Soranno to return as mayor of Indian Shores

Mayor Patrick C. Soranno

INDIAN SHORES — The swearing-in of Mayor Patrick C. Soranno for his next three-year term by Town Attorney Regina Kardash was the first order of business at the March 23 meeting of the Indian Shores Town Council. This was followed by the election of the new vice mayor and then the designation of elected officials to represent the town on various boards and committees.

Kardash administered the oath of office and presented the certificate of election to Soranno, who ran unopposed in the March 9 election. Soranno’s acceptance speech was short and humble. “I commend our town staff and our police department for the town’s success. … Now on to the next three years,” he said.

Council member Mike Petruccelli nominated colleague Mike Hackerson for the position of vice mayor. Petruccelli said that he was making the nomination in recognition of Hackerson’s outstanding work on town beautification. Outgoing Vice Mayor Diantha Schear supported the nomination. Hackerson was unanimously elected vice mayor by a vote of 5-0.

3 ordinances given first reading

An ordinance regarding adjustments to floodplain management regulation passed unanimously 5-0. The mayor explained that the move was a step in the process of lowering the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System score for the town from the current CRS rating of 6, which grants town residents a 20 percent flood insurance discount. The goal is to lower the CRS rating to 5, so the discount will become 25 percent.

Another ordinance that would have banned all bicycles on the beach was tabled by a unanimous vote of 5-0. The state legislature is in the process of debating a change regarding the definition of “bicycle” from including all bicycles, both manual and electric as it does now, to separating the two. The Town Council opted to wait to see what the legislature decides before enacting the ordinance.

Another ordinance addressed the special magistrate and relative code enforcement procedures, which passed unanimously 5-0. Code enforcement was previously the jurisdiction of the Board of Adjustment; now it is handled by the special magistrate. The primary change is that the filing fee is going up from $250 to $300.

Town assigns committees

The proposed board and committee member assignments for 2021-2022 were unanimously approved 5-0.

Administrative & Finance Committee members are: Mayor Patrick Soranno (chair), Vice Mayor Mike Hackerson (vice chair), and council member Diantha Schear (council alternate). Citizen members are Art Newsome and John Caruso, and citizen alternates are Ellen Bauer and Tom King.

The Board of Adjustment & Appeals members are: Joe Tawil (seat 1), Carole Irelan (seat 2), John Yackowski (seat 3), Karl Olander (vice chair and seat 4), Suzanne Lynch (seat 5) and Lori Kauffman (alternate). The special magistrate for this board is Randol Mora.

The five members of the Library Board are: Elizabeth Hill (book selection manager), Laura Friedrich (scheduling manager), Alice Fennel (chair), Peg McDermott (budget manager), and Zulema Olander (Read & Feed events manager).

Planning, Zoning & Building Committee members are: Hackerson (chair), council member Bill Smith (vice chair), and Soranno (council alternate). Citizen member is Candiss Rinker, and citizen alternates are Mark Housman, Claudia Riva, and Roland Goerner, Jr.

The Police Pension Board consists of Justin Guillory (secretary), Ronnie Hadley (chair), Daniel Bauer, Don Vinel, and Mark McKee.

Public Services Committee members are: Petruccelli (chair), Schear (vice chair), and Smith (council alternate). Citizen member is Janet McKee and citizen alternate is Neil Rode.

Big-C voting delegates are: Soranno (voting member), Smith (alternate #1) and Petruccelli (alternate #2).

Suncoast League of Cities voting delegates are: Petruccelli (voting member) and Schear (alternate).

The last five committees designating elected officials in leadership are: Boat Parade (Petruccelli), Brick Paver Committee (Schear), Coastal Cleanup (Schear and Petruccelli), Liaison to I.S.P.O.A (Hackerson and Schear), and the Recreation Ad Hoc (Petruccelli).