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BB commissioners dethrone vice mayor

By Merab-Michal Favorite, Islander Reporter

It may not be the mayor’s choice, but Bradenton Beach has a new vice mayor.

Commissioners elected Jack Clarke for the job after it was determined the December vote for the mayor’s nominee, Commissioner Janie Robertson, was made in error.

“I accept the responsibility enthusiastically, and I’m looking forward to it,” Clarke said.

Robert Lincoln, the attorney representing ELRA Inc., the corporate entity for Ed Chiles’ BeacHhouse restaurant, addressed the procedural error at the July 3 city meeting.

Robertson’s appointment had been included in a list of board appointments at a Dec. 5 meeting and the list was approved unanimously.

Lincoln claimed that under the city charter, Robertson’s nomination should under have been listed as a separate agenda item for the commission to consider — and take a vote.

Robertson was dethroned.

She then nominated Commissioner Jan Vosburgh, because, she said, she believed it should be Vosburgh’s turn in “honorary rotation,” as has been traditionally observed by the commission. However, Vosburgh declined the nomination by Robertson.

Vosburgh nominated Clarke. Vosburgh was participating in the meeting via Skype while vacationing in Utah.

Clarke was elected unanimously.

During the meeting, Lincoln alleged Shearon violated Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Laws when, early on in this term, he sent an email to commissioners inquiring about their interests in serving as liaisons to community organizations.

Commissioner Ed Straight said previous mayors had evidently made the same procedural errors when appointing the vice mayor and liaisons. He suggested the commission apply the correct procedures in the future.

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