Tax break comes under fire
Fishermen sue over tracking device
Kingfish annexation to proceed
your ballot Nov. 7
candidates square off in Sun forum
commission hopefuls hold forth
candidates face the public
seeks quorum to form
Tax break comes
By Cindy Lane
sun staff writer
Manatee County Tax Collector Ken
Burton Jr. is working to put a new tax deferral ordinance
into operation in time to apply to this months
property tax bills, but he says its turning
out to be a Pandoras box.
The ordinance - adopted last month without input from
the tax collector, he said - was the Manatee County
Commissions response to complaints from tourist
accommodations owners about skyrocketing taxes.
It allows owners of certain properties to defer paying
the county portion of their property taxes. Taxes
levied by the school board, municipalities and other
taxing authorities must be paid in full.
While County Commissioner Pat Glass has called it
a "life boat," and Coalition Against Runaway
Taxation President Don Schroder has called it a "stop-gap
program," Burton is less encouraging.
"Its a wet Band-aid on a ruptured artery,"
he said at a press conference on Monday. "This
may be a viable alternative for somebody in desperation
For example, a property owner with property assessed
at $1 million with property taxes of $19,174 would
only have $2,281 deferred under the ordinance, calculated
on the 2002 value of the properties plus 5 percent
for each subsequent year. The rest of the taxes must
be paid by March 31, 2007, and the deferred amount
will accrue interest at about 5-6 percent, payable
when the property is sold or changes use. The tax
collectors office will have a lien on the property
to ensure payment.
In addition to offering limited assistance, the new
law treats property owners differently, with three
sets of rules depending on where their property is
located, he said.
For example, it allows tax deferments for all public
lodging establishments on Anna Maria Island and the
portion of Longboat Key located in Manatee County,
whether or not they are on the water. But it only
allows deferments for public lodging establishments
in the rest of Manatee County that adjoin a navigable
water body. So, a motel on the Manatee River is eligible
but a hotel across the street from the river is not,
A third set of rules applies to Cortez Village. All
property in the village, south of Cortez Road and
west of 102nd Street that is described and used as
recreational and commercial working waterfront under
Florida Statutes 342.07(2) is eligible, not just public
lodging establishments, but "docks, wharfs, lifts,
wet and dry marinas, boat ramps, boat hauling and
repair facilities, commercial fishing facilities,
boat construction facilities, and other support structures
over the water," according to the statute. But
similar water-related businesses on Anna Maria Island
are not included, only public lodging establishments,
The definition of "public lodging establishment"
is another Pandoras box, Burton said. It includes
a hotel, motel, resort condominium, non-transient
apartment, transient apartment, roominghouse, bed
and breakfast inn or resort dwelling, with definitions
for each. For example, a "resort condominium"
is any unit or group of units in a condominium, cooperative,
or timeshare plan which is rented more than three
times in a calendar year for periods of less than
Burton said he will interpret all the language "broadly,"
but will be cross-checking applications for fraud,
especially looking for taxpayers applying for the
tax exemption who claim to own a public lodging establishment
but do not pay the tourist tax. The deferment does
not apply to the tourist tax.
Adding to the complexity is that property owners seeking
the deferral must meet several requirements, including
proving they have fire, wind and flood insurance in
excess of the total of all outstanding liens, deferred
taxes, non-ad valorem assessments and interest.
In addition, the primary financing on the property
cannot exceed 70 percent of the assessed value of
the property, and the total amount of deferred taxes,
non-ad valorem assessments and interest plus the total
amount of all other unsatisfied liens on the property
cannot exceed 85 percent of the assessed value of
The Manatee County ordinance is apparently the first
one of its kind in Florida, Burton said, adding that
Palm Beach County is considering a similar plan.
Meanwhile, Burtons office will host a workshop
Monday night to explain the workings of the ordinance.
The Nov. 6 workshop at 7 p.m. at the Manatee Convention
Center in Palmetto will cover who is eligible for
the deferral and how to apply before the Jan. 31 deadline.
