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Van Ostenbridge Reinstalled as Chair

BRADENTON – In a shocking turn of events in the soap opera that is Manatee County politics, Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge is back as the chair of the Manatee County Commission.

During Tuesday's meeting, commissioners James Satcher, Jason Bearden, Baugh, and Amanda Ballard shocked the board by voting to replace Van Ostenbridge with Baugh. The majority complained that Van Ostenbridge and some county staff had failed to properly communicate with the other commissioners who were too often left out of the loop on county business. The motion was put forward by Commissioner Bearden and seconded by Commissioner Satcher.

Ballard opened Thursday's land use meeting by rescinding her previous vote and moving to reinstall Van Ostenbridge as chair, saying only that upon reflection, she did not feel that the vote she made on Tuesday was in the best interest of the county. According to county procedures, a vote can be revisited in the very next meeting, if it is motioned by someone who was previously on the winning side of the vote and wants to change their position.

Ballard's motion passed 4-2. Commissioners George Kruse, Mike Rahn, and Van Ostenbridge–all of whom had voted against installing Baugh on Tuesday–joined Ballard. Commissioners Bearden and Satcher dissented, while Baugh was conspicuously absent from the dais.


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