BELLEAIR BLUFFS – How do you tell a businessman who says he has increased his business by 46 percent through the use of a particular sign that such a sign must go because a law says so?
That was the issue facing the Belleair Bluffs City Commission Monday night at its work session, when Jay Coats, a businessman in the city, sought relief.
Coats uses a small A-frame or “sandwich board” sign in front of his store, J. Gregory’s Jewelry and Gifts. The sign, small as it may be, has brought an increase in business to the shop, on the southwest corner of West Bay and Indian Rocks Road.
The law is in the nature of malum prohibitum, not malum in se; that is, no moral offensiveness attaches to its violation. It is in existence to satisfy the aesthetic requirements of those who wrote it. Such exercises are not always friendly to businesses.
Coats wondered if the sign would be all right withing the curtilage of his leased property, that is, within the recessed space as one enters the door.
As it is, Belleair Bluffs has a new sign ordinance in theworks. There could be changes in it that would accommodate Coats’s needs.
The commission also spent a long time discussing waste services and finally came up with a decision to make a choice next week between the current pick up company, Waste Management, which has done the job for 20 years or so, or Waste Services.
After a choice is made a contract would be negotiated.
Both companies submitted date on a request for proposal by the city.
Mayor Chris Arbutine and Commissioner Brett Nelson wanted to keep the status quo, that is, continue with Waste Management. Commissioners Bob Russo, Dave Shimkus and Troy Krotz wanted an examination and choice between the two.
An ordinance due for second reading next week that would have set forth methods of enforcing the city code will be postponed as a result of changes in the odinance sought by Nelson.
The commission set Saturday, July 1, for the annual Fourth of July celebration. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Arbutine designated new assignments of oversight responsibilities for commissioners. He asked Shimkus and Nelson to continue in their roles with public works and the fire department, respectively, while Russo and Krotz will trade responsibilities with Russo on administration and finance and Krotz on the police.
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