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Palmetto City Commission defers decision on police pension changes


PALMETTO - With two members out, and after the departure of the mayor for another event, the City Commission on Monday night deferred action on changes to the police pension system.

Commissioners Alan Zirkelbach and Mary Lancaster never showed up for the meeting, which was dominated by two Community Redevelopment Agency meetings, one of which was the continuation of a recessed meeting, and the other the scheduled Aug. 17 meeting. Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant left, saying she had another engagement, and Brian Williams, Tambra Varnadore and Tamara Cornwell were reluctant to proceed without the full commission present.

"I'm not voting on this tonight," Varnadore said. "I guess we won't have a quorum if I'm not voting."

She pointed out that the last time changes were made to the police pensions, it cost them $400,000. "We've gotten burned on these 'insignificant' changes," she noted, saying she wanted to hear from the attorney. "We thought we'd have no problems with the last one."

Cornwell said she agreed with Varnadore, who also added, "I know enough to know that I'm not ready to move forward."

City Attorney Mark Barnebey said a motion was needed to continue the item, and the commission voted 3-0 to continue it to Sept. 14.

The commissioners also voted 3-0 on the consent agenda, which included a special legal billing by Kirk Pinkerton for $3,286.50, and voted 3-0 on the following:

  • An agreement with CPA Associates for auditing services for 2009 not to exceed $54,500.

  • A budget resolution to fund the severance agreement and general release with Tanya Lukowiak.

  • A special function permit for First Baptist Church at 10 a.m. on Sept. 6.

City Clerk Jim Freeman said that the Hidden Lakes cell phone tower will be on the Sept. 14 agenda, and they are getting ready to send notices to residents as well as set up a workshop for public comments.


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