Belleair Beach Action - It is never easy being on the losing end of a city council vote; but, there is one city council member in Belleair Beach who felt he had to write a personal letter just to cast a shadow on a letter written by the mayor (with city council support) to the Sheriff's Department. Call it grandstanding or whatever you will.
The letter written by the mayor of Belleair Beach asked the Sheriff's Office not to hire Belleair Beach police officers in an alleged attempt to interfere with police staff issues at Belleair Beach. The Sheriff's Office denied they have interfered with police issues in Belleair Beach.
The issue of Belleair Beach police applying for jobs at the Sheriff's Office for more pay than available at Belleair Beach is confusing to most city folk at Belleair Beach. After all, it was only several years ago that the Belleair Beach police did not want the city to switch police services from the city to the Sheriff's Department. In a city referendum, citizens supported keeping the city police department. (This was in difference to lower city costs for police services made by then Sheriff Everett Rice.)
Times have changed, and now the Belleair Beach police believe it is better to be with the Sheriff's Department.
Of course, few, if any, people ever questioned potential cost savings to Belleair Beach citizens by using the Sheriff's Office for police services.
The issue was not the potential cost saving of the Sheriff's Department, the issue was number of police officers on duty at any one time in Belleair Beach. The way I see it, every small Pinellas County city should examine police services to obtain the best financial/police service basis for its citizens. The issue is not easily resolved by just looking at financial numbers. There are several police service options to explore if this issue festers in Belleair Beach.
Back to the Belleair Beach council member who wrote his own letter to the Sheriff in difference to other fellow city council members and the mayor. No big deal. It is tough being a dissenting vote. Not many people in elected office ever like to lose votes at council meetings and appear out of-touch with the majority. Typically, you notice such acts of frustration when someone is on the way out.
Say It Is Not True, Joe! - There are times when you wonder if some elected folks follow issues being talked about by most everyday workers.
Things that many people talk about when they are frustrated such as prices of condominiums on Clearwater Beach, price tag of city employee health insurance benefits, cost of homeowner's insurance, local taxes, and the loss of a tourism industry on Clearwater Beach
Yes, one Clearwater elected official (name withheld due to embarrassment) actually said in a public meeting when the topic of beach condominiums was discussed, "What! Who could ever pay the taxes and insurance costs?" Of course, the off-the-cuff statement of amazement is true. Who can pay for the insurance and tax costs for a million-dollar condominium on the beach?
Point next. Another Clearwater city official who is currently covered by the city's health insurance plan did not know how much the city pays for such health insurance benefit. "$3,500?" queried the official, "I don't know how much it costs." Of course, the elected official was surprised to learn that the health insurance benefit per city employee (including elected officials) is approximately $6,400. Multiply $6,400 by approximately 1,800 employees and you are paying $11.5 million.
Only if you are the one(s) paying the bill.
Much To Do About Nothing - The city manager in Indian Rocks Beach is open for job opportunities. Same for the city managers in other places, such as Belleair Beach. As some people know, city managers do not generally last on the job longer than five years. In fact, it is not unusual to observe them with a job application in other places not long after accepting a new job. Call it a part of their career choice.
Belleair's city manager was removed in a city council vote and immediately sent looking for his next job. Of course, they have a time period when they are still paid under their existing employment contract to find that next job, but, hey, it might take longer than expected. Not a good thing . . . you go from being the city kingpin to out of work in one city meeting. Talk about a fall from grace!
City managers keeping their eyes open for that next job opportunity?
The way I see it, they shouldn't miss any of those so called important city managers conferences that are expenses to the city taxpayers. Those are the meetings where you network with other managers who might be of future help.
Bucs - There could be a new coach in Tampa Bay next year. Bucs coach John Gruden can't afford another dismal football season and things are not looking good for the Bucs in 2006.
The recent football injury to quarterback Chris Simms might have helped to push Gruden out the door. Call it the final straw.
The way in which John Gruden coaches and ridicules adult football players is unacceptable behavior, and has been unacceptable behavior since the days of Woody Hays at Ohio State. (And coaches who have emulated Hays' style of coaching.) Of course, some of this in-your-face coaching style is still available in college basketball a/k/a Bobby Knight. It is difficult to imagine any player accepting that style of coaching.
Indiana got rid of Bobby Knight. Ohio State got rid of Woody Hays. Tampa Bay Bucs will get rid of John Gruden, (This year or next.)
This will be a bad year for our Bucs football team and a worse year for young Chris Simms and his family.
Blame John Gruden for the injury?
No, he is not the blame. He is at blame for not having enough rapport with adult players to calmly discuss serious injuries when they occur during a football game. Yes, players play in pain. I'm not talking about playing in pain; I'm talking about trying to play with a serious injury. Players know the difference. No, John Gruden did not force Simms to play while hurt. But, folks, all the faces and f-words spewed from Gruden's mouth to Simms over the past weeks perhaps forced Simms to try and play when he knew something was really wrong with his body. Folks around Tampa Bay are just tired of such coaching antics. It is time for a change. In fact, it might be a good time for Gruden to relax and re-evaluate his plans for the future. A fellow named Steve Spurrier had to take a sabbatical after an unsuccessful try at NFL coaching in Washington. His-in-your-face style did not work with adults.
Do you think the Simms incident might mellow-out John Gruden?
Gas Prices Drop - According to the Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations, gas prices have dropped over 60 cents a gallon since August 11. The current average price per gallon of gas in Florida is $2.47. (But, we have noticed prices even lower!)
In Georgia the gas average has dropped to $2.21 per gallon and Missouri at $2.11 a gallon. However, in Alaska gas prices are $2.96 a gallon and $3.14 a gallon in Hawaii.
Experts predict gas prices to continue falling in part due to a good hurricane season and predictions of a mild winter. If such occurs, gas prices are expected to drop to under $2.00 per gallon. All of this is good news for incumbent politicians who have hoped for declining oil prices. OPEC expects barrel of oil prices to level at about $55 per barrel of oil. However, some experts have predicted even lower oil prices.
Speaking Of Gas - After Hugo Chavez's outrageous performance at the U.N. last week, why would anyone buy gasoline from the CITGO Stations that are the wholly-owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-run oil company? ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition