INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – TV cameras may be in Indian Rocks Beach’s future.
Sparked by Commissioner Jose Coppen’s initiative, city government meetings may be available to citizens on a closed, municipal channel, similar to what other cities in the area offer to their citizens.
Next door Belleair Beach has been the latest to have a municipal television channel.
Coppen said he spoke with Rudy Davis, mayor of Belleair Beach, about that city’s experience in setting up a TV channel. Davis was instrumental in getting his city’s channel established.
On the basis of Coppen’s spade work, the commission asked City Manager Al Grieshaber to pursue the project for more information and costs.
Belleair Beach’s set up, through Bright House Networks, was relatively easy to establish and the network provided lots of help.
Coppen said, “It makes sense for Indian Rocks Beach to have a TV channel. We are three times at least bigger than Belleair Beach and our citizens have a strong interest in government.”
The remnants of controversy between Commissioners Jose Coppen and Ed Piniero still linger as demonstrated at the City Commission’s April 11 meeting when Coppen asked the commission for a resolution and closing of the case.
The subject goes back when both men served on the Planning and Zoning Commission. Piniero claims a violation of the Sunshsine Law, Coppen said, because Coppen mentioned to him at one point that he was interested in being chairman of the group.
It is questionable whether the City Commission has jurisdiction over a matter that would seem to be more correctly directed to the state Ethics Commission.
Piniero, on the other hand, is said to have edited, through the city clerk’s office, minutes of a meeting and was surprised to learn at the April 11 meeting that this is not proper.
If the contention between the two commissioners is not settled quickly, the IRB commission could be in for a lot of time wasting and sniping between the two, one authoritative source, who did not want to be identified, said.
Several housekeeping tasks, as the new commission took shape, were accomplished with the appointment of Commissioner Ed Piniero as an alternate to Mayor Bill Ockunzzi on the board of directors of the Suncoast League of Cities. Piniero earlier had been named to represent the city on the Big-C.
Jean Scott was appointed to the Finance and Budget Review Committee while Dale Voss, Leslie June, David Pearson and Don House were named to the Planning and Zoning Board.
Scott, Voss and Pearson were all unsuccessful candidates for the City Commission in the March election.
No one was named to a vacancy on the Parks and Recreation Board because there was no willing candidate availabe.
Jean Scott was elected to the Finance and Budget Review Committee by majority vote.
The commission set the dates set for workshops and public input hearings on the city’s capital expenditure plans and the budget for fiscal year 2007. The meeting will take place beginning May 9 and run through September 30.
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