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Sun Coast Gondolier Newspaper Archives Aug 1 1977, Page 1

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Sun Coast Gondolier (Newspaper) - August 1, 1977, Venice, FloridaSun coast gondolier vol. 33, no. 58 a 24 pages second class postage paid at Venice Florida 33595 Telephone 813 484-2611 monday August 1, 1977 published twice weekly Price 10crieth recommends $5.9 million budget tax increase a $5.9 million proposed budget which recommends expenditures in excess of revenues and an almost one Mill increase in taxes was delivered to the City Council late last week by City manager Dale Rieth. By Tony Briggs Sun coast gondolier news editor if the recommendation is accepted it will be the first tax increase for City residents in recent memory. The Council will begin budget hearings at 9 . Today monday and is expected to p a to Quot i begin making cuts to the recommended expenditures. Reith originally asked for a millage increase of .665 Mills but the Council authorized the unexpected expenditure of an additional $45,000 for an updated police and fire department pension program last week which raised the rate nearly a full Mill. City comptroller Bill Kern said a Mill generates $201,889. The deficit is being funded through increased revenues spending cuts and a tax increase. Some members of the Council and mayor Harry Case in out with the old a the demolition of the old Venice civic Center on Barcelona Avenue is proceeding slowly As Ceta workers such As this one tear it Down Board by Board. The Walls started coming Down Law week. Photo by Koelsch Bridge proposal decision is due a final decision on whether to regulate the opening of Bridges in Sarasota county is expected to be handed Down today monday by the coast guards Washington . Bridge division. Frank Teuton chief of the regulations Branch of the Bridge division said he has recommended that the opening schedules proposed by the coast guards seventh District in Miami be adopted but that the final decision must come from commandant Owen Siler. The Miami office recommended that the Hatchett Creek Bridge in Venice open every 15 minutes if a boat is waiting Between the hours of 7 30 . And 6 . The Bridge would open on signal at All other times. The Bridges at ring Ling causeway and siesta key in Sarasota also would face regulation under the proposal but would Only have to open every half hour. The new pass Bridge Between Lido and longboat keys would open at 15-minute intervals under the plan. The proposal has met Sharp criticism in Venice from both City officials and members of the boating Community with both groups saying the regulations will accomplish nothing. Venice City Council passed a Resolution favouring Bridge openings once each hour instead of every 15 minutes to try to alleviate snarled traffic conditions. The problems Are the worst during the Winter months when boat and car traffic Are heaviest. The coast guard decision will be based on the testimony and letters of concerned Public officials and citizens. When a decision is reached the new regulations will take about 10 weeks to Institute should they be adopted. Particular expected Rieth to recommend a balanced budget this year. But in a message accompanying the budget Rieth said a every Effort was made to recommend to Council a balanced budget. Unfortunately this has not been possible. Inflation general insurance and Workman a compensation Are the largest single factors which might be attributed to this Lack of the full City budget including the water and sewer departments and the Airport totalled $5,881,383. This amount is $197,696 More than the projected income for the coming year which resulted in the request for an increase in taxes. The exact millage figure was not available Friday but Kern estimated it would be near 7.8 Mills. This Means residents will pay $7.80 for each $1,000 of assessed property value if the budget is adopted in its present form. The City can Levy up to 10 Mills under Florida Law but last year Only charged 6.7 Mills. The millage rate varies each year depending on the amount of taxable property. A lengthy budget Battle erupted last year when Rieth requested a one half Mill increase to fund what he termed a a minimal although the City managers relations with the Council Are better this year and the budget preparation was much More comprehensive the elected officials Are still expected to try and hold the line on taxes. There Are increases in just about every department in Riethe a budget request with some of the biggest boosts coming in the Utility departments. A there has been an increase in the proposed Utility expenditures alone of approximately $92,000 or 24 percent for All departments a Rieth said in his Budge message. Salary and fringed Benefit costs have risen More than $300,000 Over last years figure from $2,106,053 to $2,489,901. Rieth concluded his budget message by saying a based on the level income required and the continued on Page 5 criticizes invasion of privacy commissioner resigns county commission chairman William Muirhead resigned last thursday from the position he had held for More than 11 years rather than comply with the states strict new financial disclosure provisions. By Tony Briggs Sun coast gondolier news editor the resignation was effective july 31, just one Day before the deadline for filing the financial disclosure statements. In a Short letter explaining his action to gov. Reubin Askew Muirhead said he is a philosophically opposed to the disclosure provisions set Forth by the state ethics commission and explained that he considered it a an invasion of my the former commissioner added that he is in favor of financial disclosure but not in the Larry Rhodes form mandated commission. Gov. Askew by the ethics will appoint William Muirhead someone to fill Muirhead a unexpired term which runs until november 1978. Four of Muirhead a fellow commissioners filed suit to try to Block the requirement that they file statements