To determine eligibility for the program and download
an application, click on the "wizard" at
the tax collectors website, www.taxcollector.com.
over tracking device
By Cindy Lane
sun staff writer
CORTEZ Its not just the idea of being
constantly monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,
although thats about as appetizing as week-old
A new, satellite-based vessel monitoring system program
could put commercial fishermen out of business, according
to Cortez fisherman Glen Brooks, president of the
Gulf Fishermen's Association, which sued last week
to halt the program.
"It will flat out ruin everybody," he said.
The program, scheduled to take effect Dec. 7, requires
all boat owners with Gulf of Mexico commercial reef
fish permits to buy a satellite transmitter, pay for
it to be professionally installed, pay yearly communications
fees and pay to maintain it.
The unit transmits a signal once per hour identifying
the latitude and longitude of a vessel anywhere in
the Gulf of Mexico. The requirement is designed to
assist law enforcement officers in monitoring areas
closed to fishing and restricting fishing to protect
spawning fish or areas that are overfished, according
to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Buying and installing the transmitter will cost from
$3,495 to $3,800, according to NOAAs National
Marine Fisheries Service, with communication service
fees ranging from $480 to $660 a year.
For Brooks, who owns six boats, thats a bundle,
but while he predicts he will survive, its the
small operators who will really suffer, he said.
A program announced Friday by NOAA to reimburse boat
owners for up to $3,095 per transmitter does not eliminate
the economic impact of the program, he said.
"We still have to pay for installation and monitoring
fees, and most marine electronics dont last
long, so theres repair," he said, adding
that if the transmitter breaks down in the middle
of a deep-sea trip, the boat is required to stop fishing
and immediately return to dock for repairs, cutting
short the catch.
"Were barely making it as it is,"
said Brooks, who remembers that requirements 25 years
ago were a life jacket, a flare gun and a VHS radio.
Now, he said, there are emergency radio beacons, throw
rings, horns, books, charts, trip tickets, expense
reports, enough red tape to jam a propeller, and now,
what feels to some like a very expensive house arrest
"It never ends," he said. "Its
another bite out of what little profit we can make."
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH Commissioners have agreed to
pursue a voluntary annexation of Kingfish Boat Ramp
and a new interlocal agreement with the county to
City commissioners and residents of Westbay Cove have
been at odds with Manatee County officials regarding
increasing the ramps parking area and removing
the Brazilian peppers between the ramp and the condo.
Both the city and county had surveys done, which showed
that the ramp area, previously thought to be within
the city limits, was in the county.
"All were trying to do is define our city
limits," Mayor Carol Whitmore said. "We
re not looking to take over the boat ramp. We
just want our city limits to go to the bridge where
weve had them for 50 years."
Commissioner David Zaccagnino told commissioners of
his meeting with Manatee County Commission Chairman
Joe McClash and representatives of Westbay Cove to
try and reach a compromise.
Tentative plans include relocating palm tree islands
to increase parking and limit and define the ingress
and egress; removing the Brazilian peppers to the
west, possibly leaving a buffer between the condos
and the ramp; moving the permanent restroom location
closer to the ramp area; and directing overflow parking
to the Coquina Bayside ramps.
"It makes absolutely no sense to enlarge a boat
ramp that encourages people from Tampa, Lakeland and
east county to hook up a boat and drag it all the
way here to put in the water," Commissioner Roger
Lutz declared. "Build it where the boaters are."
Whitmore agreed with Lutz and said the county needs
to build more boat ramps, such as the one proposed
for the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
"For safety and police control, it would be an
advantage to annex it, but at the same time, we need
to have a new agreement with the county and find out
what control we have within that state right of way,"
Commission Chairman Rich Bohnenberger said.
City Attorney Patricia Petruff said the current interlocal
agreement expires at the end of the month.
