Tag Archives: 06-12-2019

Adult soccer, golf see rain delays, horseshoes play on

The last night of the regular season for the adult soccer league at the Center of Anna Maria Island was rained out, forcing the rescheduling of games to Wednesday, June 19.

Solid Rock Construction will take on Beach House Real Estate at 6 p.m., followed by Jiffy Lube taking on Gulfview Windows and Doors at 7, concluding the regular season matches.

Wildcard action follows with the seventh seed taking on the No. 10 at 8 p.m., and No. 8 taking on No. 9 at 9 p.m. Quarterfinal action is set for Thursday, June 20, when the top seed takes on the winner of the 6 p.m. wildcard match, and the second seed takes on the winner of the 7 p.m. wildcard game. The third seed battles the sixth seed at 8 p.m. followed by the fourth seed taking on the fifth seed at 9 p.m.

Championship Thursday is June 27, with the semi final games scheduled for 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., prior to the final at 8:30 p.m.

There were two regular season games completed before the rain arrived at the center. Blalock Walters rolled to a 4-1 victory over Duncan Real Estate to creep closer to the third seed to open the action June 12. Greg DeMeuse and Matt Plummer led the way with a goal and an assist each, while Stephen Perry and Dan Van Etten each notched a goal. Scott Rudacille helped to preserve the victory with nine saves in goal.

Joey Hutchinson scored the lone goal for Duncan, which also received 12 saves from Trey Horne in the loss.

The second saw Ross Built edge Flynn Law to pull to a tie for first place with Gulfview Windows and Doors, though Ross has one more game played. Connor Bystrom, Vince Circharo and Jessica Williams each scored a goal for Ross, which also received eight saves from goalie John Hagerty in the victory.

Chris Culhane and Tyler Robinson each scored a goal and Mark Rudacille made eight saves to lead Flynn in the loss.


Key Royale news

Golf at the Key Royale Club got off to a wet start with Monday’s action rained out. The women got out on the course June 11 with a nine-hole individual-low-net match in two flights.

Sharon Tarras fired a 4-under-par 28 to cruise to first place in Flight A by four strokes over second-place finisher Debi Wohlers.

Flight B saw Laurie Hicks and Sue Wheeler, who had a chipin on the fourth hole, finish tied for first with matching 32s. Jana Samuels and Ellen Boin shared second place with matching 1-over-par 33s.

The men finally got on the course June 13 for a nine-hole scramble. The team of Herb Clauhs, Hoyt Miller, Ken Nagengast and Dave Richardson combine on a 6-under-par 26 to lap the field and take the clubhouse bragging rights for the day.


Horseshoe news

Three teams emerged from pool play and battled for the day’s supremacy during June 12 horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City hall horseshoe pits.

The team of Hank Huyghe and Norm Good drew the bye into the finals and watched as Bob Heiger and Dom Livedoti stayed alive with a 22-20 victory over Steve Doyle and Sam Samuels. Heiger and Livedoti kept their feet on the gas and raced to a 21-14 victory to earn the day’s bragging rights.

Two teams met in the finals during the June 15 games. Livedoti, this time partnered with Josh Landers, won a second championship on the week, defeating the team of Huyghe and Mason King 21-20.

Play gets underway at 9 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection.

There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.

Repairs begin on bridge linking Bradenton Beach, Longboat Key

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Tara A. Rodrigues, an engineering section manager with the Florida Department of Transportation, discusses the Longboat Pass Bridge repair project June 4 as colleagues Juan Carrillo and Lauren Hatchell await visitors to a DOT open house at the Longboat Key Town Hall.

Bridges to Anna Maria Island routinely get the maintenance equivalent of an oil change, but every 10 years or so the structures require significant repairs.

A contractor with the Florida Department of Transportation planned to begin major repairs June 10 on the Longboat Pass Bridge linking Bradenton Beach and Longboat Key on State Road 789.

DOT engineers said the $5.2 million project might be the last major repair to the bascule bridge, built along with the Anna Maria Island and Cortez bridges 1956-57.

“Hopefully it’s the last major rehab,” said Tara A. Rodrigues, an engineering section manager with the DOT’s structure maintenance office in Tampa

The DOT’s project development and environment study of options for the Longboat Pass Bridge begins in February 2020, according to Rodrigues.

