Home / Government / Commission talks building height again and honors City Manager

Commission talks building height again and honors City Manager


Even with no vote planned or taken, downtown building heights dominated the April 1 Safety Harbor City Commission meeting, which kicked off with City Manager Matthew Spoor being surprised with a birthday video tribute on what was dubbed “City Manager Day.”

City Manager Matthew Spoor’s family was on hand as he was honored on his birthday, which was proclaimed “City Manager Day.” (Kim Nicholls)

Spoor, who has worked for the city for 15 years, the past 11 as city manager, was surprised when several relatives, including his wife and three children, streamed into Commission chambers just after the meeting started. Mayor Joe Ayoub then read a proclamation designating April 1 as “City Manager Day,” followed by a humorous video of city staff members thanking Spoor for his service to Safety Harbor.


The issue that has dominated Commission meetings for the past year was again front and center, as several residents shared their views even though no official action was scheduled or taken. However, Commissioners did officially agree on a cap of no more than three stories for downtown buildings while the process of deciding on specific heights and desired architectural features continues.

The city’s Planning & Zoning Board held the first of two meetings to develop suggestions for those desired architectural features for Commission to consider in March, and it will finish those discussions at its April 10 meeting and report back to Commission on May 6.


Special events applications: Commission voted 4-1 to approve three upcoming events at Waterfront Park – Melons for Moolah on July 6, Art & Seafood by the Bay in February and Bands on the Bay in March – and to waive city fees for the Melons event, which will benefit the Safety Harbor Public Library Foundation. Vice Mayor Cliff Merz said he was in favor of all three events, but did not want to waive fees for the Melons event.

Wine Festival beneficiaries: Commission voted 5-0 to make Huddle in the Harbor, the Rotary Club of Safety Harbor, the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center and the Safety Harbor Public Library Foundation the beneficiaries of this November’s Wine Festival.

Annual update to the Capital Improvements Element: Commission voted 5-0 to approve this year’s update to the Capital Improvements Element and Level of Service review.

Poet Laureate appointment: Commission voted 5-0 to appoint Steve Kistulentz the city’s poet laureate for the next three years.

Baranoff Oak closing art presentation: Artist Dale Dervin presented the Commission a portrait of the closing ceremony for the Baranoff Oak property.

Career Online High School diploma presentation: Jennifer Fuehrer, who recently graduated from the Career Online High School program, was unable to attend Monday’s meeting, where she was to receive her diploma, but Library Director Lisa Kothe thanked Commission for funding the project when the state stopped doing so.

Donate Life Month presentation: April 2019 was proclaimed Donate Life Month.


Watch the video of the regular City Commission meeting it on the city’s website here: http://safetyharbor.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=2087.


7 p.m., Monday, April 15.


  1. I would also like to say “Happy Birthday” and “Happy City Manager Day” to Matt Spoor, the best and coolest City Manager in the Tampa Bay region. Everyone should go online and watch the surprise video that the City employees and Matt’s family put together for him at the last commission meeting. It is obvious how much the City employees and his family appreciate Matt and all he does for everyone.

    Even though I have e-mailed Matt hundreds of times over the years about many city issues, he has always responded to my many questions, complaints, and comments. We have been lucky to have Matt Spoor as our City Manager during the past 11 years as he helped steer our city is such a positive direction. Our city has never been more attractive to the residents and visitors and this was confirmed by the recent filming of a Hallmark movie here.

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