Sunday, April 22, 2018
News Roundup

New Kenneth City manager produces a long to-do list

KENNETH CITY — Just seven weeks after becoming this town's first manager, Matt Campbell has written a "state of the town" report that outlines long-neglected tasks and serves as the beginning of a blueprint for improvements.

The eight-page, single-spaced report was written, Campbell said, after multiple meetings with current and former Kenneth City council members, employees and residents. He also explored Kenneth City on foot and by car.

"This document is intended to provide you with a summary of my initial observations, and to seek guidance on which efforts or projects the council would prefer to be prioritized for implementation in the short term," Campbell wrote.

"This memo is intended to serve as . . . a starting point from which referenced ideas or projects can be spread over the next two to five years, depending on priority level, funding availability, and staffing."

Campbell divided his findings into four general areas.

Town management

Kenneth City is in "desperate need," Campbell said, of policies governing how it should be managed. For example, the town's personnel policy has not been updated since 1997 despite multiple changes in employment law. Among other things, he said, upgraded policies will help protect the town against liability.

Financial aspects

Campbell said the town's budget needs updating to include such things as balances of the various funds (operating, reserve, etc.) and more accurate backup including information from departments so it's easier to understand why certain expenditures are needed.

Campbell said he'll also be creating Kenneth City's first capital improvement plan, for the 2014-15 fiscal year. A CIP sets out building and other brick-and-mortar projects and equipment purchases over several years. It usually includes a planning schedule and includes options for financing the projects and purchases. It links the budget to the goals of the government.

Police and other departments

Campbell has already created an organizational chart, a first for the town, and has established a weekly meeting schedule with all department heads.

He agreed he had received a "significant amount of feedback" about the Police Department. Among the comments he received were requests for more community policing, a greater accountability and transparency for police activities and increased visibility of officers.

At Wednesday's workshop, Campbell had the first information session about the Police Department for council members and residents. One of the town's officers presented "a day in the life of a police officer" as a way of creating understanding of the challenges the police force faces daily.

After hearing from council members about proposed improvements to the department, Campbell has met with the engineer responsible for the renovations to widen the scope to include the entire building at 4600 58th St. N that houses both the Police Department and the Community Hall where the council meets. Possible improvements could include the addition of a second-floor council space and other offices should the Town Hall be relocated.

Campbell has also asked the engineer for recommendations about upgrading the Public Works building, at the same location, because the town's insurance carrier has repeatedly warned of possible liability and damage to the structure from a hurricane.

Infrastructure and parks

Campbell said he has identified many hidden gems in Kenneth City, including 13 lakes forming an "emerald necklace." Increased maintenance of the lakes is necessary, he said, "to control nuisance or exotic vegetation . . . to increase water views and eliminate hiding places for vagrants, and increase the potential for enjoyment or use of these features."

Anne Lindberg can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450. Follow @ALindbergTimes on Twitter.

Comments
4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Four people were killed in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Tennessee early Sunday, according to police, who credited a bystander with saving many lives by wresting a weapon away from the gunman. The Metropolitan N...
Updated: 1 hour ago
District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

Class 9A-8 (higher seed hosts)Tuesday: No. 3 Alonso at No. 2 Palm Harbor University, 4; No. 4 Sarasota Riverview at No. 1 Newsome, 7Thursday: Final, 4 or 7 (depending on who hosts)Class 8A-4 at Strawberry Crest Tuesday: No. 1 Wharton vs. No. 4 Wiregr...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Teen killed in crash remembered as

Teen killed in crash remembered as "always smiling and laughing"

WEEKI WACHEE — Seth Leathers was on his way to play basketball at his church when he was killed Wednesday in a car crash on U.S. 19 in Spring Hill, according to family friend Laurie Pike.Leathers, 16, was the passenger in a car driven by his friend G...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

After a two-hour weather delay Saturday evening at USF, the remote local threat of lightning finally dissipated.The postseason intensity never did.For the second consecutive night, the UCF-USF baseball series delivered, this time with the Bulls (25-1...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Perspective: The Heartland to Headwaters Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition finds frustration and fear seeking a safe a path for wildlife across Interstate 4

Perspective: The Heartland to Headwaters Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition finds frustration and fear seeking a safe a path for wildlife across Interstate 4

The original Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition in 2012 was inspired by the how the Florida black bear roamed — and the space it needed to do so successfully. In 2010, expedition team member Joe Guthrie conducted research through the University of ...
Published: 04/22/18
Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bay’s clinching 3-1 victory in Game 5

Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bay’s clinching 3-1 victory in Game 5

TAMPA — Closers.That's what the Lightning looked like as it closed out the New Jersey Devils in five games with a 3-1 win Saturday.Nikita Kucherov's star power blazed again, the defense controlled the game and not even Jersey goaltend...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Athletics’ Sean Manaea no-hits Red Sox

Athletics’ Sean Manaea no-hits Red Sox

OAKLAND, Calif. – Sean Manaea watched as Marcus Semien fired a ball from short to second baseman Jed Lowrie, turned around, and jumped into the arms of catcher Jonathan Lucroy. History was made at the Coliseum.Manaea no-hit the Red Sox on ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

BOSTON — Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk scored 1:19 apart in the second period, and then the Maple Leafs killed off a 5-on-3 and three more power plays in a row to beat the Bruins 4-3 in Game 5 on Saturday night and avoid playoff eliminatio...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

* Is it time to take the leap and believe this is the real Blake Snell? He talked a good game this spring and pitched well in his debut, but that rough second outing raised old doubts. But a good outing in Chicago and two dominant ones on the homesta...
Published: 04/21/18