INDIAN SHORES – Police Chief Terry Hughes’ request for the Indian Shores Town Council to consider designating the Municipal Center’s fourth floor community room as a local incident shelter was approved at the May 9 town council meeting.
Hughes reminded councilors about a couple of qualifying incidents over the last year, including a small condo fire that displaced the town’s current mayor, Pat Soranno, along with a dozen or so other residents. Often, residents escape with only the clothes on their backs and it takes at least several hours before the Red Cross is mobilized.
Incidents like fires sometimes happen in the middle of the night, he said. The chief mentioned that there are some cots on the premises that could be used, especially if there were small children involved. Hughes said.
“We could give them (the displaced people) juice and donuts,” he said.
Hughes also mentioned that depending on the time of year, temporarily providing the displaced with inside air conditioned shelter would be a plus. Hughes reminded councilors the mayor and his wife were taken in that night by neighbors, something not everyone would have as an option.
As a local incident shelter, the fourth floor community room can handle a maximum of 84 people for a maximum of 24 hours. It would be “some place comfortable where the people can wait until the Red Cross gets here,” said Hughes.
The town approved a contract for aerial mapping and imaging services with Aspect Aerial Photography and 3D Virtual Tours.
Town engineer Bob Brotherton explained the process.
Palm Harbor-based Aspect Aerial is FAA certified to use drone-mounted cameras and computer technology to capture photos and do 3D mapping. The cost is $1,500 for each of the two phases involved in the project.
Town Clerk Stephanie Waters recently completed the requirements to become a certified municipal clerk. Cheryl Mooney, director of the Florida Association of City Clerks – Central West, presented Waters with a plaque and pin in recognition of that accomplishment at the meeting.
The council unanimously approved the hiring of Robert Anthony Auch as a police officer at annual salary of $43,812.
He grew up in the Tampa Bay area and was most recently a deputy for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
“Tony (Auch) will be the first active, first full-time officer we have hired (directly) from an agency to ours,” said Hughes.
On May 4, Auch was awarded Officer of the Year and a Meritorious Service Award for saving a suspect’s life.
“(Auch) comes to us a fully experienced and a certified officer,” said Hughes.
After unanimously approving a classification plan as proposed by John Daly of Creative Insights Corporation, the town council approved salary adjustments resulting from a municipal salary survey included in the plan.
Among them was Town Administrator Bonnie Dhonau, whose annual salary of $72,869 will be increased by $20,000 to $92,869 effective immediately to bring that job’s compensation into the low range of comparable municipal salaries in Florida.
Incentive pay of $750 for certification training will be compensated at the end of the year to Permit Technician Michelle Tidwell and Public Services supervisor Michael Scrogham for successful completion of such training.