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Date of Issue: November 03, 2005

Policy issues on ballot in Bradenton Beach Nov. 8

It will be a choice of policy, not people, on the ballot Nov. 8 for Bradenton Beach voters.

Electors will have 13 charter amendments to either ratify or reject, plus a question on whether or not to explore the issue of consolidating the three Anna Maria Island cities.

The consolidation issue is probably moot, since Anna Maria city commissioners decided not to ask voters there to answer the question. According to an informal agreement reached between the three Island mayors, the matter must be approved by all three cities before any further effort toward consolidation is taken.

The consolidation matter will appear on ballots in Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach. The question reads:

"Should the City of Bradenton Beach consider, but without being obligated to, conducting a study or studies on the merits and feasibility of consolidating the three Anna Maria Island cities into a single Islandwide local government as set forth in Resolution 05-704?"

The resolution states that residents on the Island have considered consolidation for many years and that Bradenton Beach officials "desire to seek an indication from the voters as to the amount of support that may exist as to undertaking a formal consolidation process."

The "lucky 13" charter amendments approved for Bradenton Beach electors' consideration on the Nov. 8 general election, in summary, are as follows. Voters will be able to vote "yes" or "no" on each question.

BALLOT 1: Clarifies when charter review committee formation would occur - every five years beginning in 2005 - and have the city commissioner appoint the committee within 30 days and have the committee present the commission with a report within 180 days.

BALLOT 2: Requires residency within each of the cities four wards for city commissioners, and clarifies language to ensure that the mayor remains a city resident while serving in office.

BALLOT 3: Clarifies language establishing compensation for elected officials in the city to be in recognition of public service and not for services rendered. The question also clarifies that any change in the annual compensation for mayor and commissioners may be done by ordinance and, if approved, may only take effect after the next election of that office.

BALLOT 4: Requires elected officials to "receive adequate training throughout the period of their active term of office" and that "each elected official shall meet certain minimum continuing educational requirements."

BALLOT 5: Clarifies language that calls for elected officials to forfeit their office if they move from their elected ward or from the city.

BALLOT 6: Increases term limits for elected officials from three two-year terms to four two-year terms.

BALLOT 7: Provides for 10 working days, rather than 10 calendar days, for verification of signatures on any citizen-initiated petition, and calls for the supervisor of elections office, rather than the city clerk's office, to verify the signatures as being those of qualified voters.

BALLOT 8: Provides for 10 working days, rather than 10 calendar days, for verification of signatures on any citizen-initiated charter amendments, and calls for the supervisor of elections office, rather than the city clerk's office, to verify the signatures as being those of qualified voters.

BALLOT 9: Provides the city clerk's office to notify any petitioner's group seeking a citizen-initiated petition for ordinance changes or charter changes within 10 working days of sufficiency on any petitions, and calls for a standardized form for any such petition be provided by the city clerk's office.

BALLOT 10: Calls for no building height to be greater than 29 feet above the Federal Emergency Management Agency's established base-flood elevation standard.

BALLOT 11: Establishes that a conforming lot is any existing platted lot of record of a size of 50 feet by 100 feet or 5,000 square feet.

BALLOT 12: Clarifies removal of appointed officials through forfeiture, vacation or expiration of term of office.

BALLOT 13: Establishes a number of technical changes to the city charter.

Voting Nov. 8 will be at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N. The poll will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.