BRADENTON - Some city workers got their union representation Wednesday night, but they'll have to wait for pay raises.
City Clerk Carl Callahan presented the three-year contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees to the Bradenton City Council, saying they've been in negotiations since early summer.
"It has been a fairly lengthy process, it's been a very good process" Callahan said. "All of the parties involved, from our employees to our HR department, to the labor attorneys associated with this who represented the union, were all very cordial in this relationship in working through this agreement."
Anytime a union is formed, there are disputes, he said, between those who want it and those who don't.
The union ratified the deal, Callahan said, and the City Council had to ratify it.
The city tried to make the contract with Public Works employees close to the other two contracts. "It very closely mirrors that," he said. "There are certainly some articles that deal with their particular needs in the department."
The main issue was in grievance and arbitration issues, Callahan said. It would have been good to give raises, but that's not possible now. In the future, it might be, he said.
The measure passed 5-0.
Councilman Patrick Roff said he was happy about the contract, and Councilwoman Marianne Barnebey echoed that, noting that she hears from many people who have built friendships with their garbage collectors.
Growing success in downtown
Callahan said that some of the downtown events like the Farmers Market and Mainly Art need more space, and he asked for permission to expand the streets that are blocked off for booths.
After some discussion, the measure passed 5-0.
Also, Callahan said, the Zombie Fest needed to use the street until 2 a.m. on Sunday morning. There was some concern expressed about the Zombie Fest interfering with the Halloween event for children at City Center, but his request also passed 5-0.
The council also voted 5-0 to adopt the 2009-2010 School Capacity Program and the appointment of Fred Hayo to the Code Enforcement Board.
Founder of soup kitchen honored
Council members honored the late Mary DeLazzer, who managed the Our Daily Bread soup kitchen in Bradenton for more than 20 years. Her life was cut short in a tragic accident in November 2008 by an alleged drunk driver.
The situation is getting worse for many families, said Adell Erozer, executive director of the Community Coalition on Homelessness.
"People who need these services are increasing every day," she said. "In 2006, we saw 733 new clients for the entire year. And so far this year, we've seen over 1,500 people, and we still have two months to go. We're really happy to have the One-Stop Center, our partnership with Jobs Etc., with Goodwill, our medical and dental services."
In fact, the organization's dental services are taking off, and more dentists and hygienists are volunteering and the medical services will start soon.
"There's a lot of opportunities to volunteer," Erozer said, adding that anyone who wants a tour should call and they'll arrange it.
The Pink Palace boarding up process is ongoing, said Tim Polk, Director of Planning and Community Development.
All the openings are being closed up, he said, though he'd have to check with Volker Reiss of Code Enforcement about the details.
Mayor Wayne Poston also mentioned that the city has been mowing the lawns of foreclosed houses and billing the banks. So far, about $8,400 is owed to the city, and it's collected $1,100.
The council voted 5-0 to approve the following on the consent agenda:
Minutes of October 14, 2009
Resolution 09-77 Housing Trust Fund
Resolution 09-78 Amending Equal Employment Opportunity Policy (EEOP)
Public Event - 14th Annual Winter Wonderland, Saturday, Dec. 12
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