"I dont want to upset them and think that
were trying to take over the ramp," Zaccagnino
"The boat ramp was built by the county when they
thought it was in the city" Bohnenberger pointed
Petruff said the Florida Department of Transportation
would still own the property and the ramp would still
be operated under the auspices of the county subject
to Holmes Beach regulations.
"The perceived disadvantage to the county would
be that the county would have to come to this commission
for site plan approval to make amendments to that
area," Petruff explained.
She suggested that Bohnenberger write McClash and
tell him that the city commission would like to explore
a voluntary annexation.
Cast your ballot
November 7 is election day and Island residents can
go to the following polling places to vote.
Anna Maria: Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive.
Bradenton Beach: Bradenton Beach City Hall, 107 Gulf
Holmes Beach: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 6608 Marina
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and residents
will need a photo I.D. to vote. Sun endorsements are
on Page 10 of todays edition.
square off in Sun forum
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH Candidates for two city commission
seats met last week at a forum sponsored by The Sun
to respond to questions posed by the citys residents.
Candidates include former Mayor and Commission Pat
Geyer, incumbent Commissioner Sandy Haas-Martens,
resident Sheila Hurst, former Commissioner Don Maloney
and Planning Commission Vice Chair John Monetti.
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 7, and voting is from
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The citys voters will cast
their ballots at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 6608
John Monetti is vice chair of the planning commission.
He has a bachelors degree in management from
Notre Dame and has been general manager of the Columbia
restaurant on St. Armands Circle for 12 years.
"I was instilled with a set of values that says
you need to have some balance in your life and make
a commitment to your family, your work and your community,"
he explained. "I believe you should give back
to your community in any way you can.
"I think I can help the community most by running
for this city commission. A number of people in positions
of leadership in the community approached me and felt
I had something to offer, that being a common sense
approach to maintaining the beauty and balance of
Sandy Haas-Martens, an eight-year veteran of the city
commission, serves a vice chairperson of the Manatee
County Tourist Development Council. She retired in
1995 as vice president and branch manager of First
of America Bank.
"I have either worked and lived out here since
1969, and I have been very active in the community"
she said. "After I retired from banking, I decided
to give back to the community that helped me with
"I want to continue to bring the leadership and
dignity that weve worked for the past eight
years and to continue working with local state, city
and county governments.
Don Maloney is currently on the citys code enforcement
board and served on the city commission for nine years.
Maloney is retired from the Harris Corporation, where
he worked in management for 30 years.
"Service has always been one of my major talents,"
Maloney pointed out. "During my 10 years with
the city, I served actively as liaison to Florida
and National leagues of cities, Florida Emergency
Preparedness Association and both our governors
and national hurricane conferences.
"All Ive been involved in provided opportunities
to bring back to Holmes Beach the many ideas and suggestions
to help with some of our own existing problems and
by learning from difficulties that other similar cities
Pat Geyer served as a commissioner from 1970 to 1990
and mayor from 1990 to 1994 and owns the popular Duffys
Tavern. She is active in the Anna Maria Island Community
Center, Anna Maria Elementary School, the Privateers
Scholarship program and Island Girl Scout troops.
"I first came to the Island in54, built
a house in 55 and moved here in 61,"
Geyer said. "I raised five daughters and have
been in business at Duffys since 71.
"I do hear a lot of complaining and a lot of
good things that people say about Holmes Beach. A
little common sense is all we need and I plan to keep
the Island a paradise forever."
Sheila Hurst has been an addiction therapist at Manatee
Glens for the past three years. She is president of
Save Anna Maria, serves on the board of directors
of the Holmes Beach Civic Association and is a former
member of the citys beautification board.
"Ive lived on the Island for over 12 years,
leaving briefly to go back to New York to finish my
masters degree at SUNY Albany, always knowing
that we would be back." she said.
"I am the president of Save Anna Maria, a little
community organization that takes on a lot of these
tough issues," Hurst said. "One of the biggest
things that Ive learned is to listen to you
guys. If people arent heard, they get discouraged
and walk away."
