Cole, Maro retain Bradenton Beach commission seats

BB Election Cole Maro
Incumbent Bradenton Beach commissioners Marilyn Maro and Ralph Cole have been re-elected. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

BRADENTON BEACH – Bradenton Beach voters re-elected incumbent Bradenton Beach City Commissioners Ralph Cole and Marilyn Maro, choosing them over challengers Tjet Martin and John Metz.

Bradenton Beach voters supported a return to geographically-based City Commission wards as one of seven proposed charter amendments recommended by the Charter Review Committee and supported by city voters.

Running unopposed, Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy and commissioners Amy Tripp and Brian Seymour retain their seats and will serve additional two-year terms in office.

Bradenton Beach commission races

In the Bradenton Beach race for the two seats currently held by Cole and Maro, Cole received 282 votes (32.12 percent), Maro received 242 votes (27.56 percent), Metz received 189 votes (21.53 percent) and Martin received 165 votes (18.79 percent).

Maro and Cole will serve additional two-year terms on the City Commission and be sworn in on Monday, Dec. 19. Their victories will maintain for another year a commission that also includes Mayor John Chappie and commissioners Jake Spooner and Randy White.

Charter amendments

Bradenton Beach voters also decided the fate of seven proposed amendments to the city charter and one park rezoning request.

Voters adopted Amendment 1. This means geographically-based City Commission wards will be reinstated beginning with next year’s elections: 295 voters (58.65 percent) supported the amendment and 208 voters (41.35 percent) opposed it.

BB Elections Amendments
Despite this sign of opposition, Bradenton Beach voters adopted several charter amendments proposed by the Charter Review Committee. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

Voters adopted Amendment 2. This means City Commission candidates will now have to be registered city voters and will have to provide addition proof of residency when seeking office: 413 voters (79.73 percent) supported the amendment and 105 voters (20.27 percent) opposed it.

Voters adopted Amendment 3. This means the city charter will expressly state Bradenton Beach has a balanced form of city government in which all five members, including the mayor, have the same legislative and executive powers: 308 voters (61.48 percent) supported the amendment and 193 voters (38.52 percent) opposed it.

Voters adopted Amendment 4. This means the City Commission will retain the sole authority to hire and fire charter officials and departments heads, even if a city manager was to be hired in the future: 290 voters (58.23 percent) supported the amendment and 208 voters (41.77 percent) opposed it.

Voters adopted rejected Amendment 5. This means Article II and Article III of the city charter will be renumbered and reorganized (merely an administrative housekeeping matter): 306 voters (62.58 percent) supported the amendment and 183 voters (37.42 percent) opposed it.

Voters adopted Amendment 6. This means the commission will retain the ability to fill vacant City Commission seats by commission appointment: 328 voters (64.57 percent) supported the amendment and 180 voters (35.43 percent) opposed it.

Voters adopted Amendment 7. This means the charter requirements and processes that already apply to citizen-led, petition-initiated city ordinances and resolutions will also apply to citizen-led, petition-initiated efforts to amend the city charter: 320 voters (65.04 percent) supported the amendment and 172 voters (34.96 percent) opposed it.

City voters also supported the city’s request to rezone Katie Pierola Park from its current R-3 Multi-Family Dwelling District zoning designation to a Parks/Recreation/Open Space zoning designation. The vote was 460 votes (89.15 percent) in favor of the rezoning and 56 votes (10.85 percent) opposed to the rezoning request.