BELLEAIR BLUFFS – Al Simpson, a fixture at Belleair Bluffs City Commission meetings and who has served on city boards, was sworn into the fire department’s Chaplain Corps at Monday night’s meeting.
The chaplains have been much emphasized since Jeff Bullock became chief of Largo Fire and Rescue. Belleair Bluffs is tied in with Largo for fire services and Bullock serves as the Bluffs chief as well as Largo.
Four other members of the seven-member corps were in attendance Monday night as the Rev. Paul Pierce, chief chaplain, swore in Simpson.
Bullock feels the chaplains fill a key need in times of stress and personal need.
Simpson attended Moody Theological Seminary in Chicago and served several pastorates as a member of the Southern Baptist Convention.
John Tabor, a city resident always alert to actions of the committee, found fault with commission procedures in renewing the city contract for legal services.
The new contract appears to engage a law firm as city attorney. Tabor said, during citizen comments, that the city Charter requires the hiring of a single attorney, not a firm.
John Hubbard was chosen by the commission in 1988 as city attorney and has continued as such. It is with his law firm that the renewed agreement was made.
Because Hubbard has recently limited some of his activities, Tom Trask of the firm has been present at most commission meetings.
The issue of a single lawyer or a firm is probably a distinction without a difference.
Mayor Chris Arbutine said that he had met with officials involved in the building of the new causeway bridge and strongly suggested to the commission that the city should be prepared to be a “player” in the amenities involved in the new bridge.
He pointed out that under county law one percent of any public works product is earmarked for art considerations and said the city should certainly have input and not leave everything to an arts council.
The commission dealt with 10 routine ordinances amending parts of the city code in an updating that was the work product of the committee that reviews the charter and ordinances every five years.
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