IRB Commission Spends Three Hours Getting Very Little Accomplished
By Leo Coughlin
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – While City Commission meetings no longer are plagued with outbursts from ornery citizens in the audience and peace generally prevails, it still took commissioners almost three hours to get through a routine meeting Tuesday night, including tabling two items, and postponing other key business.
On tap near the end of the agenda were scheduled discussions of designating the commission as the local planning agency (standard procedure in most local jurisdictions) and plans – if any – for “undergrounding” on Gulf Boulevard.
Both were postponed to another meeting with the clock 10 minutes away from 10 p.m.
So while the “rowdy” element is no longer featured at meetings the commission still knows how to go on at length regardless of subject matter.
Also put off by the commission was any action on appointing people to the Planning and Zoning Board. Five members of that board have terms that are expiring while three others have resigned.
Those kind of vacancies might suggest the quasi dissolution of that board but that was not enough to stir commissioners to address the problem and come up with some new blood.
One new element in appointments is to have individual members of the commission make appointments and this has resulted, according to one member, in getting more qualified and involved appointees.
A scheduled variance hearing never materialized with the applicant apparently agreeing to a condition that mooted the request on a setback change.
Other than that, approval of some expenditures and giving the green light to requests from Florida Gulf Beaches Road Races, the commission managed to burn up 170 minutes on not much of anything.
As to the Gulf Boulevard “beautification,” this is a subject that, like the weather, is much talked about but not really affected by such discussions.
It began years ago with the county suggesting a $60 million project (about $2 million a mile) that had many ga-ga, but when it turned out that the cities, towns and villages along the route from St. Pete Beach to Clearwater would have to pay half the cost it got the cold water treatment.
There is no way small communities could afford $1 million a mile – a couple of million dollars in IRB alone.
What has been done along the way, other than a lot of talk, has been hit or miss.
And, given the current economic situation with sources of revenue going down, down, down, the Gulf Boulevard project amounts to so much dead meat.
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