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Decision to postpone agenda irks lawyer

The County Commission did not finish Tuesday's meeting by 6 p.m., so it adjourned until today at 9 a.m. The 3-2 vote, following a new board policy meant to avoid late-night marathon sessions, stranded people from Orlando and Miami. "I have never seen anything so inconsiderate, and I hope the commissioners hear me," Brooksville lawyer Joe Mason bellowed from the back of County Commission chambers. Mason represents someone from Orlando whose item was delayed a day. Mason also complained because he has a trial scheduled for this morning. Miami consultant Daniel Clapp, scheduled to speak for Waste Management, had planned to return to Miami on Tuesday night. He was not sure what he would do. Commissioners Chris Kingsley and Paul Sullivan voted to keep meeting into the evening. "Let's finish it off," Kingsley said.

New homeowners will pay garbage fee sooner

For some new homeowners, the free ride for garbage disposal is about to end. The County Commission has closed a loophole that has let some new residents pay no garbage disposal fees for almost two years. Commissioners voted Tuesday to begin partial-year solid waste assessments. Now, certificates of occupancy for residences issued after Jan. 1 are not reflected on the garbage disposal assessment roll until the following year. Depending on when a certificate is issued, new homeowners may not be billed for as long as 22 months. The change is expected to yield $145,000 a year in additional assessment fees.

Property appraiser adds fourth staff position

Property Appraiser Alvin Mazourek asked and now he shall receive. County Commissioners approved his request Tuesday for a new mapping position with a salary of $25,000. Commissioners had included in the forthcoming budget three of four positions he wanted. Mazourek said all four positions are needed and will help his office maximize county tax revenues. A state official called the proposed staffing additions "well-justified" in a memo. Had the commission not relented, Mazourek could have appealed to the Florida Cabinet.