City Commission appoints Diversity Advisory Board

The Safety Harbor City Commission appointed the members of the city’s new Diversity Advisory Board and made the first of two required votes to approve next year’s millage rate and budget when it met Wednesday night.

DIVERSITY ADVISORY BOARD 

At its previous meeting, Commission decided to individually rank applicants for the new board that will advise Commission on diversity issues. On Wednesday, Commission voted 5-0 to appoint the seven applicants who scored the highest, with Lewis Ponds Jr., Cheryl Williams and Vincent Smith appointed to three-year terms, and Adrian “AC” Blevins, Priscilla Velez, Juanita Frazier and Sandra Mejicano appointed to two-year terms. City Manager Matthew Spoor, who will be the city’s liaison to the board, said he’d contact the members immediately to set up their first meeting so they could get to work.

MILLAGE RATE AND BUDGET

Commission voted 5-0 on first of two required votes to keep the city’s millage rate at 3.95 percent, where it has been for several years, and to approve the fiscal 2021 budget of $73 million. The second and final vote will be on Sept. 21. 

SECOND READINGS

Ordinances or changes to city code require two hearings before the City Commission. 

Rezoning of 367 Grand Central Ave.: Commission voted 3-2, with Commissioners Andy Zodrow and Nancy Besore opposed, to approve Frank Vasallo’s request to change the zoning for his property from Single-Family Residential (R-1) to Conditional Mix Residential (R-3), which would make it consistent with the zoning of all other properties on the block. Previously, Zodrow and Besore expressed concern with the number of possible uses of land in the R-3 zones.

OTHER ACTION TAKEN

Audit Committee meeting: In a meeting preceding the Commission meeting, the Audit Committee, which consists of the mayor, four Commissioners and two members of the city’s Finance Advisory Committee, voted to hear presentations from four firms vying to be the city’s auditor – CliftonLarsenAllen, MSL, Mauldin & Jenkins and Carr Riggs & Ingram – at its Sept. 21 meeting

Sidewalk waiver requests: In two separate votes, Commission voted 5-0 to approve sidewalk waiver requests from Cary and Donna Linkfield at 530 7th St. N and Adam Simison at 2850 Philippe Parkway. Both applicants said the fee they are required to pay in lieu of building the sidewalks was higher than any nearby community, and Commission expressed interest in reviewing the city’s fees at a later date.

Planning & Zoning Board and Board of Appeals appointment: Commission voted 5-0 to promote alternate Steven Wurst to a full member and to appoint Marion Lindsay as the new alternate member.

Code Enforcement Board appointment: Commission voted 5-0 to promote alternate Scott Hood to a full member and to appoint Juanita Frazier as the new alternate member.

Fire Department calendar proceeds presentation: The city presented a check to the Humane Society of Pinellas for the proceeds raised from this year’s Fire Department calendar.

MISSED THE MEETING?

Watch a video of it on the city’s website here: https://safetyharbor.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=2282. Here is the link to watch the Audit Committee meeting: https://safetyharbor.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=2281

NEXT MEETING

7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 21, with a meeting of the Audit Committee preceding it at 6 p.m.

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