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Politics

Officials need state's okay to meet out of town

By SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADA
Published April 11, 2007


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All ordinances, expenditures and taxes levied here since 1997 are in danger of challenge unless the state Legislature approves a special law allowing the Town Commission to meet outside town limits.

The problem is that Belleair Shore, a tiny beach community of about 50 homes on the west side of Gulf Boulevard, adjacent to Belleair Beach, doesn't have a municipal building.

The commission met in private homes until 1997, when it decided to meet at Belleair Bluffs' town hall.

Last fall, Belleair Shore Town Attorney John Elias informed the commission that all of its actions since 1997 could be challenged in court because of a state law that prohibits municipalities from taking any legal actions outside their geographical jurisdictions without special permission of the Legislature.

In November, Elias and Mayor John Robertson successfully sought support for a special bill from the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation.

Now state Rep. Jim Frishe has proposed a bill that would allow the Belleair Shore commission to meet outside town limits. It has passed in two key committees.

If approved by the full Legislature and signed by the governor, it would go into immediate effect.

[Last modified April 10, 2007, 20:19:46]


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