St. Petersburg Times Online: News of southern Pinellas County
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Council not eager to adopt mandate for its attendance

A council member's idea to penalize members who miss too many meetings was met with little support.

By ANNE LINDBERG

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 11, 2001


PINELLAS PARK -- Ed Taylor's idea of docking City Council members' pay for missed meetings fell flat last week when no colleague stepped up to support his proposal.

Taylor was philosophical about the matter after Tuesday's workshop, saying that sometimes ideas just don't take hold.

But one Pinellas Park resident was less than happy with the council's failure to act on Taylor's suggestion.

"You are all elected to be the policy setters," Alan Swartz told council members during Thursday's meeting. "If you're not here helping to set the policy, your voice is simply the sound of silence."

Swartz's plea brought no reaction from the council. Members listened and adjourned the meeting.

Taylor's proposal was this: The least council members are required to do is be at two meetings and two workshops most months. That's a total of 46 meetings to perform the minimum requirements for the council job.

Yet some members have missed many meetings, and Taylor proposed that a council member be docked a fourth of his or her monthly pay for every meeting missed over two.

Chuck Williams said he did not care one way or the other if the rule were adopted. And Rick Butler, who has a perfect attendance record, said, "I don't have a dog in this hunt."

Less supportive was Mayor Bill Mischler, who has missed up to five meetings in one year. He was quick to explain that his absences were city-related, at such events as mayors' meetings.

The least enthusiastic was Patricia Bailey-Snook, who has been absent from those regularly scheduled meetings and workshops a total of 38 times since 1998.

First, she pointed out that the council met more than 46 times during each of the past three years, so her absence rate should not be calculated based on the minimum number of meetings.

And, Bailey-Snook said, much of that time she was ill. She recently had her 30th surgery after a traffic accident a couple of years ago. To compound the illness problem, her father recently died and took her away during meeting times.

"I know it's been a burden," she said. "I've was doing the best I can. . . . I've tried to be here."

Bailey-Snook pointed out that council members are entitled to all the perks that the city's regular, full-time employees get. Part of that is health insurance and retirement. The other part of that is sick time.

And, she vowed, her attendance should improve in the future.

"I know that I can do better," Bailey-Snook said. "I can tell you, I will be able to do better now."

The council must have believed her. Members chose her to serve as vice mayor for the coming year to stand in for the mayor when he's unavailable.

Back to St. Petersburg area news
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
 
Special Links
Mary Jo Melone
Howard Troxler


From the Times
South Pinellas desks
  • Voters to decide 3 issues on ballot
  • Some -- not all -- issues aired at beach forum
  • Upham's losing battle
  • Lunch price may climb in school cafeterias
  • So long, Watson's
  • Here's the scoop on fun
  • New rule would benefit truckers
  • Mercy Hospital deserves better
  • Old Coach house may become steakhouse
  • Snell Isle bank restores full service
  • Dally in alley if you love antique shops
  • Fla. Power, Treasure Island seals short deal
  • Council not eager to adopt mandate for its attendance
  • He has 'chewed rag' by ham radio since 1921
  • For tree-planting mayor, an appropriate honor
  • Sunken Gardens seeking ways to cater to children
  • Driving southern stretch of I-275? Good news, bad
  • Seriously suited crowd, (1 floral) attend symposium
  • Students learn values to conquer obstacles
  • They want big-ticket items to go to a vote
  • St. Pete Beach joins trend of cities with skate parks
  • Opinions vary on closing street near Sunken Gardens
  • DOT recommends light at Wal-Mart entrance
  • Question the candidates
  • Get ready for a long weekend of wheels
  • Chili cooks stew over upcoming contest
  • What's up on campus
  • Neighborhood briefs
  • Romano's approved for Tyrone Square
  • Treasure Island City Hall will show off new look
  • Record earns Eckerd men a second chance
  • Kroeger strikes again at Dunedin
  • Causeway Bridge repairs scheduled

  •