Hearing set for ballot battle: KORN v. Bradenton Beach

They said there would be a lawsuit if the city didn’t cooperate.

And now the matter will be heard at the courthouse.

The request for a writ of mandamus in the case of Keep Our Residential Neighborhoods v. the city of Bradenton Beach is set for a hearing at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W.

In an Aug. 2 email to Reed Mapes and John Metz, co-founders of KORN, their attorney, Bob Hendrickson, wrote that he expects city attorney Ricinda Perry will request “a continuance of the hearing to further delay a decision on the petitions.”

He added, “Given the opportunity, I think it would be appropriate to be sure that the voters know that the commissions’ continuing resistance to placing the petitions on the ballot will not only cost the city legal fees, but more than likely will cost the city $10,000 for a special election.”

Bradenton Beach filed a motion July 30 to dismiss the request for a writ of mandamus as filed by Mapes and Metz, who are seeking an expedited hearing to direct the city to put KORN’s proposed charter amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot.

A writ of mandamus is an order from a higher court to compel a judicial or government officer to perform a duty owed to the petitioner.

An alternative writ of mandamus was filed by KORN attorney Bob Hendrickson Aug. 1 with Judge Lon Arend of the Manatee County 12th Judicial Circuit Court to “show cause why a writ of mandamus should not be entered.”

The original complaint names Mapes as plaintiff and city clerk Terri Sanclemente and the city of Bradenton Beach as defendants.

It was filed after a June 21 meeting, when the mayor and commissioners voted against placing four charter amendments proposed by KORN on the ballot. City attorney Ricinda Perry said the amendments would violate the city charter and state statutes.

Mapes and Metz, former planning and zoning board members, registered KORN as a PAC and collected signatures on petitions from more than 10 percent of Bradenton Beach electors in support of the ballot questions. They say they followed a state law providing for citizen-initiated charter amendments and superseding the city charter.

According to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office, the questions must be submitted by Aug. 28 to be on the November ballot.

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