Q: Would you support consolidation of services
or do you think its a dead idea?
Haas-Martens said she thinks Island consolidation
is a dead idea and she does not support consolidation
of services. Geyer and Hurst think consolidation of
services could be pursued. Monetti and Maloney said
the voters approved a study of Island consolidation
and the commission should honor their wishes.
Q: What will you do about the increasing taxes on
business owners and residents?
Maloney, Geyer, Haas-Martens and Monetti said they
think the planning commissions proposed mixed-use
district, which would allow residences above business
in the commercial district, would be beneficial to
Maloney said businesses should be taxed based on their
profits like people pay income taxes. Monetti said
businesses should be taxed on their actual use not
on highest and best use. Haas-Martens said she would
work with the local legislative delegation, and Geyer
said she supports CART (Coalition Against Runaway
Taxes). Hurst said she would seek solutions from professionals.
Q: What will you do about the escalating cost of wind
insurance and its availability to Island property
All the candidates said they would lobby their local
legislative delegation because relief has to come
from the state level.
Q: What can be done to stop the exodus of businesses
from the Island?
Haas-Martens and Geyer said residents should patronize
Island businesses. Maloney said business owners and
officials should lobby in Tallahassee. Hurst said
she would consult experts. Monetti said officials
must take a hard look at the effects of the exodus
and find solutions to help the businesses.
Q: What is the one thing that you believe would improve
life in Holmes Beach in the next 10 years?
Monetti: If we could figure out a way to maintain
what we have now and accommodate development out east
such as increasing trolley service from in town and
enhancing opportunities for people to use their recreational
time in town.
Haas-Martens: Support the trolley, the skate park
and other recreational activities, the Community Center,
All Island Denominations the things that make
the Island what it is.
Maloney: We need to get our citizens more involved
in city government. We need to listen to their desires
and do something about it.
Geyer: Try to keep it the nice place it is.
Hurst: Community, neighborhood, thats what counts.
Be more environmentally aware and promote more eco-tourism.
hopefuls hold forth
By Laurie Krosney
sun staff writer
ANNA MARIA It was a full house as candidates
for mayor and city commission sat on the dais and
touted their campaigns.
The 2006 Sun Candidates Forum on Oct. 26 was
marked with some tense moments as a few barbs were
exchanged, but for the most part, the candidates stuck
to the issues.
There are two candidates running for mayor: Fran Barford
and Tom Turner. Three candidates are running for two
seats on the city commission: incumbents Linda Cramer
and Duke Miller and challenger Jo Ann Mattick.
Each candidate got three minutes to introduce him
Fran Barford noted she has an extensive background
in government. She was a commissioner and mayor in
Temple Terrace. Shes served on the Tampa Bay
Regional Planning Council and has chaired major committees
with the Florida League of Cities.
Currently, Barford chairs Anna Marias planning
and zoning board. She is active in many local civic
organizations and serves is a long-range planner for
Roser Memorial Community Church.
Barford, a retired occupational therapist, and her
husband, George, a retired labor relations attorney,
have owned property in Anna Maria since 1987.
Tom Turner served for six years on the citys
planning and zoning board. He also served four years
on the code enforcement board.
As a member of planning and zoning, he helped write
the citys land development regulations. He said
his one regret about those codes is that the city
commission did not take his advice and insert a sunset
clause into every ordinance so the city would automatically
have to review each code at some point in time.
Turner spent his career in the Air Force. Hes
a pilot who has flown missions all over the world.
Upon his retirement from the service, Turner became
an insurance claims adjuster.
Turner was active in the city until his late wife,
Angie, fell ill. He then spent the next two years
caring for her. After his wifes death, Turner
has again turned his attention to the city and is
a regular at city commission meetings.
Linda Cramer is seeking a fourth term on the commission.
Shes lived in the city for 26 years. She is
an independent painting contractor who lives with
her 20-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son.
