McIntosh Mirror: Reflecting news in the Tosh

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07.16.07 -- REPORT: Council kills tree ordinance, repeals 2006 historic ordinance

By CHER PHILLIPS

The council made fall back decisions regarding the laws governing two aspects of that shape McIntosh's historic and aesthetic countenance.

After more than a year of work, the McIntosh Town Council tossed out a proposed tree ordinance written by members of the town's tree committee.

The tree ordinance traveled a rocky path undergoing rewrites after nearly every workshop and hearing before it reached last Thursday's public hearing, where council members finally killed it.

Councilman Lee Deaderick, who had been a vocal advocate against the new tree ordinance and steered discussion that reshaped the proposed law, said that the current committee did not seem to be able to come up with an ordinance the council would pass.

None of the tree committee members were present Thursday night. Under urging from Council President Frank Ciotti, Deaderick will now draft a new tree ordinance himself.

One issue council members had with the ordinance was that decisions made by the tree committee were to be held in public meetings. Council Vice President Howard Walkup stated again at Thursday night's meeting that he did not think a public meeting was needed to make the decision to take down a tree.

Florida's Sunshine Law says that contact between two members of a public board -- meaning meetings and therefore decisions -- have to be noticed and have minutes taken. The town's Tree Committee is a public board of appointed residents.

Therefore, as long as a public board is governing the decisions over which protected trees should be cut or trimmed, those meetings would have to be held in the Sunshine, as public meetings. The current ordinance already calls for decisions regarding cutting and trimming to be made in a public meeting, even though clause in the town's law has not recently been followed.

The council discussed a recent approval given by a tree committee member without a public meeting being held, as well as the town clerk giving approval to trim one of the limbs from a tree in Van Ness Park in preparation for the July 4 holiday. The council indicated they would most likely reprimand that tree committee member at a later meeting, when another citizen board member was reprimanded Thursday night.

The lack of an emergency clause for tree trimming and cutting was another issue council members had with the tree ordinance.

Over the last year, McIntosh applied to be a Tree City, U.S.A. The town's sprawling, moss-laden tree canopy is as much a part of its defining character as its historic district. Both the tree ordinance and the historic ordinance met with conflict when attempts were made to rewrite them in 2006.

During the same public hearing, the council repealed the 2006 historic ordinance for the second time, thereby eliminating it as McIntosh law. The historic board is now falling back to the town's old historic ordinance, which was voted back into law when it became clear that the 2006 ordinance would be repealed.

Walkup also attempted to remove Historic Board President June Glass from her post, but he met with no support from the other council members. Walkup said Glass did not wait 10 days to have an application to put a fence in her own yard approved.

Walkup also accused Glass of going onto other resident's property without their permission and accused her of not communicating with other committee members.

Glass, present at Thursday's meeting, denied the lack of communication. She and Walkup discussed the property she allegedly trespassed, saying she could see the property from the road and did not need to walk on the land owner's property.

Glass said she did get her approval for a certificate of appropriateness before the 10-day wait period because she thought that the fence would have to go up quickly, but that approval was several months ago and as of Thursday's meeting, she had not picked up the certificate to build her fence.

Walkup is no stranger to skirting rules himself. In January, he initiated and voted as part of the council to have the town take up rezoning his own land without excusing himself or declaring a conflict of interest. While Walkup has not been publicly censured, the council voted to reprimand Glass Thursday night for breaking the historic ordinance codes. A reprimand has no merit, beyond being tracked in the town's minutes.

The council created an ordinance this year that would allow it to remove citizen board members with a super-majority vote. A series of reprimands could give future council decisions the grounds to remove a citizen board member from a post.

posted by Cher @ 12:58 PM,

13 Comments:

At   July 16, 2007 10:20 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

How odd, this person noted there was no report concerning the chairmaan of the LPA, and Board of Adjustment. Of course Bobo and the Frogs sat on their lilly pads and let it slide.
Those of us interested in equal treatment, equal treatment under the ordinances of McIntosh, find it odd that the mirror failed to detail the isssues involving the the movement without permit of a used mobile home into our city.
Of course, some frogs are more equal than others. But, Bobo and The Frogs, even forgave the three hundred dollar permit the city was to recceive,,,,,,,what reason you ask? Well goodness other trailors had been moved in without paying the same fee. Should not the failed collections been made and the new unit also pay that fee?
Question, do you really think Bobo and The Frogs really need to charge more for water if they dont collect the fees due?
More to come as the events of Selective Enforcement are unvailed.
Mr Brillant

 
At   July 16, 2007 10:24 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

I was at that meeting, and no one mentioned the storage building that was moved onto the same property with no permeit. Im telling you the thing is large a quansat hut. It must be a thousand square feet.

