Vol. 15 No. 33 - June 10, 2015
City’s rental ordinance gets a boost
ANNA MARIA – It appears to Anna Maria City Attorney Becky Vose that a June 1 ruling on a lawsuit against Flagler County over a vacation rental ordinance will have an effect on a similar lawsuit recently filed against the city of Anna Maria by developers of rental properties.
Vose received a copy of the ruling the day it was filed and then mailed the plaintiffs’ attorneys a draft motion for sanctions in the suit to require the plaintiffs to pay for the city’s legal expenses.
Her letter to the plaintiffs’ attorneys took note of the lawsuit against the plaintiffs’ claim that, “The regulation of the operation of short-term vacation properties is expressly pre-empted to the state of Florida.” More...
Parking ‘foot soldiers’ to hit the streets
ANNA MARIA – Eleven people, ranging from city employees to private citizens, took a parking enforcement specialist course last week at city hall. They will be the “foot soldiers” for the city’s crackdown on illegal parking, the last step before paid parking. Mayor Dan Murphy said if the city goes to paid and permit parking, these employees would enforce it.
Murphy selected a number of applicants to do the work because he wants more hours of enforcement – into the weekends and evenings – and the city employees would be able to trade some of the hours for comp time. More...
Metz issues new threat
BRADENTON BEACH – After filing and dismissing an unsuccessful recall lawsuit that cost city taxpayers $11,049, John Metz has threatened additional action against the city.
During Thursday’s commission meeting, Metz objected to the city paying the attorney fees produced by his failed efforts to have Jack Clarke removed from last month’s recall election ballot, which later led to Mayor Bill Shearon being removed from office and replaced by Clarke.
Metz voiced his objections while the commission discussed a consent agenda that included an invoice for City Attorney Ricinda Perry’s monthly services and a second invoice for $11,049 owed to attorney Andrea Flynn Mogensen’s law firm. More...
Zaccagnino cleared of ethics complaints
HOLMES BEACH – The Florida Commission on Ethics has cleared former Commissioner David Zaccagnino of ethics complaints filed by former Mayor Carmel Monti.
Monti filed the complaint on May 20, 2014, alleging that:
• Zaccagnino misused his position to persuade or attempt to persuade the building official to overlook building regulations regarding a tree house for a homeowner who also was Zaccagnino’s friend. More...
Robertson out as merchants’ liaison
BRADENTON BEACH – Commissioner Janie Robertson has been replaced as commission liaison to the Bridge Street Merchants.
During Thursday’s commission meeting, Mayor Jack Clarke appointed Commissioner Jan Vosburgh to serve as the new liaison to the merchants association, making a change sought by the merchants’ association.
“We requested a new liaison from the mayor that we believe was better aligned with the mission statement of our organization,” Bridge Street Merchants President Angela Rodocker said on Friday. More...
A familiar figure returns
BRADENTON BEACH – Former Mayor John Shaughnessy returned to the commission dais Thursday evening after been appointed to serve the remainder of Jack Clarke’s ward 1 commission term.
Last week’s commission meeting also saw longtime Commissioner Ed Straight selected to serve as vice mayor.
Shaughnessy and Straight’s appointments were necessitated by last month’s recall election, which resulted in Clarke, the former Ward 1 commissioner, ascending to the mayor’s position.
“Commissioner Straight has served on the dais for nearly five years and has prior experience as vice mayor More...
Pro tempore no more
BRADENTON BEACH – The term pro tempore has been removed from Terri Sanclemente’s job title.
During Thursday’s commission meeting, Sanclemente was appointed city clerk after serving as the acting city clerk since October.
“Pro tempore means for the time being. Terri Sanclemente has been city clerk pro tempore for most of the last year,” Mayor Jack Clarke said when he initiated the appointment.
“She’s made order out of chaos in the clerk’s office. She will continue to bring greater stability and focus to the job. She received top marks in her most recent job performance evaluation. She previously worked for the city from November 2006 to May 2012 directly under (former city clerk) Nora Isdo, but her recent service has been exceptional during a very trying period in our city administration,” Clarke said. More...
