BRADENTON BEACH -- Bradenton Beach voters will decide Tuesday whether they want to keep William Shearon as their mayor.
The recall election will close a chapter that was first cracked open late last year.
In mid-December, a petition committee to recall Shearon was formed. Documents sent to the city listed longtime Bradenton Beach resident Peter Barreda as chairman of the Committee to Recall William Shearon, as it was officially called.
"I'm looking forward to Tuesday," said Shearon late last week. "There needs to be closure on the whole thing and that's what going to happen Tuesday."
Vice Mayor Jack Clarke, who had lead a separate, earlier effort by some on the city commission to force Shearon out of office, said he was "cautiously optimistic" about the outcome of the re
"Anything that the mayor and his crew are involved in, you know you just never know what's going to happen the next day," Clarke said.
If voters recall Shearon, they will then decide between Shearon and Clarke on who should fill the mayor's position until the November election. If Shearon survives the recall, the second question on the ballot becomes moot.
The recall election's fate hit a snag last month when Bradenton Beach resident John Metz filed a lawsuit against Clarke, Barreda and Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Michael Bennett.
Metz, a supporter of Shearon who is a regular at meetings with his wife, Lee Anne Metz, had requested a temporary injunction before the May 19 election. He wanted Clarke booted from the recall ballot and a temporary injunction prohibiting Bennett from printing additional recall ballots with the vice mayor's name on them.
Metz claimed Clarke's written resignation had not been submitted at least 10 days prior to the first day of qualifying for the office. Clarke had to resign from his commission seat before submitting an application to qualify as a candidate in the recall election.
At a May 5 court hearing, Clarke testified that there was no way he could have applied sooner to qualify in the recall election.
Manatee Circuit Judge Gilbert Smith Jr., who presided over the hearing, ruled that he would allow the recall election to move forward.
Asked about the mood of city hall in the days before the election, Shearon said everyone is waiting until Tuesday.
"Nobody knows what they should say or what they shouldn't say," he said.
At a candidate forum moderated by the League of Women Voters of Manatee County on May 6, Shearon focused his opening statements on accomplishments during his administration, including the reconstruction of the historic Bridge Street Pier, a new computer system and the recent global settlement he proposed to settle four lawsuits in the city at the same time.
"What I want the voters to look at is look at what's been accomplished in a year and a half," Shearon said. "With all the frustrations and the confusion and all the activities, the accomplishments that have been done in a year and a half ... it would be a major challenge for any administration to just do one of them. That's what I want the voters to look at."
Should he lose, Shearon said he will have a few months to travel. He still plans on running for mayor in November.
"Anybody can talk about doing a lot of things, how they're going to change this, how they're going to change that," the mayor said. "It's what people do, it's not what they say they think they want to do."
Shearon said he has a decade of government experience and sits on the ManaSota League of Cities. He pointed out that Vice Mayor Clarke hasn't been to even one of the regional league's meetings.
"I'll be real pleased one way or another that this will all be behind us," Shearon said. "Everybody's going to start on a new page."
Clarke said there was anticipation in city hall over the election.
"Is there a person in Bradenton Beach that hasn't already analyzed this to the nth degree for nine months?" the vice mayor asked. "But the idea is that I will calm things down. I will provide order, and I will do my best to provide a productive, contented workplace for all city employees."
Commissioner Edward Straight, who declined to share his personal feelings about the upcoming recall election, said everyone will find out on Tuesday how it ends.
"I'm not going to make any predictions, but obviously there were enough people dissatisfied to get to this point of doing a recall and so that's about it."
Straight said there is some tension in city hall.
"Highly doubt things could change next week," the commissioner said Thursday. "Anytime there's a possibility of change, there's always going to be tension among employees."
In an email to a Bradenton Herald reporter, Commissioner Jan Vosburgh said she was glad it's almost over.
"It has been very distressing!" the email read. "It's time to get back to do our job we were elected to do. I'm confident Jack Clarke will win the election and as our mayor will do an outstanding job."
Clarke described the role of mayor as a "labor of love."
"Any reasonably competent manager can run this small city effectively," he said. "We need a change and I'm the person who's willing and able to effect that change."
For Shearon, he said Tuesday will be a normal day. He said he will be home.
"I'm not a politician ... that's part of my problem," he said. "I'm not a politician. I just get things done."
Commissioner Janie Robertson said that she's feeling "relief" that whatever is going to happen is soon to be over. She added that there have even been "sign wars" over the rules surrounding campaign signs for this recall election.
"For me, personally, whoever wins, I'm going to work with them," she said. "I want to move forward and it doesn't matter to me who the mayor is. I want to move forward."
Amaris Castillo, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.