BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Mayor Chris Arbutine's appointment of Tom Denhart as the special master for the city's new code enforcement procedure was approved at the City Commission meeting Monday night by a 3-2 vote.
Commissioners Dave Shimkus and Bret Nelson voted against and Arbutine said later this left him a little unsettled because he would prefer not to have a strong split on the choice of the master.
But, he said, Nelson was against the special master procedure and would vote against any issue concerning it. This left him more comfortbable, Arbutine said.
This action topped otherwise routine business which included putting on the back burner a plan to re-design the southwest corner of the Indian Rocks Beach Road and West Bay intersection.
Opposed with no final action taken was the idea for a fence around the park which is at the city hall site. Wally Wortham and John Tabor, residents and former commissioners who are regular attendees at commission meetings, were both in agreement in opposing such a fence. Arbutine is also against the project that would cost $23,000.
Arbutine said his idea on code enforcement is to have Robert David, the city's public works director, be in charge of it and when violations are noted have the sheriff's deputy issue a citation.
The matter would go to the special master only after there was no compliance after a grace period that would allow fixing any problem.
Arbutine reported some development in his role as the new president of the Sun Coast League of Cities.
He said that he wants to make the group more dynamic, addressing community problems, and less of a social get together when representatives from the cities gather.
Arbutine said committees have been set up to look into key issues affecting the area.
They are - one to study insurance rates which have caused much consternation in Florida; a second to study the methods used by tax appraisers, and the third to investigate what will be available for work force housing in an area where housing costs continue to rise and get possibly out of reach by workers.
The commission, in its final budget hearing prior to the regular meeting, approved a 4.35 millage rate (which is some 20 percent above the rolled back rate) to support an expenditure budget of $2,848,577.
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