Sixty-one percent increase proposed for tourism marketing
The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) plans to spend $12.7 million to market Manatee County as a tourist destination over the next two fiscal years, 61 percent more than the previous two fiscal years.
The increase of about $4.8 million is due mostly to the addition of several new sports initiatives, CVB Director Elliott Falcione said.
The proposed tourism marketing budget is $5.34 million for fiscal year 2016 and $7.38 million for 2017. The same budget was $3.92 million for 2014 and $3.96 million for 2015.
Budget funds are generated by resort taxes paid by tourists to accommodations in the county. More...
Cortez film to be featured at festival
CORTEZ – The historic fishing village of Cortez is the backdrop for one of the films to be featured at the inaugural Skyway Film Festival June 12-14 at the Manatee Performing Arts Center.
“Paradise, FL,” filmed in Cortez in July 2014, premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival in April and is about a struggling oyster fisherman “who helps care for his friend's two young children and finds himself fighting for the family he didn't know that he needed,” according to the festival Website, http://www.skywayfilmfestival.org. More...
Fly fishing for tarpon
Tarpon are one of the premier gamefish that swim local waters and are a noble adversary on any tackle. The fish that frequent our beaches during the months of May through August can weigh over 200 pounds and average from 80 to 100 pounds. I’ll always remember the way a guide in the Keys described fly fishing for tarpon. In his words it is the “apex of angling.”
We are blessed with some of the best tarpon fishing in the world, and the local bars and inshore waters host some of the finest fly fishing to be found anywhere. This isn’t a game of numbers, and to the anglers who pursue tarpon on the fly, it’s the hunt and the eye to eye action that keep them on the bow for hours in the hot summer sun. More...
The potential of a mass frenzy
I fear we’re all coming down with a temporary madness. Is it something in the water, is it love or is it a mass frenzy that’s starting to raise its greedy head – again?
For a couple of months now I’ve been writing about and noticing real estate prices both in Florida, and particularly on Anna Maria, reaching pre-bubble-bursting levels. And we’re not alone. Nationally, there is what some real estate professionals are calling artificial sales numbers in some regions.
The real estate eggheads have put their pointy heads together and have come up with some of the reasons they think this is happening. For starters, there is a shortage of homes for sale. The ideal is to have a market balanced between buyers and sellers where there are enough available homes to satisfy demand. More...
“Robo-advisors” are hereInvestment Corner
The latest fad in investment advice is the use of automated, computer-driven investment programs to keep your portfolio in balance through constant adjustment initiated by the system and not requiring any human action. The term used for these programs, which number in the dozens, is “robo-advisor,” a word play on the robotic nature of the system. These firms are heavy advertisers with point and click ads on the internet and in print publications.
I am all for a disciplined approach to investing and the robo-advisors would seem to provide that discipline. The question is whether this particular discipline is the right one for you. Let’s take a look at the differences between using a robo-advisor and one with more of a human touch. More...
Team Gardner’s teens head to championship game
Team Gardner 40
Team Ray 32
Taking on the responsibility of coaching the youth at the Anna Maria Island Community Center is nothing new to the Center’s athletic department staff. This basketball season, Athletic Director Matt Ray coached two youth teams and Assistant Athletic Director Ray Gardner found himself heading up four teams. Their time and dedication make it possible for over 30 kids ranging in age from five to 17 to play with passion on the basketball court.
On Tuesday night, the two coaches once again found their teams meeting up for a spot in the championship game. The 14-to 17-year olds battled it out for two halves of play, ultimately finding Team Gardner on the top, clinching the final seat in the finals. More...
Tuesday Turtle Talks launched
BRADENTON BEACH – The first Tuesday Turtle Talk at Annie Silver Community Center drew about 25 people to learn about local efforts to save imperiled sea turtles.
Bill George, a 19-year volunteer with Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring, told the group that it’s worth putting in the hours, even at age 77, to keep a species that’s 250 million years old from going extinct like the dinosaurs.
Threatened loggerheads are the most common sea turtle on Anna Maria Island, deriving their name from a legend that sailors thought they were logs floating in the water, he said. A few green turtles also are sighted here each year. More...