McIntosh Mirror: Reflecting news in the Tosh

Want to impact your community? Many of McIntosh's citizen boards have open seats and a council at a loss as to how to fill them.

Light-up McIntosh December 15

Light-up McIntosh will begin at the Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. The event will host Santa Clause and an area choir from six local churches will sing.

10.06.06 -- Report: LPA's first meeting retraces old steps, hopes to move forward

LPA's first meeting retraces old steps, hope to move forward

McIntosh -- New members of the Land Planning agency held an organizational meeting last night electing chairmen and vice chairmen to both the LPA and the Board of Adjustment. Discussed were issues they'd like to tackle in the future, as well as grievances for how matters had been handled in the past on the board and in the town.

Board member Jim Walkup elected Charlsie Stott as board member of the LPA. The board then elected Randy Brown as vice chairman elect. Brown absence from Thursday's meeting was unexplained and a surprise to some members. Walkup said Brown had teased him at church about making sure he was there Thursday. Walkup and board member John Sapp both mentioned Brown's background with the LPA from years ago accounted for their electing him to a leadership role in his absence. Stott has a long history with LPA, as well, and was part of shaping the town's current comprehensive plan. John Sapp will serve as secretary for the LPA.

The LPA also serves as the Board of Adjustment. Last night the board nominated John Sapp as chairman and board member Joe Shea as vice chairman of the BOA. The BOA hears cases that deal with residents who would like to have something approved that goes beyond the land development codes. Often, this baord is the last chance some residents have to work out an issue with the town before they have to take the issue to court.

While Walkup and Shea are returning members of the LPA from earlier this year, they were as much in the dark as the new members as to where the LPA should be going and what had passed.

For instance, the minutes left to the LPA from the Aug. 14 meeting did not seem complete to Shea -- the only member in attendance this month who'd been to the meeting. The board had little choice but to approve them. Stott said that she did not think the minutes left for them could have represented all that was said in an hour and a half. Shea said a number of the questions asked of him during that meeting were not included in the minutes. He also said a tape made by former LPA Chairman Barbara Fellman had not been made available to the public upon request. Fellman was a public official when she made the tape. Shea's wife, Sue, was present at the August meeting recalls Fellman recording it. Shea remembers councilman Frank Ciotti explaining to her how to turn the tape over.

Shea said this was a heated meeting and ended in Fellman's resignation -- a resignation in which she read into the record inferring one LPA member acted inethically. Fellman also resigned from the BOA writing in her resignation that the council acted inethically when they rescinded a decision of the BOA under her tenure.

Walkup had another issue with how the LPA had been run in the past. He said that the town council charged the LPA to act as the BOA. But then issues came before the BOA, Fellman would not allow Walkup to vote on the BOA saying he was not approved to do so by the council.

Walkup also said he'd like to see the new LPA go through some of the ordinances generated in the last few months. One was the historic ordinance that the council passed in July under the protest of many people in town. Walkup pointed out that the council did not even read them when they passed them the first time. They passed them under a second reading dispite protests from residents. Sapp said that the council passed those ordinances and then a few weeks later 90 percent of the town showed up at the polls for a special election to vote against expansion of the historic district. He said that going back and looking at the ordinances might be a move toward healing in town.

Stott said they would have to ask the council about looking into these ordinances, as well as ask them what they'd like the LPA to accomplish. One issue she and Sapp agreed on was that the LPA did not need to rework the land development code for the sake of reworking it.

They said that first on their agendas will be to try to gather up the town's corrected charter and split up the minutes from the last year to determine if anything from the last year needs to be looked at, again. Another concern for the members were how closely they would be watched by some people in town who might want to catch them making mistakes. Stott counseled the members several times that what they would be doing would be gone over with "a fine tooth comb."

posted by Cher @ 1:41 PM,


At   October 06, 2006 5:12 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

What? A meeting in McIntosh and no one threatened or cursed someone.It sounds as though everyone was civil and interested in doing what is best for the entire town. Things are looking up.


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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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