KORN fights to retain amendments blocked by city

KORN is committed to its cause.

The Bradenton Beach political action committee is committed to moving forward with four proposed charter amendments.

Reed Mapes, co-founder of Keep Our Residential Neighborhoods, said June 28 he and co-founder John Metz decided to file a writ of mandamus to force the city to allow KORN’s proposed charter amendments to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.

At a June 21 meeting, the mayor and commissioners determined placing four charter amendments proposed by KORN on the ballot would violate the city charter due to insufficiencies with the petitions.

Additionally, city attorney Ricinda Perry said the petitions violate state law.

Mapes said June 28 that Perry made “erroneous” claims at the June 21 meeting in an attempt to prevent the amendments from being on the November ballot.

“The city is all about delaying this so it won’t make it into the next election,” Mapes said. “We’re going to do all we can do to get this before the voters.”

However, according to Mapes and Metz, who registered KORN as a PAC and collected signatures from more than 10 percent of Bradenton Beach electors in support of the ballot questions, the KORN petitions follow State Statute 166.031. The statute provides for citizen-initiated charter amendments — superseding the city charter.

      State law does not require the commission approve the ballot initiatives, but does require the signed petitions be delivered to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office through the city clerk.

According to Mapes, he and Metz met June 28 with Bob Hendrickson, attorney for KORN, and determined their next step will be a writ of mandamus to force the city to push the amendments to the SOE for the November ballot.

A writ of mandamus compels the court to order a government official to properly fulfill his/her official duties or correct an abuse of discretion.

Mapes said in researching the statute, he and Metz found case law and other information supporting their position.

However, he added, the city will have 20 days to respond to the writ and the delay is concerning.


Bradenton Beach candidate withdraws from commission race

Bradenton Beach commission candidate Bill Vincent has withdrawn from the November ballot.

“I have withdrawn my candidacy for commissioner of Bradenton Beach without advance announcement or public comment,” Vincent wrote in a June 28 email to The Islander.

Vincent, a former planning and zoning board member and founder of the now-defunct neighborhood organization Concerned Neighbors of Bradenton Beach, ran in 2016 for the Ward 4 commission seat. He was defeated by John Chappie.

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