BELLEAIR BEACH -- Presiding Officer Lynn Rives reported at Monday's regular City Council meeting that the search committee looking for the person who will be the city manager taking over in March hopes to narrow down its list of candidates to five by October 23.
On that day, a Saturday, a meeting will be held to discuss that short list. In discussing the list of candidates, Councilmember Stan Sofer, who keeps his own resume a closely guarded secret, expressed keen interest in seeing resumes of those under consideration.
The short and routine meeting Monday night also saw the council voting to spend up to $5,000 to inform the public about the forthcoming planned referendum by the Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue District.
Although it was not on the agenda and came up in committee reports, the council pressed the issue of having the YMCA submit reports of its activities if the agency expected to be paid.
Belleair Beach residents opposed giving about $20,000 in taxpayer funds to the private group, but in a key meeting at which many Indian Rocks Beach residents showed up (and virtually no Belleair Beach residents were present) the council bowed to the wishes of the IRB folks and voted to approve the $20,000 gift.
There was much expostulation that the Y should submit reports. None has been received yet, although the agreement specifies that they must be submitted.
Interestingly, Mayor Mike Kelly reported that the Y had sent the city a bill for the whole year when the council clearly agreed to pay the money in quarterly installments.
Rives pointed out that Y representatives were in the room when the quarterly payments were decided on and that they were satsified with that.
The payment of the money is apparently being done grudgingly, but the council evidently felt obligated to please Indian Rocks Beach residents on the key vote.
In other action, the council killed the idea of compensation for council members and the mayor. Sofer was the only one opposing the idea of repealing the measure that would have paid all of them a monthly stipend.
An interesting proposition was put forth by Frank Tricarico, a city resident, when he pointed out to the council that the city owned Morgan Street Park on the beach must be open to all members of the public for beach use, not just city residents.
He said that a county official affirmed the idea that when the beach was renourished a key stipulation was that the city provide a certain amount of parking spaces for the general public. Up to now the thinking has been that the Moran Street Park was for residents only.
Not so, Tricarico said the county official said. "We must be honorable, and honor this agreement that was made several years ago," Tricarico said.
Tricarico said that he had tried to contact Rives and the mayor's assistant on the matter, but neither one returned his calls.
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