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BB mayor undecided about re-election bid

By Lisa Neff, Islander Reporter

Bradenton Beach Mayor Bob Bartelt remains undecided as to whether he will seek re-election Nov. 8.

Bartelt was the Ward 4 commissioner in June 2010 when he was appointed mayor to replace Michael Pierce, who resigned mid-term. Bartelt was then elected to the office last fall to serve until the next election, set for this November.

For the past month, Bartelt, a native of Wisconsin and a retired firefighter, has said he is undecided about seeking re-election to a two-year term.

Qualifying to run as a candidate for the office, as well as two commission seats, opens at noon Aug. 29 and closes at noon Sept. 2.

Bartelt, who spends hours each weekday at city hall, said he has concerns about the time requirements for the post.

“If you really want to get things done, you’ve got to give it your all.… It takes time. A lot of time,” he said.

Bartelt, who married wife Kim last fall in an Island celebration, added that their life together is an important chapter in his life.

But Bartelt remains enthusiastic about the business of running Bradenton Beach, especially the projects he and the commission have committed to in the past year.

With Bartelt at the helm, the city forged ahead on a number of projects and issues — constructing a new dune walkover, hiring out recycling and sanitation, amending the comprehensive plan, settling a longstanding lawsuit over waterfront property, trimming the city budget, planning for new trolley shelters and working on an improved gateway at Cortez Road and Gulf Drive.

“I’ve tried to get projects finished … that have been lying around, tried to move forward with projects that were started but got stuck in neutral,” Bartelt said.

The mayor plans to complete several more projects before November.

It remains an unknown as to whether Bartelt will then begin a new round of city projects or seek a hiatus.

Meanwhile, John Shaughnessy, a former commissioner who gave up his seat due to a three-term limit, ended his hiatus. He began last week to collect signatures to run for mayor.

Shaughnessy entered city politics in 2003, when he became Ward 1 commissioner. After he left the office in 2009, he remained involved, including serving on the city charter committee last year.

In the commission elections, Commissioner Gay Breuler of Ward 1 was collecting signatures last week to run for a second term.

In Ward 3, Commissioner Janie Robertson cannot seek re-election do the city’s term-limit rule, which limits a commissioner to three consecutive terms. As of Islander press time, no one had begun the qualifying process for Ward 3.

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