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Quick Safety Harbor City Commission meeting expected


Don’t blink Monday night. If you do, you might miss a very quick meeting of the Safety Harbor City Commission.

Monday’s meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Here is the link to the agenda, with additional material, known as “backup,” available via the hyperlink on each item: https://safetyharbor.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=6&event_id=1670&meta_id=137539.

If signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, CS/HB 1159 would prevent cities from requiring citizens to get permits or pay fees to remove certain trees on their property. (Scott Long)

With City Manager Matthew Spoor and Commission Andy Zodrow scheduled to be out of town, the agenda contains just one item – discussion of a resolution urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto CS/HB 1159, one of the many attempts by the Florida Legislature to seize power from local governments.

The House Bill, which passed on April 26, would restrict cities from requiring permits or fees from residents who want to trim or remove “dangerous” trees from their property if they have a statement from an arborist or landscape architect saying the tree should be removed, and it restricts cities from requiring that trees be replanted. It also removes a requirement that utility companies get approval before trimming trees in right-of-ways.

At its last meeting, Commission asked city staff to draft a resolution in opposition to the bill.


Consent agenda: Items expected to have little debate, such as approval of the last meeting’s minutes and most contracts, are included en masse in the consent agenda, though any Commissioner can ask for any item to be considered separately. This meeting’s consent agenda includes only the approval of last meeting’s minutes.


Attend the meeting: The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 750 Main St. Meetings typically run from 1.5 to three hours. Residents are given the opportunity to speak on all agenda items, except for presentations and consent agenda items. Come forward when asked by the mayor, state your name and address, and you’ll be given three minutes to address the Commission. For any issues not on the agenda, or any item that is on the consent agenda, residents get three minutes to speak at the beginning of the meeting during “Audience to be Heard.”  

Watch from home: Meetings are live-streamed to the city’s website at http://cityofsafetyharbor.com/557/Streaming-Media. The following day, a video of the meeting is posted for residents to watch.

Contact your Commissioners in advance by leaving them a message at City Hall at (727) 724-1555 or emailing them:

Mayor Joe Ayoub – jayoub@cityofsafetyharbor.com

Vice Mayor Cliff Merz – cmerz@cityofsafetyharbor.com

Commissioner Carlos Diaz – cdiaz@cityofsafetyharbor.com

Commissioner Andy Zodrow – azodrow@cityofsafetyharbor.com

Commissioner Nancy Besore – nbesore@cityofsafetyharbor.com


  1. I agree that our state government needs to stay out of the business of our local governments. However I do not think it is fair to require a permit fee or any fee if I have a dangerous sick tree that a tree company arborist has deemed as unsafe in my yard. I have no problem having our Safety Harbor arborist inspect my trees to confirm the condition as stated by the tree company arborist. I am also fine with planting another tree. The cost of tree removal by a licensed tree company is bad enough. Our city charging us fees in this case is not necessary or fair to the citizens of Safety Harbor who are just trying to keep their yards looking nice.

  2. I really hope that our city commission adopts a resolution urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto CS/HB 1159. This new law, if adopted, would severely restrict our city’s ability to enforce our local tree ordinance. This is just the latest assault on cities and towns ability to rule themselves without interference from Tallahassee.

    Tallahassee politicians are now preempting whole fields of regulations stopping cities and town from regulating themselves. Unfortunately, Republicans who used to believe in the State Constitution’s Home Rule provision and also used to say that government that is closest to the people governs best, are now taking away the rights of local governments to regulate themselves. They have already or are attempting to prohibit governments from protecting trees, regulating billboards, cell towers, gas station signs, short term rentals, etc.

    Unfortunately, we are increasingly being regulated from politicians who are from other parts of the state and have never seen Safety Harbor. We are being told by them what is good for us even though they often know very little about us. Let’s stop this insanity with our state government in Tallahasse taking over all of our cities and towns. Before you vote in the next election, ask your local politician if they support the Home Rule provision of the State Constitution and do they support letting each local city and town regulate themselves. If this insanity doesn’t stop, every aspect of our local lives will soon be ruled by far away Tallahassee politicians.

    • FYI, both our “local” state representative James Grant AND senator Ed Hooper voted IN FAVOR of this resolution. We need SOMEONE to stand up to this travesty of control that the Florida Legislature has made over our local governments.
      Please support the creation of the city resolution to Governor Ron DeSantis to veto this bill. And, let’s flood his inbox with our own individual demands for his veto. (I did!)

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