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Commission approves mayor's new building official

While discussion of Anna Maria's proposed cell tower ordinance dominated the Oct. 23 city commission meeting (see separate story), the commission did transact other business, including approval of a salary of $52,500 for Kevin Donohue as the city's new building official.

Mayor SueLynn presented Donohue's qualifications to the commission and said of the three candidates she interviewed after Larry Hilton of Arcadia turned down the job, Donohue was the most qualified.

He'll also "fit in" with the city and its people, she said, and in Anna Maria, that's a plus.

Commissioners agreed and voted unanimously to approve the salary, contingent upon Donohue obtaining his building inspector's certificate from the state licensing board. That's expected within the next two weeks, the mayor said.

Donohue will begin his duties officially on Nov. 3, but SueLynn said he'll be around city hall on Oct. 27 and Oct. 31 to get acquainted with the city and staff, and she invited commissioners to meet him personally those days.

In other commission business, SueLynn said the long-awaited plans for remodeling of city hall should be ready by Oct. 31 and she'll schedule a meeting as soon as possible with interested contractors to hand out a bid package.

Commissioners also approved an ordinance for residential trash and yard waste pickup that says containers and trash shall be placed for collection "no earlier than 5 p.m. of the day prior to the scheduled collection," and removed "not later than 9 p.m. of the day of collection."

The previous ordinance used sunrise to sundown as the times for placement and pickup of trash and containers.

At the same time, the ordinance requiring rear-door pickup for property owners who don't live in the city will have its public hearing at the Nov. 13 commission meeting.

While the garbage and yard waste ordinance has no fine schedule, City Attorney Jim Dye pointed out that habitual offenders could ultimately appear before the code enforcement board, which has the right to levy a fine.

Resident Dale Powers suggested that instead of people turning in their neighbor for leaving a trash container outside, they should "help your neighbor" and return the offending container to its proper location.

The commission also passed an amendment to the high-grass and abandoned-property ordinance, which identifies turf grass in excess of 12 inches in average height as a nuisance.

In addition, the amendment defines abandoned property and requires motor vehicles to have current license plates, even if on private property. A maximum of two non-operating but not abandoned motor vehicles are allowed on private property under the amendment.

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