BELLEAIR BLUFFS – The absence of Commissioner Bob Russo from the Belleair Bluffs regular commission meeting Monday night cost Waste Services its opportunity to replace Waste Management as the city’s trash collector.
The vote was a 2-2 deadlock which meant that Commissioner Dave Shimkus’s motion to proceed with contract talks with Waste Services failed.
Because the motion failed the contract with Waste Management, which has served the city for 21 years, continues.
At the end of the meeting Shimkus brought the subject up again, asking Tom Trask, the city lawyer, if the question of what company will provide trash collection can be re-visited.
Trask said that such a move would have to come at the very next regular meeting and would have to come on a motion for reconsideration and that motion would have to be made by either Mayor Chris Arbutine or Commissioner Brett Nelson who voted no on Shimkus’s motion.
Nevertheless, Shimkus pressed the issue, saying that he thought the question on trash collection should be taken up when all members of the commission are present.
The tip-off on how the vote would go came as no surprise to anyone who was at last week’s workshop meeting.
The way commissioners spoke then, plus the 3-2 vote that determined a choice would be made at this week’s regular meeting indicated how each of the five commission members leaned.
In the discussion on the question, Nelson gave a long disquisition that – bottom line – favored Waste Management. Likewise, Shimkus spoke at length and favored Waste Services.
Even had Shimkus been alert enough to move for tabling the question or postponing it, the vote probably would have deadlocked with the same result. A failure of that motion would have forced the commissioners to the vote they wound up taking.
The commission put off the second reading of the extensive new ordinance on code enforcement.
A 26-page document, the law has everything in it but the kitchen sink, as the old _expression goes. Every exigency seems to be covered including definitions, methods and penalties in enforcement.
There will be a discussion of the proposed ordinance at next month’s workshop meeting. No way of telling how that will wind up because when Clerk Debra Sullivan asked if the second reading should be noticed, Arbutine quickly said no – indicating that the measure may be a long way from approval.
Joseph A. Barkley was appointed on a unanimous vote to the Planning Board.
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