Jo Ann Mattick has lived in the city since 2001. She
came to the city from Cincinnati where she worked
in the medical field. She was responsible for getting
the city a $300,000 grant from the state to use to
make the business district more attractive and pedestrian-friendly.
Three of Matticks five children and several
of her grandchildren live nearby.
Mattick said one of her main goals would be to reduce
the amount of money spent on experts such as legal,
engineering and planning advisors.
Duke Miller is seeking a third term on the commission.
His family has owned property on the Island for 50
years, and hes been coming here since his childhood.
Miller and his wife, Linda, have lived here permanently
Property taxes and insurance
The forum audience submitted questions to the
candidates. One of the most often submitted questioned
was what, if anything, could be done at the local
level to curtail high property taxes and out-of-control
Turner said hed like to see property taxes based
on the actual use of a property rather than the highest
and best use standard that is currently used.
"Id like to see the three Island cities
and Longboat Key work at the county level to knock
off that best use basis for taxing," Turner said.
"One of my goals as mayor would be to form a
coalition and go to the county commission and the
property appraiser to get this straightened out."
He said that as far as he can see, there is little
that can be done about insurance rates.
"That has to come from the federal level,"
Barford said she thinks both issues can be addressed
We should get a groundswell," she said. "At
the municipal level, thats all we can do. Were
seeing people upset about this. I think the Florida
League of Cities is would be a good vehicle. Theyve
protected home rule. It has to come from the ground
Mattick said she thinks the cities and the citizens
should form some kind of a voting block.
"We have to make our city heard in Tallahassee,"
she said. "We need to reach a solution. A lot
of people are moving out of the county."
Cramer said both property taxes and insurance rates
are something that the city needs to do some lobbying
"In my platform, thats one of the most
challenging things going on at the city and the county
level," she said. "There need to be better
guidelines at the county assessment level."
Miller said that property taxes and insurance are
the two of the biggest issues facing everyone today.
"There is nothing the city commission can do
as a voting body," he said. "There is no
jurisdiction. But as Ive said before, we who
live on the Island represent five percent of the countys
population, but our taxes pay for 20 percent of the
With his tongue in his cheek, Miller said that short
of seceding from the county, which "isnt
quite practical," hed suggest the formation
of steering committee that could monitor events.
"We need to present a unified front and especially
to stop the erosion of the business base that the
high taxes and insurance rates area causing,"
The citys business climate
Barford said that in chairing the P&Z board
while it was working on the comp plan, she realized
that the business community hadnt gotten a fair
deal in the past.
"Its tough to make it with the wind insurance
and the taxes," she said. "I think weve
done a lot to help business with the current version
of the comp plan."
Turner said it is tough to open a business on Pine
"For somebody to open a business, it would take
$300,000 to buy the land and another $300,000 to build.
Nobody can come out here and expect to make a profit."
Miller said he volunteered to work with the Anna Maria
Merchants Association, but no one took him up
on his offer.
"I offered my marketing background to help out,"
he said. "No one took me up on it, and I understand
theyre not active now. I think the key is to
encourage some kind of activity that will draw people
Cramer said that the tax and insurance base that businesses
have to handle "is quite burdensome."
She said that she thinks planning is the key to the
commercial development of Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue.
"I think that we need a walkable community to
revitalize our business community," she said.
"We dont want to turn it into a manicured
landscape, pristine, but we want to enhance our village
Cramer referred to a $3,500 line item that she wasnt
able to get into the city budget to pay for a consultant
who works on walkable community plans.
She also said she thinks that more festivals such
as Bayfest would help the business community.
Mattick noted that she had owned her own business
in the city, but there wasnt a lot of support.
"I feel we didnt get the support,"
she said. "It involved long hours. Maybe it wasnt
the right business. Real estate seems to be OK, but
here on the north end of the Island, we dont
get a lot of people,"
She said tourism has dropped off and some of the small
motels have been converted to condos, because they
werent able to make improvements or get insurance.
