IRB Council Meeting Long But Informative
Budget woes troubled council who learned about police beats and what cops do on duty
By Bill Lopez
Sheriff Capt. Morris with PCSD said the crime statistics and internal reports provide the best gauge of city staffing requirements.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Not that they weren't organized and prepared, but they did appear to come for a full day’s work. It was like attempts to place 10 pounds of stuff in a five pound bag.
The regularly scheduled Indian Rocks Beach city council meeting ran so long that concerned citizens in attendance, newspaper reporters and the Sheriff Department left before it was over. Mayor Johnson closed the 7 p.m. session sometime before midnight June 10.
During the hours of deliberation, most of the time was spent on the Sheriff Department service contract and budgeting since that appeared to council members as a huge issue. The annual IRB budget is in the range of $6.3 million and the service contract is for six deputies. From this small workforce, two officers are on 24/7. Capt. Morris with the Sheriff Department said this is the best protocol for public safety and the safety of the deputies.
The increase in police service from PCSD is 6.9 percent and equals approximately $53,800 per year with total police cost pegged at about $830,000 per year.
Earlier in the council meeting, the recent dust up over transfer of funds in the budget's general ledger categories did not seem to impact the proceedings. Council members listened patiently while several people addressed the chair about funds manipulation. No wrong doing was apparent but some were critical while others applauded the council member's public service.
After slam dunking ordinances 2008-02 and 2008-10 plus two resolutions in prompt fashion with unanimous approvals, the council got deep into the library matters for most of the reaming evening hours. A second dust up.
All members of the council were present and 5-to-0 vote totals were tallied on most items. The 2008-02 ordinance clarified and amended city codes dealing with news racks around town. Resolutions 2008-45 amends setting the dates for the 5-year service and capital plan works sessions with full information to be made available on the city website. A key meeting will be August 7 at 7 p.m. to deal with city administration for the year ahead.
Termination of the lease agreement between the Friends of the Indian Rock Beach Library, Inc and the city also passed 5-0. Some comments were critical of how the city deals with the Friends of the Library group citing its 30-year history of effective service to Indian Rocks Beach.
Reach Bill Lopez at Blopezmmm@aol.com
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