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Safety Harbor CRA votes to give funds to chamber

By a 3-2 vote, Safety Harbor's Community Redevelopment Agency has approved its annual budget, which included about $51,000 for the Chamber of Commerce. Chairwoman Pam Corbino, Vice Chairman Keith Zayac and Nadine Nickeson on Monday night approved the allocation from the CRA, an administrative body assigned to help revive the downtown core. CRA members Andy Steingold and Kara Bauer voted against the approval. Bauer and Steingold said that, among other things, the chamber was still not in compliance with Florida statutes requiring the organization to open all its financial records to its members. The city is a member. For months, Bauer and Steingold had been asking to see the chamber's year-end financial reports, to make sure the chamber was fiscally healthy. But the two had never received the reports. When it came time to vote on the CRA budget, Steingold said he would vote to approve it on the condition that he receive "a satisfactory audit" of the chamber. A copy of the financial reports was obtained by the Times and made public. Steingold and Bauer said it did not meet with their approval. "Once we get all this behind us, I look forward to continuing to support funding of the city's chamber," said Steingold, who is running for re-election to the City Commission on March 14, as is Nickeson. The commissioners also serve as the CRA.

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