BELLEAIR BLUFFS - The City Commission moved closer at its workshop meeting Monday night toward its goal of having its own Advanced Life Support (ALS) contract.
ALS or EMS (Emergency Medical Services) has become part of the responsibility of fire departments which has resulted in the naming of such departments as "fire and rescue" rather than just fire department.
Currently, Belleair Bluffs works under Largo's ALS contract.
Henry Schubert, assistant city manager of Largo, was present at Monday's meeting to discuss and help facilitate Belleair Bluffs' plan. The commission was unanimous in wanting to move ahead.
It was agreed that Largo, subject to the Largo City Commission approval, would help phase in the ALS program in Belleair Bluffs.
Among other things, Belleair Bluffs needs to train its own firefighters as paramedics.
The ALS contracts are governed by the county.
Also approved by the commission Monday was a plan to move employee health insurance from Aetna to United Health at considerable savings, according to the report.
Mark Nadell, a familiar figure at commission meetings over the past several years, asked to address the commission for 20 to 30 minutes at its regular meeting next Monday about "what has been going on for the last four years."
Mayor Chris Arbutine put the kibosh to this unusual request, but left the door open for any commission member to oppose him and entertain Nadell's request. The commission unanimously backed Arbutine.
If every citizen wanted to talk to the commission for half an hour about their concerns over a period of years the commission would be in session 24 hours a day, seven days a week year around.
Arbutine announced that he is stepping down from the presidency of the Suncoast League of Cities and it was announced that Debra Sullivan, the city clerk, had completed the "Leadership Pinellas" program.
In other action -
There will be a chemical pickup of hazardous materials May 26 and June 2.
A Special Planning Workshop will be held either June 23 or June 30.
The commission is seeking volunteers to serve on a charter review committee.
Wallace Witham, former commissioner and member of boards and active in the community for years, was recognized for his service.
The commission is working on defining "emergency vehicles" as those used by public agencies like the police and fire department, not private companies.
An ordinance to limit and define renting rules is being sought by Hunt Brand, much like the ordinances Belleair Beach and Belleair Shore have, to avoid weekly or other short term rentals.