Second BB mayoral recall milestone reached

The Committee to Recall William Shearon turned in 123 petition signatures, eight more than required, in the second stage of the recall effort spearheaded by committee chair Pete Barreda.

Barreda, a former commissioner, could not be reached for comment, but Scott Farrington, a spokesman for the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office, confirmed receipt of the signatures April 1.

That milestone started a ticking clock. Farrington’s office has 30 days to verify the signatures. If at least 115 are valid, Shearon will have five days to resign, he confirmed. If Shearon does not resign, the chief judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court will schedule a recall election within 30-60 days.

An election to fill Shearon’s seat, in the event he is recalled, will be held on the same ballot as the recall question.

Shearon confirmed April 1 he will not resign. He said he will be a candidate in the election to fill his seat if he is recalled by voters, and will be a candidate in the Nov. 3 municipal election, no matter what happens in the recall vote.

Shearon said he hopes another citizen steps up to run against him.

“That way the voters have a choice,” he said. “They should have a voice.”

Shearon said he’d prefer not to have to go through the recall election. But he likened the possible vote to the global settlement proposal he initiated for the four lawsuits dogging the city.

A win in the recall election, he said, would bring “complete closure” to the troubles of his tenure. “It will be through and there won’t be any questions, now, if the signatures verify and there is a special election. It’s cut and dry.”

Then “we can all move forward,” he said.