Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kenneth City council backs down on tidiness plan

KENNETH CITY — Confronted by more than 130 angry residents, Town Council members backed down Wednesday night on a plan allowing town officials to enter properties to assure they are in good condition.

Kenneth City town attorney Paul Marino said he would not object to removing the controversial section of the ordinance because some state laws already allow police officers to enter homes if they have probable cause.

Marino's comment came during a three-hour workshop to discuss 26 pages of a proposed ordinance directed at both business and residential property owners. The proposal seeks to ensure that all town property is kept in good condition.

But some of the wording sparked protests. Especially galling was a section allowing town officials to enter homes and businesses if they had probable cause to suspect a violation.

The property owner could refuse admission, but the town could then get a court order to force admission.

For much of the evening, Marino tangled with town residents.

At times, he chided them for their attitudes and told them they should thank council members for trying to improve the town. He criticized news coverage, saying it was biased and failed to report the number of supporters of the ordinance. And he objected to residents' classifying the proposal as a form of Nazism.

By evening's end, the council seemed to back off some of the more controversial issues. Marino said he would redraft the proposal and have it ready for the council's January meeting.

The soonest a final vote could be held likely would be early February, in the middle of Kenneth City's election season.

Three seats on the five-member council — the mayor's position and two council slots — are up for grabs in the March 10 election.

Talk outside the council chambers Wednesday focused as much on finding candidates to run for the openings as the ordinance being debated inside the chambers.

Kenneth City council backs down on tidiness plan 12/04/08 [Last modified: Friday, December 12, 2008 12:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Editorial: UF shows how to preserve free speech


    The University of Florida was forced to navigate a treacherous terrain of constitutional concerns and public safety this week, all in a glaring public spotlight. In the end, Thursday's appearance by Richard Spencer was a success — as much as an unwelcome visit from a notorious white nationalist can be. The …

  2. Blake High grad Taylor Trensch lands lead role in 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway


    For those who saw Taylor Trensch grow up in Tampa, his rise from promising student to star is heartwarming and entirely predictable. In January, Trensch, 28, will be moving into the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, one of the hottest tickets in theater.

    Taylor Trensch, a 2007 Blake High graduate, will play the title role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. Courtesy of Frank Trensch.
  3. Editorial: When protest leads to understanding


    The protests against racial injustice by professional athletes across the country include examples of communities where it has not been handled well. And then there is the example set in Tampa Bay.

  4. Why it's too early to give up on the Bucs


    Don't panic. It's not too late for the Bucs.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrate after the defense recovered a fumble during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  5. Backlog of immigration cases under Trump stymies immigrants in Florida


    It was supposed to be a routine green card renewal for a Thai woman who has called Central Florida home for years.

    Immigration lawyers such as Gerald P. Seipp of Clearwater worry that their clients' circumstances will change with long delays in their immigration court appeals, hurting their chances of staying in the country. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]