BRADENTON BEACH – City voters have spoken: Former Mayor John Chappie will take over the mayor’s seat held by Bill Shearon.
Randy White will take over the Ward 3 commission seat held by Ralph Cole; and the city charter will be amended to incorporate all three charter amendments proposed by the Concerned Neighbors of Bradenton Beach (CNOBB) political committee.
In the mayor’s race, Chappie received 232 votes (59.95 percent) of the vote and Shearon received 155 votes (40.05 percent).
When asked about his victory, Chappie said he was happy that he won and one of his top priorities is to encourage the commission and the city residents to work together.
In the Ward 3 race, White received 205 votes (54.81 percent) and Cole received 169 votes (45.19 percent).
City voters supported the Amendment 1 proposal to eliminate the four voting wards and make all four commission seats at-large races beginning in 2018. The vote was 207 (54.76 percent) in favor and 171 (45.24 percent) opposed.
Voters also supported the Amendment 2 proposal to reduce commission candidates’ residency requirements from two years to one year, and to also eliminate the requirement that candidates be registered city voters. The vote was 212 votes (54.92 percent) in favor and 174 (45.08) votes in opposition.
City voters also supported the Amendment 3 proposal to limit the city commission’s ability to interpret the city charter through commission-initiated ordinances and resolutions by a 243 (64.46 percent) to 134 (35.54 percent) vote margin.
Running unopposed, Ward 1 Jake Spooner retained his commission seat and will serve another two-year term in office.
Chappie and White will be sworn in at City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, at 1 p.m.
The reconfigured commission that also includes Ward 2 Commissioner Marilyn Maro will now appoint someone to fill the remaining year of the Ward 4 commission term Chappie will now vacate due to his previously designated resign-to-run status.
The appointment process likely will commence at the commission’s Thursday, Dec. 7 meeting. If majority consensus is reached that night a new commissioner will be named. If the commission vote produces a 2-2 tie, the commission will try again at its next meeting. If the second vote also produces a tie, cards will be cut and the nominee who draws the highest card will be the new Ward 4 commissioner.
All five commission members will also sit on the seven-member Community Redevelopment Agency currently chaired by Cole, and a new chair will be named.
The unofficial results are still subject to final certification by the Supervisor of Elections office. The election concluded at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.