Coastal overlay district (COD)
The city is studying the idea of more strict building
regulations in the area running along the water side
of the city from Gulf Drive around Bean Point and
on to Bimini Bay. There has been an outside legal
opinion from a land use expert that said certain clauses
in the ordinance need to be tweaked or the city could
face challenges under the Bert Harris Act.
Cramer said she thinks further study is needed and
there is time to do that with the building moratorium
in place in that district.
"Im not sure we need it, especially if
there will be legal challenges," she said. "We
should be able to protect the dune system with the
Mattick said that in her opinion, the whole idea for
the COD came from a questionable source.
"In my opinion, this was generated by a resident
on North Shore Drive," Mattick said. "It
was about unplatted lots on North Shore. In my view,
it was to protect their view, not for health, safety
She said that she thinks approval of the COD would
open the city to lawsuits for taking away property
At that point, Mattick accused Miller of endorsing
11,000 square foot houses.
"Ms Mattick has taken things totally out of context,"
he said. "Our planner said there are some houses
that size on the north end of Siesta Key where someone
tore down 15 houses, combined five lots and built
11,000 square foot houses. Siesta Key had to react.
We are looking at the COD so we dont have that
Miller said he doesnt know if hes in favor
of the COD or not.
"Were still studying it," he said.
Barford said she thinks the issue needs close attention.
"The attorney has raised red flags and it really
hit me that if we try to do a lean budget and we get
lawsuits, Im just not sure we need it,"
Turner said he thinks the whole idea has been a waste
"Strengthen the preservation areas in the comprehensive
plan, and that eliminates it," he said. "Its
shut down and goes no further.
The issue of attendance came up. Both Miller and
Cramer missed a number of meetings. Cramer said she
had missed meetings to attend her daughters
basketball games, for health reasons and to work in
Arcadia after Hurricane Charley.
Miller said he had missed some meetings, because he
had to be out of town as he and his wife chair the
Southern Academy of Peridontology and have to attend
annual meetings. He said he thinks the issue can be
avoided with increasingly flexible commission meeting
All the candidates urged everyone to go to the polls
and vote on Nov. 7.
face the public
By Pay Copeland
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH Sarah Meaker and Carol Whitmore,
who are seeking the Manatee County Commission District
6 at large seat, met to respond to questions at The
Suns forum for city commission candidates last
Each gave an opening statement and answered three
questions posed by The Suns editorial staff.
Whitmore, the current mayor of Holmes Beach has been
in office as a commissioner or mayor since 1991. She
is an RN and currently works in the office of her
husband, Dr. Andre Renard.
"I have the experience to represent all of Manatee
County," Whitmore said. "I drive from the
Island to University Parkway every day, so I m
aware of whats going on throughout the county.
"I have good relationships with all the mayors
in the county and the county commissioners. I have
committed to quitting my job and working full time
for Manatee County."
Meaker is a resource specialist for alternative certification
for the Manatee County School system. She has a PhD
in leadership education with a specialization in human
resource development, a masters degree in instructional
leadership and BA in arts of political science.
"I had my own business, an international business,
for 12 years," Meaker said. "I have dealt
with the U.S. and Florida departments of education.
I have been appointed to a national task force through
"I want to preserve the quality of life in Manatee
County. I came here because of the beauty. I want
to preserve that and create more of that."
Q: Would you lower the tax rate given the fact
that the appreciation of real estate in the county
will continue to increase?
Meaker: Its more than lowering the milage rate.
The other piece of the pie is doing something to stabilize
the amount of money collected. Theres a provision
in the statute that says we can hold taxes to the
level that they are.
We should do something to get to that point, so the
increases we have for a few years are just inflationary
increases, and force county government to live within
Whitmore: I have not raised the milage since Ive
been mayor and lowered it two times. I believe in
living within your means, but I cant make a
commitment until I look at the county budget.
