Belleair's Hotel Hit With Fines; Commission Okays Buying Vehicles
By Leo Coughlin
BELLEAIR - The Town Commission held a routine meeting Tuesday night but the focus of news seemed to switch to the town's Code Enforcement Board on two counts.
For one, the board has levied a $250 a day fine on the Belleair Biltmore Hotel because of a roof, festooned with colorful covering draperies, that is in obvious and sad disrepair.
That situation has existed for years and the eyesore has become a marker beacon for aircraft making their way into Clearwater Airport.
The other count includes talk - apparently at the rumor stage right now - of a violation of the Sunshine Law by two members of the board.
Town officials are looking into that, but the real authority for that kind of probe is the State Attorney's Office.
Probably more observed in the breach than any way else, the Sunshine Law is a tough edict to enforce which only demonstrates what a bad law it is.
The only notable violation that resulted in a severe penalty in recent years is the case in Pensacola where a former elected official was sent to prison.
In its action Tuesday, the commission approved a resolution setting March 2, 2010 as the election date. The terms of Karla Rettstatt and Tom Shelly are expiring. Neither has indicated her or his plans. Qualifying takes place in December.
A contract with the Sheriff's Office for supplemental services like K-9, crime scene forensics, etc. was approved.
The commission also okayed the purchase of Crown Victoria police car for $25,348, a 15-passenger club wagon for the Recreation Department for $22,981 and two vehicles for the Solid Waste Department totally $223,562.
Next meeting for the commission is November 17 when a discussion on traffic issues is scheduled to be resumed.
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