The DOT’s PD&E studies take about three years to complete and examine the social, economic, natural and physical environmental impacts associated with a proposed transportation improvement project.

The study follows procedures in the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and federal and state laws and regulations and involves engineers, planners scientists and community members.

A PD&E study for the Cortez Bridge recommends a high, fixed-span bridge, according to the DOT, which projected the study’s release to the public this summer.

A PD&E study for the Anna Maria Island Bridge on State Road 64/Manatee Avenue resulted in the same recommendation and is in the design phase.

Writers of the PD&E study for the Longboat bridge will involve data collection, developing and analyzing project alternatives — including the no-build alternative.

Meanwhile, the repairs planned should add 10-15 years of life to the drawbridge, according to an outline for the project.

Improvements include repairing concrete, upgrading the electrical system, installing a new poll and mast arm for traffic signals, repairing the fender system and cleaning and painting the steel.

Rodrigues said painting the steel stops corrosion and protects the bridge from the elements, including salt spray.

The contractor on the project, Southern Road & Bridge, entered an 80-day contract to complete the repairs, which requires overnight lane closures, 9 p.m.-6 a.m., as well as sidewalk closures.

Some staging for the project will be at Coquina Beach Bayside in Bradenton Beach.

On the web

For more about the Longboat Pass Bridge project, go online to swflroads.com.

Hammerhead presence in local waters turns heads

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A photo collage of an 11- to 12-foot hammerhead hark at the dock in Cortez. The shark was found in a net under the catch of bait, where it was unintentionally entangled and died. Islander Graphic: Bonner Joy
A hammerhead shark skims the shore at Bean Point in Anna Maria. Capt. Aaron Lowman caught the photo in 2016 while tarpon fishing.

They look prehistoric, with oddly shaped heads and protruding eyes.

They unnerve seasoned mariners.

They are hammerhead sharks.

As islanders settle into hot summer days on the coast of Florida, so do hammerhead sharks.

The warm coastal waters of Anna Maria Island and South Florida serve as nurseries for the sharks, which generally arrive around March and move on by July.

Locally, the sharks feast on tarpon and stingrays.

Memorial Day weekend, one hammerhead — estimated at more than 10 feet long — swam around a boat about 100 yards off the beach of Anna Maria Island.

Corrine Lough and her family had stopped the boat and were contemplating a swim in the shallow water off Bean Point on the north end of Anna Maria Island when she saw the hammerhead.

The family filmed and then posted a video of the encounter. A social media frenzy ensued.

Also, May 28, 27 miles to the south at Nokomis, lifeguards cleared the water for an hour after a hammerhead came close to the shoreline in the swim zone.

The following day, a group of boaters with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office spotted a hammerhead off Anclote Key near Tarpon Springs. Again the shark was seen in shallow water.

Last year, a father and son filmed a hammerhead trolling the beach near Bayfront Park in Anna Maria.

According to the International Shark Attack File, a global database, 17 people have been subject to unprovoked attacks by hammerheads in the genus Sphyrna, the type found along coastal waters, since 1580.

No human fatalities have ever been recorded from hammerhead bites according to the file, the world’s only scientifically documented, comprehensive database of all known shark attacks.

Robert Hueter, director of the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, suggested people remember one rule: Don’t get between a shark — or any predator for that matter — and its food.

Some additional rules to stay safe:

  • Don’t swim at night and don’t swim in murky waters.

Pay attention to surroundings.

  • Don’t swim where people are fishing. You might get mistaken for bait.
  • Don’t swim among large schools of fish. Predators might be feeding.
  • Avoid brightly colored bathing suits, especially neon yellow and green. Sharks can see these colors from long distances.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry while swimming. Sunlight glinting off metal can look like scales on baitfish to predators.

Hammerheads sometimes congregate by the hundreds but tend to hunt solitarily.

Today’s odd-looking model of the hammerhead had an ancestor that likely appeared some 20 million years ago, according to livescience.com, a science news website.

So if you see one swimming off Anna Maria Island this summer, remember the hammerheads were here first.

And enjoy the show.