but a Leon county circuit court judge refused to Issue an injunction granting their request. Commissioners Larry Rhodes and Beverly Clay have agreed to file financial statements in time for the deadline but John Saba has indicated he will not and has also threatened resignation. Rhodes said All of the commissioners have been asked to either file or resign. Askew has indicated he will dismiss those that done to comply. Most local Public officials expressed sorrow and Surprise at Muirhead a resignation. A i was a Little bit surprised and a Little bit exasperated a Rhodes continued on Page 5 mayors blast disclosure Law Florida a new financial disclosure Law already causing upheavals in the local political Community became the target for More Sharp criticism from the members of the Sarasota county league of cities. Most vocal of the group was North port mayor Margaret gentle who attacked not Only the Law but the news Media for what she termed its a a smear campaigns against Public officials. A i am adamantly opposed to having All Public officials smeared All Over the newspapers a the mayor said sharply. She suggested that if financial records must be filed they should be seen Only by the Florida ethics committee and not released to the Public or the press. If the news Media was More responsible instead of looking for smears and mud we have this problem a gentle said glaring at the press table. The North port mayor quickly got the support of the other league representatives. Sarasota vice mayor Tony Saprito added his voice to the dissent along with Venice mayor Harry Case City manager Dale Rieth and longboat key mayor Edward Petrick. Petrick commented that he a objects strenuously Quot to the disclosure requirements and lamented Over the effect it will have on the Quality of future politicians. Case said a a it a a sad commentary that the Public officials Are held in such distrust by the voters a commenting on the overwhelming local support of gov. Reubin Askews Sunshine amendment last november. A what is going to result from this fiasco a and that a what it is a fiasco a is that you Are not going to have qualified people running for office a gentle continued. She asserted the Media a Access to the financial disclosure records leaves the families of any politician open to a a Embarrass Mentz once the finances Are revealed. If the records were Only available to the ethics commission gentle said it could then find out who is committing a conflict of interest and take action. A Why should the rest of us be smeared a she asked. A i done to see it and am adamantly opposed to it. The officials made the comments after they were informed that Sarasota county commission chairman William Muirhead had resigned rather than meet the states new financial disclosure provisions. Deputy succumbs to the lure of the Ocean when Stirling a a buds Boom Hower was a Young boy he developed a love for the water that gradually grew into a sort of passion for the most mysterious of natures elements. By Sheri Bridges Sun coast gondolier staff writer his Best hours were spent sailing the Cool Crisp Michigan lakes and when his teenage years were Over and he had moved to the warmer Waters of Venice Boomhower decided he was going to drop permanent Anchor in the sea. He put his furniture in storage bought a 36-foot new England trawler and now spends his time away from work Bobbing with the ups and Downs of boat life. Sitting in an office at the South county sheriff s department where he is a detective the Long legged water Lover gazed thoughtfully through his tinted aviator lenses As he talked about the lure of the sea. A a it a Nice being Able to take your House anywhere you want to go a he explained chewing on his thick Blond moustache. A i can see the Sunset every night in my living in his line of work its important to have a place where he can forget about the worries and tensions of his demanding Job. A Day in the life of a Lawman can really put a Drain on his Energy Supply and a quiet evening of relaxation is always a Welcome Relief. A a in a not exactly an eight hour cop but i try to forget about everything when i leave the Job. I can go out a Little Way into the Gulf and i feel like in be gone 1,000 Miles when maybe in be Only gone 10 or 12,&Quot he continued. His Home on water is also his passage to vacation fun and adventure. Boomhower who has been in Law enforcement five years spends his Days off cruising the sparkling Waters of the dry Tortugas or the Florida keys. A a in a not the Type who goes directly from Point a to Point b. I continued on Page 5 hearing set on new zoning code the first of a series of Public hearings on the City a comprehensive proposed zoning code will be held wednesday August 3 at 7 30 . In the Community Center. Any resident who has questions about the code or wishes to suggest changes in it will be allowed to speak. The lengthy document meant to bring the City of Venice in line with the zoning codes of the county and the City of Sarasota has been the Center of controversy in past months. Some residents have complained that most of the regulations differ so drastically from the code the City is now using that it would make most of the structures in Venice non conforming. But the code has already undergone some major revisions at the hands of the City planning commission. Existing structures will be grandfathered in under the code. Residents wishing to speak will be asked to Register in the lobby before the meeting and indicate the nature of their comments. More hearings will be held on subsequent nights if there is not enough time to allow All those attending to speak. Another series of Public hearings will be scheduled two weeks after the last one in this series. After the hearings the Council will conduct workshop meetings to consider the comments and make changes. The code can then be put in ordinance form to allow for its adoption if the Council should decide to take that route

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