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Bradenton Beach officials take oath of office

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore swears in Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon, who defeated incumbent John Shaughnessy Nov. 5.

It was standing room only at Bradenton Beach City Hall for the Nov. 18 swearing in ceremony of newly elected officials — primarily due to a decision to remove the chairs from the chambers prior to the ceremony.

However, a couple dozen dignitaries, friends and family members crowded around to see Mayor Bill Shearon, Ward 1 Commissioner Janie Robertson and Ward 3 Commissioner Jack Clarke officially take office.

Acting city clerk Karen Cervetto swore Clarke into office, while Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore conducted the swearing-in ceremonies of Robertson and Shearon, who the new mayor called a “close and personal friend.”

Shearon said he looks forward to strengthening ties with officials in the county, as well the island cities.

“I look forward to the chance to make Bradenton Beach a better place for our residents and our visitors,” said Shearon, who brought to the dais other city officials and department heads. “This will be a team effort in moving this city forward.”

Robertson was joined on the dais for her swearing-in ceremony by her son Steven, who held a Bible during his mother’s oath. Robertson was the only city official who chose to use a Bible in her ceremony.

She took back the seat on the commission that she held for six years before terming out of office in 2011. She narrowly defeated former Commissioner Ric Gatehouse to regain her seat. Gatehouse attended the ceremony to wish the incoming officials well.

County Commissioners Betsy Benac and John Chappie, formerly mayor and city commissioner, were among the attendees, along with city Commissioner Jan Vosburgh and Vice Mayor Ed Straight.

Whitmore thanked everyone for attending, saying, “This is our democratic process in action.”

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