Turtle trackers discuss disrupted sea turtle nesting

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The first green sea turtle tracks of the 2019 nesting season are found June 3 at Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach. Islander Photo: Courtesy AMITW/Suzi Fox
Curled loggerhead tracks June 3 indicate a false crawl at Manatee Public Beach. “A false crawl is where a turtle comes onto the nesting beach and does not nest,” says Suzi Fox, executive director of AMITW. “People need to stay 100 feet away and stay silent if they come onto a nesting sea turtle.” Islander Photo: Courtesy Suzi Fox
Luciano Soares, research scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, left, Suzi Fox, executive director of AMITW, and Skip Coyne, environmental director of AMITW, gather June 6 at CrossPointe Fellowship in Holmes Beach to discuss sea turtle nesting season. Soares presented facts and nesting information during the Turtle Talks program. Islander Photo: Brook Morrison
Luciano Soares, research scientist with the FWC, answers questions about loggerheads and green sea turtles during the weekly Turtle Talk June 6 at CrossPointe Fellowship in Holmes Beach. Islander Photo: Brook Morrison

By Brook Morrison

Islander Reporter

Don’t be an intruder.

This could be a banner season for sea turtle nesting in Florida, but the need to educate people intruding on sea turtles remains paramount.

“I think what’s happening is people are running after them with their phones” to take photos or video, Suzi Fox, executive director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring said June 6 before the most recent Turtle Talk series at CrossPointe Fellowship in Holmes Beach. “People need to stay 100 feet away and stay silent if they come onto a nesting turtle.”

Fox said turtle watch volunteers spotted a number of false crawls from the Manatee Public Beach southward to 26th Street in Holmes Beach. False crawls are when a sea turtle comes onto a nesting beach but aborts nesting.

“I consulted with FWC staff and we concur that this is only caused by people walking up to turtles on the beach at night,” Fox said.

Only females come ashore, and only to nest. It is strange territory to the sea turtles and distractions can easily send them retreating, back to the Gulf of Mexico.

Also speaking at the Turtle Talk June 6 was Luciano Soares, a research scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He suggested AMITW identify hot spots where nesting false crawls occur and take action from there.

Judge rules for county, throws out owner claims

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Attorneys Jason Gaskill, representing Shawn Kaleta and related companies, and Fred Moore of Blalock Walters, for the city of Bradenton Beach, chat before a June 4 hearing about Manatee County’s quest for legal rights over property where a sewer runs through Bradenton Beach. Islander Photos: Kathy Prucnell

Manatee County was the take-all winner in June 4 pretrial skirmishes against Bradenton Beach property owners.

Twelfth Circuit Judge Edward Nicholas dismissed counterclaims for inverse condemnation — actions against the county alleging its taking of private property without just compensation — brought by Shawn Kaleta for 116 11th St. S., and his companies, BB Bayfront, which owns 112 11th St. S. and 114 11th St. LLC.

And though Kaleta and his companies’ three properties are the only owners in the suit, a surveyor’s affidavit brought to the court’s attention suggests owners of 32 additional lots would be impacted by a 2001 Bradenton Beach resolution the county wants to see invalidated.

Nicholas dismissed the claims with prejudice — meaning the owners cannot re-plead. Remaining in the Kaleta amended counterclaims are counts for trespass and ejectment.

The judge also denied the owners’ motion to dispose of count I of the county’s complaint, which seeks to invalidate a 2001 Bradenton Beach resolution. Other counts ask the court to impose an implied easement and prevent pool construction and other uses of the right of way.

The resolution vacated Bay Shore Drive, also known as Bay Drive South, which was platted but never constructed, and transferred the land to adjacent property owners.

With its complaint, the county is seeking a judge’s order to obtain control over property around a sewer installed 40 years ago under the three Kaleta properties, alleging the city resolution was invalid and the properties remain subject to the right of way.

According to surveyor affidavits brought to the judge’s attention June 4, the resolution impacts 32 other lots whose owners have not been made parties to the suit.

Attorney Christopher DeCarlo spoke for the county June 4.

Attorney Jason Gaskill, of the Sarasota law firm of Adams and Reese, represented Kaleta and his companies.

The city of Bradenton Beach is a party to the proceedings but did not participate in the hearing.

Gaskill asked the judge to dispose of count I because it fails to include the numerous owners affected by the resolution.

DeCarlo contended the surveyor who identified the encumbrances improperly took an adversarial position to the county based on another contract.

In ruling on the partial summary judgment, Nicholas found insufficient evidence to establish indispensable, unnamed parties would lose the title to the property if the judge invalidates the 2001 resolution and the county should take up its issue with the surveyor in another way.

