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Dade City attorney selected as mayor

Published May 12, 2004

DADE CITY - The Scott Black era ended Tuesday night, and the Hutch Brock era began.

City Commissioners selected Brock, a downtown attorney and two-term commissioner, to serve the next two years as mayor. In Dade City's form of government, commissioners are elected to four-year terms, then select a mayor from within their ranks every two years.

Commissioner Eunice Penix nominated Black for a third term, but only she and Black supported the motion. Brock was then chosen unanimously. Bill Dennis was chosen again as vice mayor.

Brock, a native of Dade City, said he looks forward to his service and plans to tap into the experience of those sitting with him on the dais.

"With all of this experience, I am fortunate to have all the guidance that surely I will need," Brock said.

Black seemed to know his tenure was coming to an end. He read a lengthy, deeply personal statement expressing gratitude to his family, city staff and residents, and expressed hope for the future of the city.

"It has been a special honor these past four years," Black said.

In other news Tuesday:

Commissioners adopted a development agreement ordinance, which provides the framework for formalized agreements with developers on large projects. It's good for five years and addresses issues such as zoning and compliance with the city's comprehensive plan. It can include financial incentives, such as reimbursement of impact fees.

All development agreements are crafted case by case and do not set precedent for future projects.

One project already is a target of the new ordinance.

Piyush Mulji, an Atlanta hotel developer, wants to build a 64-room Hampton Inn on U.S. 301, between the Kentucky Fried Chicken and Wendy's restaurants. Luring a hotel or motel has long been a goal of the city with the idea that it would spur other economic development.

Mulji's consultant, Megan Rodgers of Interim Hospitality, presented facts and figures demonstrating that Dade City is ripe for a hotel. She said the Hampton Inn would generate an estimated $180,000 in taxes and impact fees annually.

With such a rosy financial picture presented, commissioners questioned whether the city needed to offer any incentives.

"It does seem like such a good thing that they really don't need help from us," Dennis said.

Ultimately, commissioners directed City Manager Harold Sample to begin negotiations with Mulji that could include reimbursement of some fees.

"I do believe that there is a trend that will occur, that there will be momentum," Brock said.

[Last modified May 12, 2004, 01:56:30]

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