1948: Largo boils over police force change

By TERESA BLACKWELL, Times Staff Writer
Published September 30, 2007

LARGO - With irate citizens signing petitions urging the reinstatement of Police Chief L.F. Boyette and town officials denying a shakeup in Largo's one-man police department, this ordinarily placid central Pinellas community today seethed with rumors, leaving the principals in the controversy completely confused.

According to Boyette, there seems no question as to how town manager James Burnette feels about the matter.

"Burnette told me I was being demoted to make way for a new chief - Joe Ritenour," said the chief, who at the moment is the entire police force.

Mayor T.S. Madson denied Boyette had been dismissed as department head, adding that he had not run across the petitions.

"All that has been done," said Mayor Madson, "is merely to hire Ritenour to supplement the personnel of the police department."

Crux of the property owners' petition is their objection to the town officials "bringing in a new man at a higher salary when Chief Boyette has been doing a good job."

Ritenour is out of town on vacation and the whole affair is headed for a public meeting of the town council.

Sept. 29, 1936

Date of first pension payment is uncertain

CLEARWATER - Thursday, the old-age pension program will go into effect in Pinellas County, but when the more than 450 recipients could expect their first check was still uncertain.

Beginning Thursday, which is Oct. 1, and ending June 30, Pinellas County and the federal government will spend approximately $96,000 in pensions for old folks who are up in years and have little or no financial support.

The list of pensioners was being rushed to completion today. A.G. McQuagge, assistant county clerk, said it would be checked by Mrs. Ida Dann, county welfare director, before it was fully approved.

Oct. 6, 1936

Old-age pension may be delayed until Jan. 1

CLEARWATER - A delay until Jan. 1 in the start of the old-age pension program will occur unless the county commission can dig up $14,400 by Oct. 12 for its first quarterly payment.

No funds are available at present for the pension program, the commissioners said as they met today.

Richard Hudson, district welfare head, told the commissioners they would have to have the money by Oct. 12 or delay the program until Jan. 1. If the money materializes, Hudson said first payments will be made Oct. 15.

Hudson said 439 persons, over 70 and already on relief, are eligible for the pension. The district board has already approved some pensions, the largest being $22 and the average $15 a month.

Sept. 30, 1974

Oldsmar area votes Tuesday on fire plan

OLDSMAR - Residents living in the unincorporated areas surrounding Oldsmar will be given a choice of city fire protection during Tuesday's voting. City residents will not be affected by the vote.

Oldsmar area residents will be voting to accept or reject the county's fire protection plan. Under the plan, residents would pay a 1.75 millage rate in return for fire protection from the Oldsmar Volunteer Fire Department.

With or without the special fire district money, however, the city is going to hire its first full- time paid firefighter. Currently, volunteers receive a token payment per fire.

Bill Houman, administrative assistant to Mayor Charles Lister Jr., says more paid men will be added "as fast as we can."

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