St. Pete City Council members offer to pay for PAL roof after debate over city funds
It wouldn't be a St. Petersburg City Council meeting if an issue that wasn't on the agenda didn't bubble up and pop some drama into the proceedings.
On Thursday, it was a $1,600 request during open forum from Police Athletice League executive director Doug Linder to fix the roof at the aging structure at 3755 46th Ave. N.
Council member Wengay Newton, who is leaving the council at the end of the year because of term limits, made a motion, briefly supported by Bill Dudley, to use $40,000 in reserves to pay for the roof repairs and cover insurance costs.
But several council members objected to spending money and modifying a city lease from the dais without going through the normal procedure of debating it in committee first.
Chairman Charlie Gerdes said it was bad policy to appropriate money during open forum, but he offered to pay $160 for repairing the roof out of his own pocket.
He challenged Linder to find nine other people to contribute the rest of the money. Dudley, who had withdrawn his support for Newton's proposal, then raised his hand, signalling his support for kicking in $160. Council member Jim Kennedy did the same.
The council then approved PAL's request to be disussed in committee on Dec. 17.