Following a half-hour break, the judge heard Kaleta’s inverse condemnation claims.

The county’s position, according to DeCarlo, is that the counts filed in August 2018 were past a four-year statute of limitations.

He contended the clock began to run with the recording of the resolution Oct. 31, 2001, when it was “made known to all.”

Gaskill contended the resolution was not part of his counterclaim and shouldn’t be considered under a rule limiting the judge to the “four corners” of a pleading.

Additionally, he argued an exception to the four-year rule based on the discovery of the sewer line in September 2016, when Kaleta applied to the city for swimming pools and was denied permits.

DeCarlo countered that the discovery exception doesn’t apply because, if it did, every time properties changed hands, it would spur claims of new knowledge, rendering statutes of limitations ineffectual.

In the end, the judge sided with DeCarlo.

“This isn’t like a pipe that was buried. This was an official recording. And it puts people on notice that the statute of limitations could be running,” Nicholas said in the ruling.

After the hearing, Gaskill told The Islander, “I’m shocked by that ruling,” adding he plans to appeal the dismissal of the claims after the case ends in circuit court.

At a June 6 city meeting, Bradenton Beach commissioners decided to maintain their support of the 2001 resolution, with Mayor John Chappie and Commissioner Jake Spooner saying they would decline a county offer to settle the case.

Locals win bid to build AM pier restaurant, bait shop

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Two workers walk the temporary planks June 9 at the Anna Maria City Pier. Islander Photo: Jack Elka
Workers use the pier walkway, temporarily covered with plywood, to access the landside entry of the pier. Concrete decking for the new T-end at the pier is brought to the site on a barge loaded at the Kingfish Boat Ramp in Holmes Beach. Their work at the pier is expected to continue through August. Islander Photo: Jack Elka
Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy, left, shakes the hand of Frank Agnelli, of Mason Martin, after the commission voted June 6 to negotiate with the contractor to build the city pier restaurant and bait shop. Islander Photo: Cory Cole

A local builder hooked a big job.

The contractor to build the amenities at the Anna Maria City Pier is decided — Mason Martin LLC, locally owned by Frank Agnelli and Jake Martin.

With the pier contractor moving closer to completion of the walkway and T-end, commissioners gathered June 6 for an emergency meeting called by the mayor to review four bids to construct the restaurant, bait shop and restrooms.

Mason Martin submitted the low bid of $1,041,101 and a 180-day completion time and won the commission’s vote.

Agnelli said he was happy with the outcome and looks forward to working out the details and getting started.

“We should be able to get that thing knocked out pretty quick,” he said.

The competing bids were:

  • Burke Construction Group bid $1,609,389, with a proposed 200-day completion time.
  • D.L. Porter Construction bid $1,486,460, 180-day completion time.
  • Jon F. Swift Construction bid $1,688,250, 120-day completion time.

Murphy had advised commissioners that their selection should be selected based on three elements. First, the commission should consider the lowest bid.

Second, the commission should determine if the bidder is responsible and able to complete the job. Then the commission should consider whether awarding the contract to the bidder is in the city’s best interests.

Murphy described best interests as being able to start quickly, complete the project and have a vested interest in the work.

Based on the considerations, the mayor requested authorization to negotiate a contract with Mason Martin, which has its office in Holmes Beach.

During the old pier’s demolition in 2018, Agnelli donated his crew to remove the engraved wooden planks and he’s been storing the planks for the city.

Agnelli’s partner in Mason Martin is Jake Martin, a developer/property owner in the city.

Mason Martin listed 11 subcontractors in its bid, including Christies Plumbing Sewer Service in Holmes Beach.

Other subcontractors include United Electric, Lovera Enterprises, West Coast Siding, Bringman Roofing and Kyle Kleppinger Construction, all in Bradenton, and also Specialty Air Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Service.

All Glass and Windows and Wentzel’s Heating, Air Conditioning, Insulation, and Electrical, both based in Sarasota, were listed, as well as Suburban Propane with an office in Sarasota.

Also listed, Builders First Source, a national supplier with a Bradenton distribution center.

Commissioner Doug Copeland made the motion for the mayor to negotiate a contract with Mason Martin.

The vote was 5-0.

The new pier, which will replace a wooden pier destroyed by Hurricane Irma in September 2017, is expected to cost $5,5 million, including demolition and construction expenses. The original pier, built in 1911, supported tourism — steamships and ferries arriving from Tampa with day visitors.

