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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The times they are a changin' in Kenneth City



KENNETH CITY -- In case there was any doubt, council members made clear at a workshop Monday that a new style of government has arrived in this town of 4,500.

Not only did the council reinstate regular workshops -- the fourth Monday of each month starting June 22 -- but they're considering increasing fees and ensuring that they're meeting their obligations and being a good neighbor when it comes to cleaning up a dirty lake.

One fee that's likely to go up is that for garage sales, from $2 to $5. But so will the number of such sales allowed (four a year instead of two) and the number of signs allowed to advertise the sales (six instead of two). But they're also going to crack down on enforcement. Those who put on a sale without a permit will have to get the permit and pay $10 instead of $5. That means the Kenneth City cops will be looking for the posted permits at garage sales.

"Have the police look around a little bit," explained Mayor Pro Tem Teresa Zemaitis.

Council member Al Carrier was surprised that the current charge for garage sale permits is only $2.

"It seems to me, when I had a garage sale, I paid $20," Carrier said.

Commented someone, "You're special."

Commented another, "Nancy loves you," referring to town clerk Nancy Beelman, who oversees the permit process.

Then there's Lake Lori in the unincorporated area bordering the town. Somehow, the town ended up with the lake even though it's in the county. And residents around the lake are upset because of the overgrowth of Brazilian peppers and the clogged drains.

Zemaitis wondered why, if the town is responsible for keeping the lake clean, no one was doing it.

Council member Ron Sneed, who is in charge of the Department of Public Works, responded that it wasn't his fault, "I just took it over." Sneed said he was trying to fix it.

Zemaitis said not only is it an obligation to clean Lake Lori, but she'd like to show residents in the area that Kenneth City government has changed and that the town can be a good neighbor by keeping the lake clean. That way, she said, the folks who live around the lake may be more willing to annex into Kenneth City.

Anne Lindberg, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:55am]


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