BELLEAIR BEACH -- An anonymous letter that has circulated in the city over the past week provided a backdrop for Monday night's City Council meeting that hit on several subjects that revealed the hidden turmoil that is going on in the city.
At one point, there was a bit of fakery that was obvious to those who had attended the Public Service Committee meeting just a couple hours earlier.
Near the end of the evening meeting, Presiding Officer Lynn Rives said, "Someone asked me this question, so I'll just throw it out. Does anyone on the council have a relative working for the city?"
The tone of Rives's question and his demeanor in answering it would betoken that he was innocent of the truth.
But after some murmurming among the council members, Mayor Mike Kelly piped up and said, "I'll check on it."
The fact is that at the afternoon committee meeting the hiring of Councilmember Marvin Behm's nephew on the police force got a lot of attention and was discussed at length.
Kelly was at the afternoon meeting which Rives did not attend.
On another matter, Rives asked if the "complaint from Nancy Moreno" had been taken care of. "Yes," said Kelly, "it has been taken care of."
This apparently was something that came in from a citizen and the nature of the complaint was not specified.
Then Councilmember Bert Cutler wondered why there had been letters in November and December on the matter from the city resident. Kelly again said, "It has been taken care of."
In a call to Moreno late Monday she said the matter had not been taken care of. She was sick and said she would discuss it later.
Councilmember Jeff Coulsen, who was attacked (along with Rives, Cutler and City Clerk Nancy McCollum) in the scurrilous anonymous letter that went around the city, made a long statement in reference to the attack.
The identities of the authors of the letter are known (they are not ordinary citizens of the city) but Rives strongly discounted the contents of the letter after the meeting saying, "It is all nonsense and anyone who reads it knows that."
Cutler said that he wanted allegations made against a member of the police force to be not investigated by the Belleair Beach Police Department but by the State's Attorney's office.
City Attorney Paul Marino advised the council to stay clear of the matter unless a formal complaint was brought forward by a citizen.
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