To date, for funding, the city of Anna Maria has received $750,000 in state historical grants. Also, FEMA paid $1.37 million towards the pier. Through the Manatee County Tourist Development Council budget, $1.5 million funded construction. And another $330,000 was committed from the county beach concession fund, according to The Islander archives. The city also sought $285,000 in the 2019-20 state budget, which is before the governor.

The meeting lasted slightly more than six minutes and, at the conclusion, Copeland asked that everyone do one more thing.

Because June 6 was the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Copeland asked commissioners to remember those who served in the Allies’ invasion of Western Europe in World War II.


Ongoing at the Pier

Also the week of June 3, i+iconSOUTHEAST loaded supplies and materials from the parking lot at Kingfish Boat Ramp in Holmes Beach onto a barge.

The contractor is installing the concrete deck for the T-end of the pier. The concrete, which will be covered by wood, is for added support.

i+iconSOUTHEAST is expected to complete its work on the pier by the end of August or early September.

Judge gives cited boater time for repairs

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May and Jeremy Thomas appear before 12th Circuit Judge Doug Henderson June 6 on a Bradenton Beach citation that their boat failed to possess means of propulsion. Islander Photo: Kathy Prucnell

A new court date was scheduled for a man cited under a state law targeting boats at risk of becoming derelicts on the water.

Bradenton Beach police cited Jeremy Thomas, who lives on a boat anchored south of the Historic Bridge Street Pier, for violating the statute March 26 because his 30-foot 1977 cabin cruiser had no means of propulsion during an inspection.

“I’m getting harassed more than anyone else,” Thomas testified, adding he’s in the process of repairing a motor and can move the boat if necessary.

Later in the hearing, Thomas told Judge Doug Henderson he moved his boat by tying it to another boat.

Henderson said that wasn’t good enough and continued the proceeding to July 3. He instructed Thomas to bring “proof you have the motor running.”

“We just want compliance,” BBPD Officer Eric Hill said, adding Thomas was cited about a year ago under the same law that fines violators $100 for a second offense.

Hill also told the judge that Thomas owns five other boats in various states of repair. Thomas said they all run.

In an April 25 letter to the judge, Thomas asked for the hearing and accused BBPD of harassing him, issuing more than 30 tickets.

State law prohibits any person to store, leave or abandon a vessel that is wrecked, junked or dismantled on state waters.

The Bradenton Beach anchorage is in Sarasota Bay, where BBPD received state authority in June 2006 to exercise police powers in the bay, 500-800 feet from its mainland borders to the Intracoastal Waterway and 500 feet into the Gulf of Mexico.

— Kathy Prucnell

County removing six trees at Coquina, protest continues

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Equipment is stationed June 4 next to stormwater drainage supplies at Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach, where Australian pine trees were marked by the county for removal. Islander Photo: Ryan Paice
Bradenton Beach resident Mike Norman June 6 holds a stack of 1,010 signatures collected for a petition opposing Manatee County’s plan to remove Australian pine trees from Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach. Islander Photo: Courtesy Marlin Ellis
The first phase of county parking lot improvements at Coquina Beach is at the southern tip of Bradenton Beach. Islander Photo: Jack Elka

Work felling six Australian pine trees is set to begin at Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach.

The Manatee County Board of Commissioners voted 7-0 June 6 to approve the removal of six Australian pine trees at the south end of the public beach parking area.

County administrator Cheri Coryea said the trees are in the path of a pipeline planned for an ongoing drainage improvement project. She said the trees must be removed for the contractor to proceed.

Not removing the trees would force Bradenton-based contractor Woodruff and Sons to demobilize and move materials, costing the county time and money, according to Coryea at the June 6 land use meeting.

“We are mobilized, and the project is underway,” Coryea said. “This is just a temporary thing we need to do to make a little progress.”

Coryea said the original plan for the Coquina parking drainage improvement project involved the removal of 30 Australian pine trees in the south parking area so Woodruff and Sons could pave the parking lots with pervious concrete after installing underground stormwater drainage pipelines.

Woodruff is working on the first phase of the project at the south end of Coquina, and the project will move to the north end in two more phases.

