Bradenton Beach voters switch mayor’s seat, approve amendments

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Outgoing Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon, left, shakes hands Nov. 7 with newly elected Ward 3 Commissioner Randy White. Bill Vincent, Concerned Neighbors of Bradenton Beach chair and previous Ward 4 commission candidate, congratulates White on his win. Islander Photo: ChrisAnn Silver Esformes

Voters in Bradenton Beach have cast their ballots, heading back to the future in the mayor’s race.

The city also is taking a few steps forward.

Commissioner John Chappie will switch chairs on the dias to the mayor’s seat. He defeated Mayor Bill Shearon with 232 votes to Shearon’s 155 to win the mayor’s post. Chappie has served in the past as mayor and commissioner in Bradenton Beach, and more recently as a Manatee County commissioner.

“I’m excited for the opportunities and challenges we have,” Chappie said. “We’re a community divided and I’m excited for an opportunity to bring people together.”

For the Ward 3 seat on the city commission, 205 votes were cast to elect newcomer Randy White, while 169 backed Commissioner Ralph Cole.

“It’s going to be on-the-job learning,” White said. “I might be the opposition for certain issues, but I’m hoping we can come together as a commission for the city.”

Ward 1 Commissioner Jake Spooner returned to his seat with no challenger.

Electors voted “yes” for the three charter amendments placed on the ballot by Concerned Neighbors of Bradenton Beach.

The vote was 207 “yes” and 171 “no” to charter amendment 1, which replaces the city’s four-ward representative system with an at-large election.

The vote was 212 “yes” and 174 “no” for charter amendment 2, which reduces residency requirements for elected officials from 24 months to 12 months.

The third charter amendment, prohibiting changes to the city charter by a resolution of the commission, received 243 “yes” and 134 “no” votes.

Of 732 registered voters in Bradenton Beach, 387 cast votes in the election.

Early voters numbered 145 and 242 people cast ballots on Election Day at precinct No. 307, the Bradenton Beach Volunteer Fire Hall, 201 Second St. N.

The swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected officials will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20, at Bradenton Beach City Hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.

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