2 ballot initiatives pass, cancel out in Bradenton Beach

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A poll worker sits outside the Bradenton Beach Fire Hall Nov. 3 to greet and oversee voters. Islander Photo: Ryan Paice

Bradenton Beach voters passed a pair of ballot initiatives in the Nov. 3 election.

But voters won’t see either initiative — conflicting amendments to the city charter — become reality.

The first charter amendment, to prohibit multilevel parking garages within city limits, was posed by the Keep Our Residential Neighborhoods political action committee in 2018. Its appearance on the ballot resulted from a legal battle between the PAC and the city.

KORN’s ballot initiative passed 414-161.

A second charter amendment to allow a single-story parking garage within city limits passed 382-186. The initiative was proposed by the city as an alternative to KORN’s amendment.

City attorney Ricinda Perry has said that if both ballot initiatives pass, they would cancel each other out.

Regardless, parking garages are prohibited by the city’s land development code and comprehensive plan. They are not addressed in the city charter, which only can be amended with the electorate’s majority vote.

KORN had sought to implement the change in the charter so it could not be altered by a city commission vote.

Out of 756 eligible voters in Bradenton Beach, 604 people cast ballots in the general election, including 301 mail-in ballots, 100 early votes and 203 Election Day votes.


Incumbents retain seats

Two incumbent city commissioners will spend some more time on the dais.

Commissioners Ralph Cole and Marilyn Maro secured new two-year terms in the Nov. 3 election after they qualified without opposition.

Cole first became commissioner in 2015. He lost a reelection bid in 2017 but was appointed by the commission to complete the remainder of a term after John Chappie was elected mayor.

Maro will serve her third and final consecutive term due to term limits. She became commissioner when she won a card draw over Anne Leister in 2016.

Bradenton Beach is the only city on the island with term limits.

Commissioners earn $4,800 per year in the city.



Certification date for election Nov. 14-15

Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Mike Bennett told The Islander Nov. 4 that official election results would be certified Nov. 14-Nov. 15.

Bennett said there were about 400 provisional ballots to be counted, 150 ballots that needed additional verification and 50 ballots to come in from members of the military as of Nov. 4.

He said SOE staff was to verify uncounted provisional ballots by Nov. 5.

Despite tensions surrounding the election, Bennett said there were no issues at poll sites in the county on Election Day.

“It went extremely smooth. I’m really proud of the people in Manatee County,” Bennett said. “And I’m happy we don’t have any statewide recounts.”

— Ryan Paice

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