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Date of Issue: September 14, 2006

Budget no problem for Bradenton Beach

budget pic
Tent city
A whole new concept of "government in the Sunshine" took place in Bradenton Beach last week, when city commissioners met under a tent in the parking lot at city hall to have their first public hearing on the 2006-07 city budget. The public hearing conflicted with the primary election, in which city voters cast ballots at city hall at the same time the public hearing was scheduled. Islander Photo: Paul Roat

If you're one of those Island parents who allow their young ones to freely roam the streets of safe-and-sound Anna Maria Island, you might want to think twice about them walking in the 1600 block of Gulf Drive North in Bradenton Beach and the 600 block of Dundee Lane in Holmes Beach.

In the past three weeks, two convicted sexual offenders have moved to Anna Maria Island, one in each Island city at the above-mentioned locations. Another convicted sexual offender has moved to Cortez, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. A total of five convicted sex offenders now live on the Island and two reside in Cortez.

In Bradenton Beach, a man with a 1995 conviction in Polk County (Lakeland) for sexual battery and solicitation of a minor and sexual battery by an adult with a victim under the age of 12 moved to the 1600 block of Gulf Drive North last month.  A former Brandon resident, he registered the Island address with the FDLE on Aug. 30.

Florida law requires that all convicted sexual offenders register their current address with the FDLE, even if they have completed their sentences or supervisory requirements.

Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale said his department already has taken notice of this individual moving to the city and officers will routinely check on his presence and whereabouts.

"We usually get a notification of a convicted sexual offender moving to our city, but we also check the FDLE Web site. We've got this guy's address and we'll be checking on him," Speciale said.

After Bradenton Beach police met with the individual and discussed his situation, the man apparently had a change of plans about living on the Island.

Speciale said that after meeting with police, the man indicated he would be moving out of Bradenton Beach and off the Island some time this week.

Another convicted sexual offender in Bradenton Beach has lived in the 100 block of Ninth Street North for several years without incident.

On Aug. 22, an adult male registered an address in the 600 block of Dundee Lane in Key Royale in Holmes Beach. The individual was convicted in 1999 for unlawful sexual communication with a minor and has been released from his sentence.

Another convicted sexual offender in Holmes Beach has lived in the 6400 block of Flotilla Drive for more than five years.

Anna Maria usually has few sexual offenders residing in the city, but on Aug. 22, the FDLE Web site listed a convicted sexual offender in the 200 block of Gladiolus Street. However, an on-site inspection by Sgt. John Kenney of the Anna Maria substation of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office revealed the man had not lived at that address for several years.

Kenney said a check with the FDLE found that a computer had erroneously listed Anna Maria as the man's address.

Cortez also received a convicted sexual offender in August when a man moved to the 12000 block of Cortez Road West. He was convicted in 2002 for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 16, but has been released from his sentence and further supervision.

None of the convicted sexual offenders on Anna Maria Island or Cortez are currently under supervision by the FDLE and none are listed as sexual predators by the FDLE.

Law enforcement officials in Holmes Beach said they were aware of the newly arrived sex offenders and will make a visit to the listed address of the individual to ensure he complies with FDLE regulations.