The ballot lineup is set for commission, mayor
Three new faces will join the City Commission this November, while voters will go to the polls to decide which of two candidates will become mayor.
When qualifying ended at noon Monday, former Commissioner Deborah Kynes and seasoned city volunteers Bruce Livingston and John Tornga were automatically elected when no one filed to run against them.
Julie Scales and Julie Ward Bujalski, two longtime sitting commissioners who often disagree on policy issues, will compete in the Nov. 4 election for the top spot.
The City Commission shakeup was set in motion in the winter when Mayor Dave Eggers resigned to run for Pinellas County Commission and Commissioner Ron Barnette announced his retirement. The new contenders will join Commissioner Heather Gracy, who was elected in 2012.
Plan for 9/11 memorial seeks donations
The city of Safety Harbor has spent the last year planning, designing and soliciting donations for a 9/11 Memorial that will incorporate a piece of steel acquired from the World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
The memorial will be on Main Street between City Hall and the fire station.
Total cost of the memorial is just under $55,000 and to date the project has received donations and commitments of $30,359.13.
Donation checks should be made payable to the "City of Safety Harbor" with 9/11 Memorial noted on the memo line. Checks can be mailed to City of Safety Harbor, Attn: Fire Department, 750 Main St., Safety Harbor, FL 34695.
To see a rendering of the memorial, visit cityofsafetyharbor.com/911memorial. For information, contact fire Chief Joe Accetta at (727) 724-1573 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Firefighter pension heads to City Council
A dispute over firefighter pensions is scheduled to go before the City Council next month. Late last year, Palm Harbor/Oldsmar Professional Firefighters, IAFF Local 2980 and Oldsmar reached an impasse in contract negotiations.
The main snag centered on pension benefits. City officials want to freeze the pension plan and move firefighters into the state public employees retirement system. Firefighters would be given a choice to either keep their money in the frozen plan until retirement or receive their accrued benefits as a lump-sum payout.
The union suggested closing the plan to new employees but allowing current firefighters to remain in the plan. A special magistrate sided with firefighters but city officials still want to stick with their proposal.
The City Council is scheduled to resolve the issue during a 7 p.m. meeting July 15 in City Hall, 101 State St. W.
City settles with former code inspector
The City Council this week agreed to pay $220,750 to settle a workers compensation claim by a former city code inspector who was injured while riding in the elevator of the Municipal Services Building's parking garage.
The incident occurred in February 2006. The elevator dropped several feet, injuring the employee.
Code inspector Rick DeBord had a total of nine surgeries to his neck, back, left shoulder, left knee and left elbow over his years of employment. He returned to work after each of the surgeries.
He filed multiple claims under workers compensation, including a permanent total disability claim.
Times staff writers Keyonna Summers, Anne Lindberg and Mike Brassfield contributed to this report.