DADE CITY — The city got a new commissioner and mayor pro-tem on Tuesday night, and city employees were awarded a little extra holiday shopping money.
Bill Dennis took the oath for his third stint on the Dade City Commission. Dennis was first elected to the commission in 1982 and served eight years before losing to Mayor Scott Black in 1990. He was elected again in 1998 and defeated by Commissioner Camille Hernandez in 2006.
Dennis was appointed to replace Steve Van Gorden, who resigned in October because he is moving out of the city limits. Van Gorden's term was set to expire in 2012. When a commissioner resigns with more than 60 days left on his or her term, the commission must appoint someone to fill the seat until the next scheduled election.
The commission also voted unanimously to have veteran Commissioner Eunice Penix replace Van Gorden as the mayor pro-tem.
Also Tuesday, commissioners approved without discussion City Manager Billy Poe's request to use budget surplus funds toward a one-time "Christmas bonus" for city employees, who have not received raises for two years.
The 2009-10 budget included funding for both a building inspector and building official position. The former inspector became the building official when his predecessor left the city in November. The inspector position, which paid approximately $37,000 annually, is vacant and will most likely remain that way for the rest of the fiscal year.
Poe suggested in a memo that the money be used to give full-time employees a $250 bonus, and part-time employees a $125 bonus.
The move will cost the city $20,750, plus applicable taxes.
Helen Anne Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 435-7312.