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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Safety Harbor commissioner won protest against her own board

During a recent Safety Harbor City Commission meeting, Commissioner Nancy Besore stared into the television camera and urged residents to join a protest against a proposed high-end apartment complex.

"In case you're of the opinion this is finished," said Besore, "it's only finished when you stop speaking."

Besore was still incensed that in February, she was on the losing end of a 3-2 vote to approve the 246-unit complex at State Road 590 and McMullen-Booth Road, site of the defunct Firmenich Citrus Center. For nine months, she and dozens of other residents had protested the complex, finally landing a victory last week when the Pinellas County Commission struck down the proposed project because of opponents' demands.

"I did not contact you before today because I did not want to use the force of my office to go against my city," Besore told county commissioners during their meeting Tuesday. "I am the one who has consistently been telephoned, consistently approached at church, and they say 'Commissioner, help us.' "

Besore's protests against a decision by her own commission have earned her both praise and condemnation, even as city officials warned she might be putting Safety Harbor on shaky legal ground.

When speaking against the project, she always specifies she's speaking as a resident and not a public official, she said, because she wouldn't want the Richman Group, the West Palm Beach developers proposing the apartments, to accuse the city of unfairly interfering.

Read more here.

[Last modified: Monday, May 13, 2013 10:42am]


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