Code Enforcement Board & Public Art Fee – letter sent to City of Largo Mayor and Commissioners
Honorable Mayor and Commissioners:
Having served on the Code Enforcement Board for two years, (2005 & 2006), I would like to say that I found the Board to be a dedicated and unbiased group of citizens who focused on the evidence presented and were consistent with application of the city codes. At any time that a Board member had a personal acquaintance appearing for a code violation, the Board member removed himself from that particular hearing. It is my understanding that City of Largo Board members are selected by the Mayor. These Board members are selected from a group of applicants who are anxious to "give back" or serve their city. Anyone applying to be on the Code Enforcement Board is certainly smart enough to know how much time is necessary to attend Board meetings. If a Board member is misinformed about the time commitment this person should be encouraged to give up their seat to another volunteer.
As far as the "back-up" of cases, the Board may need to meet more often. Board members should be made aware of this and if they are unable to serve, invite the next Board applicant to join the Board. Largo is a City with a plethora of volunteers and to have to incur the HEFTY COST OF A LAWYER to impose fines on citizens who refuse to follow Largo city codes seems financially irresponsible. It would be a different matter if we didn't have codes clearly defined. I encourage you to keep the Code Enforcement Board as the move to a Magistrate will inevitably lead to an increase in taxes or fees for the citizens of Largo.
The Art Fee - Commissioner Murray was 100% on target when he stated "the city agreeing to tax refunds to attract new business seems contradictory to placing an art fee on developers." The economic climate today does not lend itself toward any new Art fee or tax. Cosmetic enhancements should be at the bottom of the list when we have citizens losing jobs and homes on a daily basis. Encourage the developer to include the "art" in his development but do not require it.
- James M. Janowski
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the Code Enforcement Board and the Public Art Fee. Your insights and interest in the City are truly appreciated. A copy of your email is being forwarded to the Mayor and Commission for their information and consideration as discussions on these two items continue.
- Shirley Frick - Mayor/Commission Secretary, City of Largo
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