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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Manager, other changes proposed for ballot

Ballot language to change the city's charter to include a manager-commission form of government, among other proposals, will be discussed at 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, by Bradenton Beach city commissioners.

Commissioners have been debating the merits of adding a city manager to operate the day-to-day activities of city hall for several months, and voted last week to approve language changing the city's charter to include a manager.

The proposal will have to go to the voters for ratification, and first reading of the ordinance establishing the ballot language is scheduled for today. A final public hearing is scheduled for July 1.

It is unclear as to just when the question will appear on a ballot, though. City commissioners had discussed putting the matter to the voters on the Aug. 31 primary election ballot, but the ordinance language states that the matter will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot and the required advertising also stated the November election date.

Other highlights of the ballot proposals for electors include the apparent abolition of the city's board of adjustment, the creation of a new department head in the form of a city treasurer, height limitations on all structures, requirement of a greater than 4-1 vote on some land-use changes, prohibition of beach or bay access vacations, and establishing a time frame for citizen protests for ordinances.

The proposed questions for the voters to decide:

Ballot 1, Charter revision providing for city manager:
Should the city amend its charter to appoint a qualified, professional city manager to serve as chief executive officer responsible for directing and supervising all departments and city employees (except for the chief of police, city auditor, and city attorney, who shall report directly to the city commission); preparing a proposed budget, and for faithfully executing the adopted budget, and the requirements of all laws, charter provisions, ordinances and policy directions from the city commission?

Yes, for approval; No, for rejection.

Ballot 2, Charter amendment providing for a maximum building height for the City of Bradenton Beach:
Should the city adopt a charter amendment providing that no structure, including parts, attachments or appurtenances to any structure, shall be erected to a maximum overall height greater than 29 feet between the Federal Emergency Management Agency base flood elevation to the highest point on the roof structure or ridge, except for chimney, vents and elevator shafts, which may not protrude above the roof more than four feet?

Yes, for approval; No, for rejection.

Ballot 3, Charter amendment requiring 4-1 (supra-majority) vote on certain land-use and zoning applications:
Should the city adopt a charter amendment requiring a 4-1 (supra-majority) vote of the city commission to approve any comprehensive plan amendment (map or text), rezoning, variance, special exception, or vacation of any city right-of-way?

Yes, for approval; No, for rejection.

Ballot 4, Charter amendment prohibiting vacation of beach, bay or water access city rights of ways:
Should the city adopt a charter amendment prohibiting the city from vacating any city right of way that provides direct or indirect beach, bay or water access?

Yes, for approval; No, for rejection.

Ballot 5, Charter amendment providing a 30 day time for citizen initiatives to repeal certain ordinances:
Should the city adopt a charter amendment providing that citizen initiatives to repeal an ordinance approving a plan amendment, rezoning, variance, special exception, or vacation of right of way be filed within 30 calendar days from the date the ordinance is signed by the mayor, and providing that all citizens' initiative signatures will be verified by the supervisor of elections rather than verified by the city clerk?

Yes, for approval; No, for rejection.