NORTH REDINGTON BEACH – Town commissioners formally cancelled a March election after two incumbents whose terms were expiring failed to draw any opposition.
The action automatically re-elected Vice Mayor Ted Dahl and Commissioner Kevin Kennedy. Both men had filed to retain their seats, but no additional candidates expressed interest in contesting either position by the Dec. 15 deadline.
In unanimously approving a resolution, commissioners formalized the Jan. 10 actions of Mayor Bill Queen and Town Clerk Mari Campbell in cancelling the election. A vote on the resolution had been scheduled for a Jan. 11 commission meeting, but that meeting was cancelled.
Town officials had faced a Jan. 12 deadline from the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections to submit ballot language.
Dahl retains Seat 3 and Kennedy keeps Seat 4. Both commissioners have run unopposed for their entire terms in office: Dahl since 2012 and Kennedy since 2013. Their new terms will end in March 2020.
Commissioners also approved two other resolutions.
One resolution expressed the town’s opposition to offshore oil drilling and exploration activities, including seismic air-gun blasting. The resolution identified air-gun blasting as “risky” and as “one of the loudest manmade sounds in the ocean” that “endangers marine life.” Commissioners further expressed opposition to offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration because it “will put Florida’s environment, beaches, marine resources and local economies at risk.”
Another resolution implements performance measures to achieve eligibility for the Community Rating System that helps the town get a lower insurance rate. The town of North Redington Beach has been a National Flood Insurance Program participant since 1998 and has designated special flood hazard areas on NFIP flood insurance rate maps. The town is implementing the performance measures to ensure its floodplain management program not only meets but exceeds NFIP requirements.
Mayor Queen announced that Florida Senate Bill 1400 was coming up for vote, and that residents should be aware of the home rule issues at stake. Queen said the bill “will eliminate our (each municipality’s) ability to control short-term rentals.”
In other business, the mayor held up an artist’s rendition of the proposed site plan for the construction of Redington Village on the old Wine Cellar Restaurant property at 17307 Gulf Blvd. Demolition of the defunct restaurant is estimated to begin in the next month or so.
Currently, Dunkin’ Donuts is one of the proposed tenants for Redington Village. In order to finalize Dunkin’ Donuts’ tenancy, issues regarding access to a drive-thru need to be resolved.