I have ideas on lowering the milage that I want to
bring forward because Ive been fiscally conservative.
But I want to meet with staff before I bring it to
the county commission.
Q: What can you do as county commissioner to help
people with the insurance crisis?
Whitmore: It was one of my top issues when I met with
Sen. Bennett to see what he could do to help us. It
is definitely a state issue, so we have to be able
to have the relationships to deal with our state legislators.
I know theyre going to have a special session
with the governor. I feel that we have to be able
to go to Tallahassee to lobby.
Meaker: The county commission and the state need balance.
When the state passed this bill that left us with
these high insurance prices, no one at the local level
was screaming for the people of Manatee County.
One of the first things I will do is I will contact
the state legislators and ask that they immediately
call for a special session to work on the insurance
Q: How would you resolve the situation at Kingfish
Meaker: A semi-agreement has been reached between
the residents and the county. I would like to see
that play out. Whenever we have these issues, its
important for people to come together and learn to
collaborate and learn to mediate through differences
instead of taking sides and screaming.
Whitmore: Theres two issues defining
the city boundaries and maintaining the ramp. Last
night, our commission decided to look at proceeding
with moving the city limits to the bridge and having
the county maintain the ramp.
quorum to form
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
BRADENTON BEACH The group that will handle
the citys Waterfronts Florida designation found
out last week that it never accepted its bylaws, but
fell short of having the required number of members
present to take a vote to correct the situation.
WAVES (Waterfronts Accessible, Viable, Ecological
Sustainable) was formed after the city won Waterfronts
Florida status earlier this year and was put under
the auspices of Bradenton Beach Programs/Projects
Manager Dottie Poindexter.
After Poindexter resigned last month, City Commissioner
Lisa Marie Phillips stepped in as intermediate facilitator
until the city finds a replacement for Poindexter.
During the meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 25, only six
voting members showed up. The group had 16 voting
members and two non-voting members.
A list of members showed that one member, Michael
Bazzy, had resigned and four others were listed as
not members any longer due to absence, although the
group never voted them out.
Phillips pointed out that the group had never voted
on bylaws and they were able to get one of the absent
members, David Teitelbaum, on a cell phone. It was
suggested that he could vote by phone to make what
they felt was a quorum, but Mayor John Chappie disagreed.
"It was stated in the bylaws, that it should
be members present," he said. "If you want
to put it in the bylaws that members could vote by
phone, you could, but you need to vote to accept them
Phillips decided that they did not have a quorum and
set the next meeting for Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 4
p.m. She then updated those present on a number of
Phillips had ordered 1,000 canvas bags, which she
and other members had been passing out as a way to
urge people to quit using plastic bags. She said that
the plastic bags blow around, especially at the beach,
and end up littering the water and sand and endangering
fish and turtles that try to eat them.
Phillips said she passed out hundreds of bags during
Bayfest, where WAVES had a booth. She said people
were enthusiastic about using the canvas bags.
"One reason they are so popular is because theyre
free," she admitted. "I have no problem
with that. If we can affect a culture change, its
Phillips said they are almost out of the bags, which
cost $2.10 each and talked about getting the local
business community to help purchase new ones.
She suggested having the businesses, such as resorts
and restaurants, print their name on one side and
the WAVES logo on the other and give them out to their
Dawn Betts, who works for Teitelbaum at his resorts,
said they would be good to hold information for visitors
to the city. Since there was no quorum, the group
decided to discuss the subject at a subsequent meeting.
Ed Chiles asked about a followup to the Dan Burdens
lecture on Walkable Communities that WAVES sponsored.
"I would like to have him return to the city
to do am audit by walking around and seeing where
we could make improvements," Phillips said. "He
could make specific recommendations."
Phillips said Burdens rate is $2,000 per day,
and they would need to look for a grant to pay for
The group adjourned an hour after the meeting started,
and Phillips asked the city clerks office to
e-mail members before the next meeting so they could
have a quorum and be able to vote.