Diving into the deep end of BH pool
Three items for this beautiful county commission Tuesday…
— The special library governing board meets at 10 a.m. in the county commission chambers to pick four people for the library advisory board.
To refresh your memory, the governing board is composed of the five county commissioners and one council person each from Crystal River and Inverness. The governing board appoints the advisory board members.
The last time we went through this in April, Library Guy brought a large crowd to push for or against nominees to the Library Board. Led by Crystal River Councilman Ken Brown, the governing board voted 5-2 to reappoint the five members.
The stakes are a little different this time. There are four slots and only three current board members want reappointment. Looking at the list, some names pop out and would serve the community well.
The three commissioners who endured the Library Guy’s antics last year — Holly Davis, Jeff Kinnard and Chairman Ruthie Davis Schlabach — would seem likely to reappoint those who seek reappointment, and choose a fourth member based on their qualifications and less on their politics.
— It's been THREE YEARS since the county commission voted to close the pool in Beverly Hills and drain it. Since then plenty of ideas about the pool, Central Ridge Community Park and the neighborhood in general. Lots of talk, little action.
Schlabach, whose district includes Beverly Hills, tried from early in her term to meet with local residents to get a feel of what they want done with the pool. The response was quite mixed — some want the pool reopened, some want it filled and capped for pickleball courts.
That said, it's time to cut the cord. Schlabach is recommending the pool be filled in and capped, all at a cost of $24,620. It's on the Tuesday county commission agenda.
I know there are Beverly Hills residents who are pushing for the pool, but not enough to get any traction with the county commission. Time for the board to vote one way and move on.
— It’s the rare politician who goes looking for trouble. Most do their best to avoid it.
Schlabach, as chairman, is poking the bear by deciding when the public may comment on a motion and when it can’t.
The issue at the last meeting was the board voting on updating the commission to-do list, which has been a part of each agenda since former Commissioner Ron Kitchen Jr.’s early days. It’s a list of things commissioners say they want to have done, and each meeting they knock an item or two off the list as completed.
An activist got up to comment during the motion to remove items from the list and Schlabach told her this wasn’t something she could comment on. Which left the woman, and me, somewhat confused.
The county commission historically allows those in the audience to comment when there’s a motion on the floor. There are only a few exceptions, such as formality motions where there’s nothing to debate.
I’m no lawyer, but I couldn’t find anything in the code to suggest a motion to remove items off the county commission to-do list falls into the category of a “ministerial” action. If anything, it seems like a normal motion that provides the public a chance to comment.
I understand that Schlabach, as chairman, wants control of the meeting. That said, this seems like an unforced error. You can bet the citizen who brought this up will keep pursuing it; she's pounded the county with emails since then asking for an explanation.
County commissioners have plenty on their plate. Public comment isn't one of them -- I hope.
That’s just my opinion.
Have an awesome Tuesday, friends.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 35 years.