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08.24.06 -- REPORT: Council keeps code enforcement , site plan approval under town control

Council keeps code enforcement , site plan approval under town control

By CHER PHILLIPS

McINTOSH -- In a special meeting tonight called by Mayor Marsha Strange, the McIntosh Town Council decided to temporarily retain control of code enforcement and site plan approval. The council effectively took a hot-button issue on the town's agenda and delegated it to the town clerk to handle.

A contract submitted by Capri Engineering was voted down because the bid included clauses the company handling code enforcement and council members felt this was outside the purview of what they were asking of the company. Last week, the council voted to ask Capri to handle their site plan approvals but sent an interlocal agreement to Marion County for them to consider taking on code enforcement.

Council Member Lee Deaderick proposed and the council approved Town Clerk Julie Musselman taking on the responsibility of hiring a point person to approve site plans for 60 days. The council also gave Musselman the responsibility of hiring a code enforcement officer on an interim basis until the town can negotiate an agreement with Marion County.

Last week, the council agreed to send Marion County an interlocal agreement asking them to cover the town's code enforcement.

At that meeting, Council Member Lee Deaderick was concerned about removing powers over smaller code infractions to the county level. The council argued tonight about how to handle code enforcement while the county and town negotiate if and when the town's code enforcement can be handled by the county.

One concern is determining which code infractions would go to the county level and which would stay at the local level and how that determination would be made. This responsibility will now fall into the lap of the town clerk. Both the temporary code enforcement officer and the interim site plan approval employee will be hired at Musselman's discretion and will report to her.

Resident Joe Phillips, former council president, voiced a partial concern from the floor without completing the full sentence that the clerk was not qualified to hire employees for these duties. He did not elaborate when asked by Deaderick.

Either way, council unanimously voted to delegate this control to Musselman, specifically addressing her level of qualification.

However, by removing these duties from direct council control, the town leaders are, in essence, getting themselves out of the hot seat.

Over the summer, the council had been slowly torn apart with members resigning and a great deal of public frustration over how some matters were handled in town, especially code enforcement. Deaderick said that handing this task over to Musselman wasn't an attempt on his part to get out of making a decision but that in the past, the clerk made these kinds of hiring decisions.

In other news:

The Town Council accepted Joe Phillips resignation with regret. His seat will go up for election on Nov. 7. The qualifying period for those interested in applying will be from Aug. 28 at noon through Sept. 1 at noon. Qualifying packages are available in the town office.

The council did not vote on a new president this week. Vice President Frank Ciotti said he'd like to remain as the second in command. Voting in a new president, as well as appointing a temporary council member to Phillips' vacated seat will hit the September meeting's agenda.


Audio file is available for download: Special Meeting Aug. 24 (18.8 mb windows media file)

posted by Cher @ 9:41 PM,

1 Comments:

At   August 29, 2006 9:55 AM     ,    Blogger fisherwife    said...

Lee Deaderick is attempting to hand over the rightful duties to Mrs. Musselman. It is the job of the town manager to handle all things administrative. The council is a legislative body. If Musselman is not qualified, it will come to light. Personally, I hope she is equal to the task. Organizations run best when each party knows their job and then they do it without the interference of others.

 

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Editor and Publisher:

I'm Cher From McIntosh, FL I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida working on a master's degree in Mass Communication. While I was finishing my undergrad degree in journalism last year, I reported on McIntosh, Fla. for an in-depth reporting class. I figured that the reporting and the public record files should go somewhere people can access them. Reporters don't report to keep the information they find to themselves. Some of that reporting is included here in a forum that allows response. McIntosh suffers because with no news coverage, the local government and the rumor mill have too much potential to run rampant over residents. I moved to McIntosh in the fall of 1999. My profile

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The primary purpose of this blog is to accurately reflect what happens in town public meetings and dispel rumors. I record the meetings and make them available for download. One of the goals of this blog is to offer residents a place to voice opinions. The comments, views and opinions expressed there are not necessarily those of the editor.

 
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