Not one person voted for them. The only two members elected by the people were Mayor Bill Shearon and Commissioner Janie Robertson.
Clarke and Vosburgh are attempting to overturn the will of the constituents. I also contest Vosburgh’s statement that she desired to take the high road and not be disrespectful to her opponent. In a public record email correspondence, she called her opponent an idiot on the record. That doesn’t sound very much like she is taking the high road and running a respectful campaign to me. Remember that on Election Day.
Tammy Johnson - See more at: http://www.islander.org/2014/09/bb-commissioner-proposes-to-oust-mayor/#sthash.kV0FmDQc.dpuf


Name: Leann (Baker) Lehmann
Date: 2014-09-25 11:19:21
Subject: personal
Comments: This is Mike's cousin. Please have him contact me as soon as convenient.


Name: roy speer
Date: 2014-09-03 06:14:26
Subject: MANATEE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Comments: Does Carlos Beruff control EVERYTHING in Manatee County?


Name: roy speer
Date: 2014-09-03 06:06:00
Subject: KEEP THE ISLAND AND VILLAGE AESTHETICS
Comments: I recently attended the (FDOT) project development and environmental study of State Road 684 Cortez Rd. from SR 798 (Gulf Dr) to 123rd Street West, Manatee County. I was impressed by the amount of effort that went into the project analysis and study. A horde of officials were on hand to help those that attended the meeting with analysis and a briefing on the displays. I was told this was the only option being considered by the Manatee County Commissioners. Clearly absents was a fourth option which would provide for the Safety of those living on the islands, an additional evacuation route in the event of a hurricane for the people living on Longboat Key and South Anna Marie Island, which would expedite evacuation and provide for an alternate egress option route especially for those living on Longboat Island. This additional option would provide sources of income for the county, and the city of Bradenton and in the cities of Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Marie. Of course everyone is quite aware that the county commissioners of Manatee County do not have this option on the table but it is one that should be considered as one of safety for the people living on the islands, low environmental impact, and a source of income. The proposal that should come under consideration is that the roundabout at 75th street and 53rd Ave West be enlarged and a four lane toll road and bridge, 3.4 miles long be built along the right-of-way as an extension of 53rd Ave West across the north side of Tidy Island with a terminus at coquina beach. It should be foreseen as a toll road and bridge fly over that would help defray the construction cost of the bridge and when the construction cost have been paid off a fund could be established to fund any necessary repairs to the other Bridges. A non-drawbridge would be the best option for the Inter Coastal Waterway. Probably 80% to 85% of the traffic across Cortez Bridge turns left at the light on Bradenton Beach onto Gulf Road South. There is enough area in the Coquina Beach area for ample parking and a system of shuttles could be maintained to and from the business areas in Bradenton Beach and northward, since parking has become such an issue. Limited space is the biggest issue for all the cities on the island, but especially the parking issue. If parking becomes an issue then additional parking could be provided in the existing parking area of Coquina Beach by constructing a multi-level parking lot for automobiles. This is one answer as to how you put 1000lbs of potatoes into a 5lb sack. You provide more sacks.


Name: Dan Eli
Date: 2014-09-02 05:23:37
Subject: Snook Haven
Comments: We all had a fun time dancing at Snook Haven again this year at there annual country fest,,,Glad to see the "Sun" there.....I heard there will be country dance lessons at the Palmetto Moose on 301 coming soon in Oct... with Dave and Roxy, Dan and Sandy, Deb and the line dance crew


Name: Gary McMullen
Date: 2014-08-27 06:18:12
Subject: Parking and Congestion
Comments: The Holmes Beach Congestion Committee has it correct. We have to eliminate right of way parking on residential streets. Residents can have a sticker allowing parking when guests visit. The residents on beach access streets need relief. As far as the Little League goes, we do not need more congestion coming onto the island.


Name: graham hancock
Date: 2014-08-26 03:28:04
Subject: car parking charges
Comments: We have been to the island so many times from the uk and are very surprised that parking charges haven't been brought into force, for as long as i can remember paying for parking in the uk along the sea front or in a car park has always been a way of life, the usual cost is about -6 for a days parking, the local council collects this money and sometimes, not always, use the cash collected to keep the upkeep of the facilities, you have such a charming and lovely place and this feels the obvious way forward,
You will always get small minority of people complaining or trying to dodge the charges but it seems that the island needs to manage this problem and make money for the upkeep of your lovely island.


Name: AMI Why
Date: 2014-08-23 11:03:17
Subject: Why Cops on Beach?
Comments: Why does the police have to make a presents at sunset every night with their air polluting and noisy ATV?

Has there been a rash of crime on the beach lately?


Name: Alan Kurt
Date: 2014-08-17 02:37:27
Subject: Real Estate Sales
Comments: It would be nice if you printed current sales on the island instead of those dating back to October,2013.
Thank you,


Name: Jennifer mcdonald
Date: 2014-08-16 04:38:49
Subject: Joan franklin arrest
Comments:

Sent from my iPad

Begin forwarded message:

From: Jennifer McDonald <jenmcdonald50@aim.com>
Date: August 13, 2014 at 12:20:14 AM EDT
To: Reply to Comment <e+1766azf000zg62vku56002cl0f1sl3k0000000000000000000000002mb0u@reply.facebook.com>
Subject: Fwd: Jo an Franklin arrests articles Holmes beach, Anna Maria Florida



Sent from my iPad

Begin forwarded message:

From: Jennifer McDonald <jenmcdonald50@aim.com>
Date: August 13, 2014 at 12:19:06 AM EDT
To: "news@mysuncoast.com" <news@mysuncoast.com>
Subject: Jo an Franklin arrests articles Holmes beach, Anna Maria Florida

Is it not credibility and truth which makes research on reporting events reliable? Who checks their sources anyway when a person is accused of a crime; they must prove their innocence. What has happened to truth, family, neighbors and friends? Juicy news makes viewers like you. have you ever heard of people being falsely discredited? Imagine a woman who not only took care of her own children, but her grandchildren also. Joan Franklin has been a caregiver her entire life. She has worked very hard taking care of her schizophrenic son for many of his adult years. Why he even tied up the next door neighbor in a hog tie, got kidnapping an elderly, grand theft, and grand theft auto. She paid dearly to get a diagnoses and a trial for her sons mental illness. Two State Psychologist from Manatee County Courts District Doctor Renee and Doctor McGovern. This credible witness that you speak of but don't know the name of in your article is Cynthia and Clinton Franklin. Jo An Franklins' son that was diagnosed with schitzoeffective disorder and his wife his senior he found cyber dating. Why don't you research your topics more closely and see how naive the prosecutor and the Holmes beach police department really are? Look up Clinton Matthew Franklins records with the court and see a true portrait of the accuser. It's all public record in the trail where he dodged a very long sentence for his home invasion. This all happened here in manatee county and how did it stay out of your news flash? I have known both Jo an Franklin and Clinton Franklin intimately for 22 years. There are many character witnesses that can tell you otherwise, Jo an Franklin is the victim of her son. John the elderly man she has been accused of hurting had Christmas dinner with my family last year. He was happy, in fact I have pictures of his happiness. Shortly after John, like many elderly folk broke his hip. There is documentation of ongoing home health with amedysis as well as coastal orthopedic and Blake hospital record, oh, but HIPPA? She took care of john for years as well as his wife. Dementia and PTSD makes it incapable to speak with the "victim". Perfect little way to try revenge on your mother when she says you cannot live in her home on Anna Maria. Isn't it? Please contact me for more, if you want the scoop.



Sent from my iPad


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