BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Two contentious issues got an airing at the workshop meeting Monday of the Belleair Bluffs City Commission.
After a long discussion, it appeared the commission will move forward with a code enforcement ordinance that is extensive and has been on the table for some months.
One citizen, John Tabor, a former commission member and a regular attendee at most meetings, was opposed to the new law, saying that the way code violations had always been handled should continue.
Another citizen, Wally Witham, also a former city official, disagreed with Tabor and said that the current system is "broken" and needs to be fixed.
"The time has come for this ordinance," Witham said.
Paul Kuykendahl, another resident, also weighed in favoring the new ordinance fashioned by Tom Trask, the city's lawyer.
Also in for a lot of discussion and, in fact, renewing an issue that some thought had been decided at the commission's regular meeting last month was the question of what company is going to pick up trash in the city.
Because Commissioner Bob Russo was absent at last month's vote, it looked like Waste Services had lost an pportunity to replace Waste Management as the city's trash collector.
Commission Dave Shimkus fought for and succeeded in getting the question back in play Monday night although Trask asserted that the only way it could come back would be for someone on the prevailing side of the vote last month make a motion for reconsideration.
"This is not a move for reconsideration," Shimkus said. "It is for a renewal of the vote because we did not have the full commission here."
Shimkus argued that a tie vote produced no prevailing party.
Mayor Chris Arbutine, in a move that was eminently fair, solomonically called for a consensus - or three commissioners who favored bringing the subject back for discussion.
This was obtained with Troy Krotz joining Russo and Shimkus in favoring more discussion at next month's workshop meeting.
Waste Management has served the city for years.
Waste Services, another major trash collection company, offers a price to each household in the city of $13.49 a month, $2.16 lower than Waste Management's price.
Plus, Shari Rueble, district manager for Waste Services, says her company offers residents unlimited bulk pickups.
The city faces an 8.2 percent in police services from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, bringing the total cost of the contract in fiscal year 2006-07 to $382,066.
This is still far below what police services cost in Belleair Beach, a city with no commercial centers and only one main road.
A rough estimate shows that Belleair Bluffs residents pay about 47 cents per capita for highly professional police while Belleair Beach residents are paying about $1.15 a head - more than double.
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