BELLEAIR BEACH -- Mayor Mike Kelly gave an apparently misinformed answer at the Belleair Beach City Council meeting December 6 when asked a question by Presiding Officer Lynn Rives.
Near the end of the meeting Rives, apparently clearing up some loose ends, 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 described at the December 6 meeting.
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."
That was the second item at the meeting on which Kelly apparently misspoke.
Moments earlier, Rives asked the question if any council members had relatives working for the city.
Kelly said he would check into it, despite the fact that he had been present at a meeting a few hours earlier of the Public Safety Committee where the employment of a police officer who is a nephew of Councilmember Marvin Behm was discussed at length.
Kelly gave the answer, "I'll check into it," even though several members of the audience at the council meeting, along with four council members and the city attorney, had been present at the afternoon meeting when the matter of Behm's nephew was discussed.
None made any corrective remark of Kelly's "I'll check into it" response.
Several of those who knew the facts, and who have asked not to be identified because of fears of reprisal in a city that is riven with ill feeling and nastiness as indicated by a scurrilous letter that was circulated last week, said they were "appalled" at Kelly's response which clearly was not accurate.
On the Moreno matter, Nancy Moreno, the resident involved, said on the day following the December 6 meeting that her complaint "definitely had not been taken care of."
"I was promised by Mayor Kelly, who I thought was a friend, that he would take care of a problem we had. I know that the biggest problem was a civil matter between me and a contractor, but there were code enforcement issues," Moreno, who lives on 8th Avenue, said.
"Not only has nothing been done," Moreno continued, "but I have heard nothing from the mayor or Chief (Earnest) Armistead who both came to my house and witnessed my problem."
Moreno said that in September a contractor installing a swimming pool had caused water to flow into her semicircular driveway and had made the drive unusable. Also, she said, the contractor was using her driveway for a "turning around area" for his equipment without the permission of her or her husband, Bruce.
She said Kelly and Armistead came to her home late in September, observed the problem, and promised that action would be taken.
"I fully expected that," Moreno said. "Mayor Kelly installed a pool for us and I thought we had at least a friendly relationship." (Kelly is in the pool installation business and has installed many pools in Belleair Beach since he bacame mayor in 2001.)
When she heard nothing for several days, Moreno said she called the city hall and spoke with the city clerk, Nancy McCollum, and asked for the mayor.
Moreno said McCollum returned to the phone and said, "He has nothing to say."
That shocked her, she said, and later she said she then sent an e-mail that was acknowledged by McCollum but no response came from the mayor or Armistead.
Moreno sent a letter early this month (which Cutler referred to) but she said she has heard absolutely nothing from Kelly or Armistead.
"So," she said last week, "no. It has not been taken care of. I can't believe Mayor Kelly could have said that at the meeting."
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