Just how does she get such special treatment? I had to get a permet.

 
At   July 16, 2007 11:00 PM     ,    Blogger Cher    said...

Oh for God's sakes.

The first person is referencing (I THINK because who can tell what a Bobo and a Frog is supposed to be) an argument that broke out during the meeting between Susan Phillips and Charlsie Stott when Howard pulled his power play to remove June Glass from the historic board. Charlsie moved a used trailer onto her property and is now trying to get a permit but needs a zoning affidavit from the town saying the zoning is right for the trailer on that property. The town has two laws - one says Charlsie would have to pay $300 for the affidavit and the other says she doesn't. The council said she didn't. The issue, I think, at the meeting with Susan and June was that the trailer is used. God forbid.

Frankly, the Mirror failed to detail it because it amounted to, yet another, pissing contest. In the meeting, it played out as an argument within the argument of June getting sacked, which even further gave the whole thing a tit-for-tat kind of feel.

Consider it mentioned. I'll post the water rates tomorrow and get the Flash audio file up. Y'all can listen to it for yourselves.

 
At   July 17, 2007 5:34 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

With all that has gone on recently in this community about permits, why would anyone think they could move a trailer anywhere without one? I don't understand why it is OK for some to apply for permits after the fact.

 
At   July 17, 2007 7:14 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Mirrow, please consider, the property in question pays three (3) water meters and three (3) garbage menimums each month. But has five (5) abodes on the property. Noow a sixth has been moved to the property, to replace one of the single wides trailors. Or so we aare are told, a poermit might straighten this out. But wait, there has been added to the property a steel building and no permit was requested. Or paid for. Seems the property owner who is the chair of the land planning agency and the chair of the of the board of adjustment, has broken all kinds of orddinances.

 
At   July 17, 2007 9:57 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Lets please clarify things. John Sapp is the chair of the board of adjustment and Charlsie Stott is the chair of the LPA.

Lacy J

 
At   July 18, 2007 7:54 AM     ,    Blogger McIntosh Flash    said...

Yall please remember that our town council has put the Codes Enforcement officer on a very short leash. He cannot enter the town limits until he is called about a complaint being SIGNED!!!

If there was a large building put in on the formentioned property, FILE A WRITTEN COMPLAINT, dont just bark about it here in the blog. This is the way that the division is created! If the person did put in a building without a permit, I am sure that they KNEW that they were breaking the law, and will belly up to the bar. They are just counting on such "talk", and no action.

Lets just put our pen where out mouth is, so everything can be put into perspective. Yall all know the game of gossip, the original lie is much bigger after discussion.

We pay good money from our taxes for a code enforcement officer, lets let him try to get something done. If he does not, then take the next step, not just talk about it!!!!

 
At   July 18, 2007 8:02 AM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

This reminds me of the saying "water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink."

"talk, talk everywhere, but not a word is heard."

I agree - put your name on the bottom line of official papers.

Talk is cheap - so is gossip.
If someone is doing something wrong, file papers on them!

 
At   July 18, 2007 1:20 PM     ,    Blogger Cher    said...

Here you go: http://mcintoshnews.dreamhosters.com/all/complaintform.pdf

I agree that if you've got a legitimate gripe, you should file a complaint.

But I disagree with the flash person who said discussing this only causes division. Change comes through discourse.

 
At   July 19, 2007 8:43 AM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

how can stock install a storage building, big as a barn. and not get a building permit?? selective enforcement??????????

 
At   July 19, 2007 3:56 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

I do think it is interesting that the permitting process seems to be selective. What does the Sunshine Law say about that? Better yet, what does the State of Florida Ethics Commission say about that?

 
At   July 19, 2007 6:25 PM     ,    Blogger McIntosh Flash    said...

May I suggest that the Florida Commission on Ethics has nothing to do with enforcment of local laws UNLESS there was a "wink" by someone in an official position (i.e. Mayor, Councilman, Town Clerk). Then it would be an ethics matter.

If there was no "wink (go ahead, I am not looking)" then it becomes a local code enforcment issue, if I understand our rules for this, nothing can be done without a written complaint.

As I stated before, dont just beat your gums here on the blog, do something. If you have seen this building, FILE. If not - there is no system for solution.

 
At   July 19, 2007 10:31 PM     ,    Blogger Cher    said...

I actually think the flash is right.

If it makes you feel like your complaint would be taken more seriously, send me a copy and I'll post a story on it after you file. Then, if there's winking involved, people will at least know about it.

If not, then that's that.

 

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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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