BELLEAIR BLUFFS -- After some fits and starts the Belleair Bluffs City Commission voted themselves a raise, even after an admonishment from a city resident who, despite a pedagogical approach, was wrong.
It's the first raise elected officials have had in about 17 years, and the action will boost the money mayor gets from $400 a month to $500. Commissioners will go from the present $200 to $300. The raises will take effect after the March city election, in which there are no contests.
Wallace Witham, a citizen and former commissioner himself, pointed out that the U.S. Constitution says raises cannot go into effect until after an intervening election and he said that the city charter spells out a similar provision.
However, in an exercise showing the power of the meaning of a word, the money that goes to the elected officials is not salary, wages or compensation. It is styled as "expense allowance."
In response to Witham's instructions, Shauna Morris, an assistant city attorney, said that because of the wording, the charter provision does not apply.
Nevertheless, the politically astute Mayor Chris Arbutine urged that the increases come after the election and the commission approved this.
Frank Chevas, successful operator of the Salt Rock Grill and Island Way Grill announced that he plans to establish a restaurant in Belleair Bluffs. It will be located in the shopping center on West Bay Drive.
The commission approved a group of language changes in a group of ordinances.
The matter of buying a wood chipper for the public works department was held off, pending a workshop discussion.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition