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Longboat Key Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 2 weeks ago

Two Longboat meetings set for Wednesday

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Commissioners will clarify which beach-tax zone island properties will occupy and settle issues with police contract negotiations.
by: Eric Garwood Managing Editor

A pair of meetings are planned in Town Hall on Wednesday outside of the normal schedule of public gatherings.

The first, planned for 11:45 a.m. in the Commission Chambers, is a special meeting set to address an issue raised by the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office in regard to the boundaries of the town’s new Bayside and Gulfside beach-taxing districts.

In converting from District A and District B, the town made some small changes to the boundaries to determine the tax rates paid by property owners for beach projects. Manatee County sought clarification on where the town’s Sarasota Bay islands fell.

An ordinance that will be considered for the first time on Wednesday clarifies that all islands in Sarasota Bay within the town boundaries, including but not limited to Jewfish Key and the Sister Keys, fall within the Bayside district. Following an initial vote, the matter will reappear for a final vote Dec. 2.

The second meeting, planned for 1 p.m., is an impasse-resolution meeting to settle two issues that couldn’t be resolved in contract negotiations between the town and the Police Benevolent Association: retirement and wages.

Both parties have agreed to allow the Town Commission to render a determination on the two issues, in lieu of a special magistrate.

Following closing arguments from each side, commissioners will vote on both issues and when they would take effect, approving them through a simple majority. That contract, including the commission’s take on pay and retirement, would be presented to officers for a ratification vote. If officers vote to approve the contract, it will be good for three years.

If they reject the contract, the two issues as approved by the commission are imposed on the union for a fiscal year, during which additional negotiations can take place for a longer term contract, said W. Reynolds Allen, the town’s labor attorney.

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