AM agrees on post-election process to fill mayor, commission seats

If someone had run for Mayor Mike Selby’s soon-to-be vacated position, Anna Maria would not be in such a quandary.

The problem, said Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick at the commission’s Sept. 27 meeting, is that when no one qualifies to seek an office, the city must turn to the city charter for direction.

The city charter calls for the commission chair to automatically become the mayor when the mayor’s seat is vacant.

It’s up to the present commissioners to determine the process to follow after the Nov. 6 election, when the city will be faced with a vacant mayor’s seat.

All agree the first order of business at the Nov. 15 organizational meeting, after swearing in new commissioner Nancy Yetter and incumbent Chuck Webb, will be to elect from among themselves — including Commissioners SueLynn, John Quam and Dale Woodland — a chairperson.

That vote will be followed by an appointment, this time by four commissioners, minus the mayor, of a qualified person from the electorate to fill the newly vacated commission seat.

At the Sept. 27 meeting, the commission asked that anyone interested in the inevitable open seat complete an application at city hall by Oct. 31 and be present at the Nov. 15 meeting to be nominated and possibly answer questions from commissioners.

To date, only two people have applied — former Commissioner Gene Aubry and environmental enhancement and education committee chair Billy Malfese.

In other commission business at the Sept. 27 meeting, Webb said he had to bring back the recently passed ordinance to commissioners that amended parking, dock space and requirements, and other issues because he found “unintended consequences” for the commercial district.

Without that certain language, transient rentals or “sleeping units” would not be required to have on-site parking for guests.

City attorney Jim Dye said the city would need to go begin anew the ordinance process.

Commissioners also tabled the purchase of an electric truck from public works supervisor George McKay, who bought the truck to ensure no one else got the bargain. McKay paid $4,600 for the 2005 truck, while the book value is around $7,500.

Dye said there was a legal issue to be resolved before the city could approve the purchase.

Commissioners also agreed with Selby to have a workshop Oct. 11 on his proposal to move parking at the city pier across Bay Boulevard to the vacant city property and turn the north city pier parking lot into a park.

“Think about it and come talk to me,” Selby said.

The commission also unanimously passed a resolution supporting the Manatee County Commission initiative to repeal the state statute passed in June 2011 that allows every homeowner to rent their residence.

The initiative is supported by the Florida League of Cities, the Florida Association of Counties and other organizations.

Webb added that the FLC and FAC are opposed to Amendment IV on the general election ballot.

The amendment would cap non-homesteaded property value increases and ad valorem taxes at a 3 percent increase per year, similar to the Save Our Homes initiative passed by voters in the mid-1990s.

The reason the amendment is opposed, Webb said, is because without the ability to raise the value of non-homesteaded property, cities throughout Florida would have to raise millage rates on everyone to meet their budget needs.

Selby also said he recently spoke with U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, who pledged to help the city find a way to halt proliferation of large vacation rental properties.

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