Coryea told commissioners she would return with a report mapping out the locations of additional trees proposed for removal at a meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, at the Manatee County Administrative Center, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

“At that meeting, we will have facts and figures on the impact of any delay — both in construction costs and demobilization, and also in completion,” Coryea said.

“People love that beach. So we do need to have a full picture, I think,” Commissioner Betsy Benac said. “So, removing the six trees is OK, but I’m not committing at all to what will happen after because it just needs a lot more input.”

Commissioner Reggie Bellamy suggested the county look into recycling the trees.

“It may be an opportunity to take lemons and make lemonade,” he said.

Bradenton Beach Mayor John Chappie June 5 shared an email with CRA members from County Commission Chair Stephen Jonsson. In the email, Jonsson asked if the county redesigned the project, would the city assist. Chappie asked members for a consensus on how to respond since the agency is planning a jitney trail from Coquina parking to alleviate parking in the CRA district.

The members said Chappie should respond “yes” so they might have some say in the project.

City commissioners came to the same decision at a June 6 meeting, when Chappie again asked for a consensus on how to respond to Jonsson’s email.

However, Coryea has said a complete redesign of the drainage improvement project would be “highly unlikely.”

Chappie added that Bradenton Beach resident Mike Norman and members of Stop Taking Our Pines, a group founded in the 1990s to oppose the removal of Australian pine trees on the island, had collected 1,010 signatures on a petition opposing the removal of trees at Coquina.

Chappie said he would deliver the petition to Coryea. Chappie and the commissioners also signed the petition — bringing the count to 1,015 on June 6.

Vice Mayor Jake Spooner said he helped collect signatures with Norman, and noted a lot of people were upset about the plan to remove the trees.

Bradenton Beach rejects Sunshine suit settlement offer

Another round of compromises offered to the city by the six defendants in a Bradenton Beach suit over the Sunshine law has failed.

Bradenton Beach commissioners voted 5-0 June 6 to reject the collective offers from the defendants seeking $81,345.52 from the city and co-plaintiff Jack Clarke.

The lawsuit alleges the defendants, consisting of former Bradenton Beach officials, violated Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Law while in office.

City attorney Ricinda Perry said the proposed settlements did not include an admission of wrongdoing or errors regarding compliance with the Florida Sunshine Law on the defendants’ part.

At press time, defendant and former planning and zoning board member John Metz said he had learned from his attorney that Perry had filed a motion consisting of more than 400 pages, asking to amend the city’s suit.

Metz delivered his offer May 28 to attorney Robert Watrous, asking for $42,000 from the city and $14,000 from Clarke. The requested payments would amount to about 40% of his attorney fees and costs through April.

The offer also said any future proposals from Metz would require the city and Clarke to pay a higher percentage of their costs for the lawsuit.

Offers from the other five defendants followed, with language similar to Metz’s offer and requiring payments to recompensate the defendants.

Former P&Z board member Reed Mapes asked for $14,000 from the city and $8,400 from Clarke.

Former P&Z member Patty Shay asked for $901.52 from the city and $444 from Clarke.

Former P&Z member Bill Vincent and his wife, Rose Vincent, a former Scenic WAVES Committee member, presented a joint offer, asking the city to pay them $4,000 and seeking $1,000 from Clarke.

Former Scenic WAVES Committee member Tjet Martin sought $1,000 from the city and $600 from Clarke.

The offers were a response to a settlement offer the city commission made April 23, which would have required the defendants collectively pay $203,118 to reimburse attorney fees and legal costs. The city’s offer also proposed defendants acknowledge errors might have been made with regard to the Sunshine Law.

The city’s previous offer, extended to defendants in March, required them to acknowledge errors regarding compliance with the Sunshine Law and for each of the defendants to pay the city $500.

Defendants rejected that offer, making a counteroffer to instead say errors may have been made, as well as a donation of $10,000 to the Annie Silver Community Center in Bradenton Beach.

Perry said she brought the most recent settlement offers to city commissioners to ask if they wanted to schedule a shade meeting to discuss them with Thomas Shults, the defendants’ attorney.

Mayor John Chappie said he felt comfortable rejecting the offer outright.

The civil lawsuit began in 2017 when it was filed by Clarke and then joined by the city. The lawsuit has cost the city $203,118 as of May 22, but Clarke was absolved by the city from paying legal fees.

The case will go to a nonjury trial beginning July 15, after a city-requested summary judgment hearing on June 20.