Bradenton Beach commissioners address messy ordinances

acastillo@bradenton.comApril 4, 2014 

BRADENTON BEACH -- The Bradenton Beach Commission voted 4-0 during Thursday's meeting to update conflicting city ordinances.

Mayor William Shearon said he would sit with City Clerk Jamie Anderson before approaching the budget committee about including the project in the 2015 budget. The project is estimated to cost between $3,500 to as much as $16,500 for a complete recodification.

The decision was spurred by a memorandum sent to commissioners by Anderson about an ordinance adopted in 1978 that is still being used -- in conflict with the present charter and codes.

"Basically there's been revisions and some of them were cleared up and some of them weren't. Just read the memo. It's a nightmare," Shearon said.

The present code of ordinances was adopted in 1998. It repealed all ordinances adopted on or before March 6, 1997, which caused the conflicting city ordinances.

Anderson said going through the ordinances one by one with limited staff is extremely time consuming.

Shearon said Bradenton Beach city commissions have looked into city ordinances previously to get them "straightened out."

"That exercise was not completed primarily due to cost and time," he said.

Ordinances are also in dire need of updating because some are "very old," he said.

City attorney Ricinda Perry gave multiple options to update the ordinances:

n Hire a summer intern to help as part of a scholarship program from the Florida Bar, which would pay for the intern.

n Let Municode do the work at a steep price, according to Anderson.

n Continue to solve issues as they come up.

n Use Perry's law firm paralegal to review the ordinances.

"I can't estimate to you today how many hours would be involved in doing that process," she told commissioners. "I can only make the offer that I would reduce her rate for you."

Commissioner Edward Straight said he liked the idea of using a paralegal to help.

"I don't know if I like the idea of some intern doing this," he said.

"We cannot, as much as we'd all like to, make everything right, right now," said Commissioner Jack Clarke, suggesting the ordinance issue be covered in the 2015 budget.

"It's been 15 years -- another six months isn't going to kill us," he said.

Amaris Castillo, Law Enforcement/Island Reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. You can follow her on Twitter@AmarisCastillo.

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