TREASURE ISLAND - The search for the city of Treasure Island’s next manager took another step forward July 18 when city commissioners hired Florida-based executive search firm Colin Baenziger and Associates.
Baenziger was one of two head hunters considered but not the most inexpensive. Treasure Island leaders also considered Strategic Government Resources of Keller, Texas, for $23,000 but Baenziger’s extensive résumé and history of searches for Florida cities and counties made its $26,500 fee more acceptable.
Baenziger, based in Daytona Beach Shores, was recommended by Personnel Director Jennifer Poirrier.
REDINGTON BEACH - Nonresidents who park at Beach Park may see more tickets on their windshields after a resident told Redington Beach commissioners July 19 that current efforts to restrict spaces to residents were ineffective.
Speaking during a commission workshop, Stephen Brantley said despite the addition of more signs at the limited access lot, cars without valid permits were still parking there.
“It’s still not working,” Brantley told the panel, listing the reasons why he felt the recent changes did not have the desired result.
REDINGTON SHORES - Plans for a new complex that would provide police and fire services to the Redingtons were discussed at the July 12 Redington Shores town commission meeting.
The proposed facility would be built on 173rd Avenue at the Redington Shores/North Redington Beach boundary. Redington Shores’ town maintenance building is currently on the site.
Redington Shores Mayor Bert Adams and Seminole Fire Chief Heather Burford reported on recent meetings they attended where preliminary drawings and design plans for the facility were shown and discussed. Adams said the complex would include police and fire support services and likely a water rescue unit. A new maintenance workshop shared by Redington Shores and North Redington Beach would also be a part of the building, as well as a community building.
ST. PETE BEACH - After more than an hour of discussion, city commissioners voted unanimously July 11 to table a proposed ordinance that would revise St. Pete Beach’s regulations concerning the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the beach.
It will be discussed further at the July 25 City Commission meeting.
The ordinance would revise Chapter 6 of the city code to allow public consumption of alcohol on the beach in conjunction with a hotel. It would be allowable only in a cabana area and no closer than 50 feet from the “wet sand.” Also, those enjoying a drink would be required to wear wristbands to identify themselves as hotel guests.
MADEIRA BEACH - The city’s water taxi service will continue for at least another year. The Madeira Beach City Commission narrowly approved extending the city’s contract with Hubbard’s Marina, which operates the taxi.
The agreement also calls for the city to pay a $25,000 subsidy toward its operation, and that has created some controversy.
Hubbard spokesperson Cory Hubbard has said the subsidy is absolutely essential to the ferry’s continued operation.
TIERRA VERDE - Atlantic Marina Holdings LLC of Charleston, South Carolina has purchased the Tierra Verde Marina Resort from Tierra Verde Marina Resort LLC of Clearwater.
The deal was announced July 11. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The property consists of approximately 400 dry slips, 115 wet slips, 10,000 square feet of marine retail, and resort amenities.
“Atlantic Marina Holdings considers Tierra Verde Marina Resort to be one of the top marina facilities in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area and on the west coast of Florida,” said Joe Miller, principal of Atlantic Marina Holdings, in a press release. “The marina is strategically positioned to serve as a gateway to the Gulf and a stepping off point for all of those in greater Tampa-St. Pete area who wish to access the diverse inshore and offshore waterways of the west coast of Florida.”
TREASURE ISLAND - The Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce is seeking computer savvy people with the “gift of gab,” according to Ed Gutauskas, volunteer coordinator.
“Every month, our chamber has committee meetings, networking meetings, and special events,” Gutauskas said. “We need volunteers to help us keep connected with our members by phone, track information on spreadsheets, greet visitors to our welcome center, and answer questions about the area, the chamber, and our upcoming activities.”
The chamber is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Volunteer shifts are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., or 1 to 4 p.m. A volunteer can fill one or more shifts per month.
REDINGTON BEACH - Rising property values may enable tax rates to be rolled back, but the possibility of restrictions to future revenues could cloud budgetary decision making, town commissioners found July 5.
In a discussion of the 2017-18, budget, Town Clerk Missy Clarke said that based on the current millage rate of 1.849, she projected the town would collect $50,000 more in property taxes during the upcoming fiscal year.
If the commission adopted a rollback rate of 1.727, the town would still receive about $11,000 more than this year’s taxes.
ST. PETE BEACH - The City Commission’s happiness with the work of City Manager Wayne Saunders was reflected June 27 when commissioners awarded the city’s third-year chief executive a contract extension and an 8 percent salary increase.
Effective Oct. 1, Saunders’ salary will increase from $152,250 to $164,430, making him one of the county’s most well paid city managers. His contract is “for an unspecified term” with annual evaluations tied into to salary increases.
Saunders, who will be 68 on July 11, was hired in October 2014 to replace former city manager Mike Bonfield and has since set the city’s financial course in a more positive direction.
MADEIRA BEACH - A new commission majority gave a clear signal of changes to come at their June 27 workshop session. On issues ranging from event policy to water taxis and even selection of a city manager, the message was unmistakable: there’s new leadership in the city, and the previous ways of doing business are going to change.
A key watchword for commission decisions is now accountability - holding programs, projects and events to a profit or loss test. The key question will be how do they profit the city, based on actual numbers. Past approvals based on “making the city better” in intangible ways are gone.
ST. PETE BEACH - St. Pete Beach Fire Rescue received their new medic unit and placed it into full service on June 21. The vehicle will be located at St. Pete Beach Fire Station 22, 1950 Pass-A- Grille Way.
Medic 22 will primarily provide advance life support medical care to residents and visitors of St. Pete Beach and the surrounding communities.
The new unit is a 2017 Ford F550 4x4 and will replace a 2001 Freightliner model. It has a custom-built rescue body, built by Hall-mark RTC, based in Ocala.
TREASURE ISLAND - The search for a new city manager is going to take a minimum of four to six months longer.
City commissioners decided June 20 against interviewing any of the nine finalists from a national search conducted by the International City/County Management Association’s Senior Advisor program and to spend an estimated $25,000 to hire an executive search firm.
City Human Resources Director Jennifer Poirrier said she would prepare a request for proposal to advertise for a headhunter.
REDINGTON BEACH - Town Attorney Jay Daigneault asked Redington Beach commissioners June 21 how to resolve what he considered an “ambiguity” relating to variance requests for docks that fall outside the town’s building codes.
Language within the construction rules is contradictory and must be changed, he said.
In a memo to the mayor and commissioners, Daigneault said current ordinances allow the Board of Adjustment to grant variances for special exceptions to existing regulations for docks. He noted the existing code states that “all non-conforming dock facility permit requests shall be handled as a special exception.”
MADEIRA BEACH - In a move that surprised many, the city commission narrowly approved an agreement that allows suspended City Manager Shane Crawford and fired City Clerk Cheryl Crawford to depart the city amicably.
The two, who are husband and wife, have faced opposition from three new commission members who took office in March.
The settlement, which was negotiated over the past several weeks by attorneys representing both sides, came at a special meeting at city hall held June 19.