Home / Government / SHCC Makes Decisions On City Manager, Term Limit Issues

SHCC Makes Decisions On City Manager, Term Limit Issues

The Safety Harbor City Commission
The Safety Harbor City Commission. File photo.

During its meeting last Monday night, the Safety Harbor City Commission once again addressed some controversial recommendations made by the Charter Review Committee earlier this month.

The CRC presented a number of recommendations for amendments to the city charter during the November 3 commission meeting, and two in particular stood out: requiring the city manager to live in Safety Harbor, and restricting the term limits of board members to two consecutive terms.

The suggestions were met with much debate by members of the commission, who expressed displeasure over the wording of the amendments as well as what was perceived as the not-so-veiled nature of the recommendations.

Commissioner Carlos Diaz.
Commissioner Carlos Diaz.

“I think us asking for residency kind of goes against Matt Spoor,” Commissioner Carlos Diaz said during his commission report on November 17, referring to the fact that the current city manager doesn’t live in Safety Harbor. “To me it’s kind of a slap in the face to a person who’s done a great job. So I really think we need to reconsider that.”

“Maybe the CRC doesn’t have something personal directed at Matt Spoor, but what if we take somebody else just because he’s a resident of Safety Harbor? I think it’s got to be the best man for the job.”

Other commissioners agreed with Diaz, suggesting they add a clause that will allow Spoor to remain as city manager no matter how the final vote on the charter amendments plays out.

“I agree with everything he’s saying. I think it’s a lot more of a personal agenda than anything that makes any sense whatsoever for the city,” Commissioner Rick Blake concurred.

City Manager Matt Spoor.
City Manager Matt Spoor.

“I’d recommend that in Matt’s current contract we create an addendum that excuses him from everything we talked about.”

Mayor Andy Steingold agreed they should put a clause in the charter grandfathering Spoor in, and the five commissioners then gave a consensus to do so.

For his part, Spoor said he didn’t believe the CRC had any personal agenda towards him, and Commissioner Andy Zodrow noted that the CRC did include wording that allows the commission to waive the residency requirement.

“I just want to reiterate that there is the provision that the commission can waive the requirement,” Zodrow said. “So to me it’s a lot of discussion over something that’s not really a big issue.”

In regards to the the advisory board term limits, the commission addressed a perceived slant towards the makeup of the planning and board in relation to makeup of the other advisory boards.

“There are people that may have been serving on the P&Z that have development interests in the city of Safety Harbor, and I’ve heard in the past that the appearance of different people on the board to the general public has become an issue,” Mayor Steingold said.

“My suggestion is instead of changing the makeup of all of these boards, it may behoove us to address any public concern by addressing the resolution itself that establishes the P&Z board.”

“It’s just acknowledging that all of this has come about because of a personal agenda with the planning and zoning board, so I agree with you one hundred percent, we should address it,” Commissioner Blake added.

Vice Mayor Cliff Merz.
Vice Mayor Cliff Merz.

But Vice Mayor Cliff Merz stressed that the inability to get qualified candidates for many of the city’s advisory boards is the real issue that needs to be addressed.

“In addition to just looking at one (board), I think we should look at all of them,” Merz said. “I think a citywide effort to increase participation is critical.”

“The fact that we only have a few people wanting to get on these boards speaks of a need to get out there and see if we can drum up more support.”

Ultimately the commissioners decided to address the advisory board issue, and whether or not to separate the P&Z from the other boards, during the next commission meeting on Monday, Dec. 1.


Note: Commissioner Rick Blake owns the parent company of Safety Harbor Connect.


  1. I believe a resident of the county for a city manager is the correct decision, so much of what happens in SH and the county are interconnected and requires the city manager to be part of those considerations.
    I also believe their should be board term limits, if people are willing to serve then they could rotate committees and that would be best for SH. With an opportunity to serve on other boards one gains a better view of our city and it operations.

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