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Holmes Beach resident summarizes records research

By Kathy Prucnell, Islander Reporter

Holmes Beach resident Mary Buonagura has compiled her findings from six months of study of building department files in a one-page memo to the city.

        Buonagura was a member of the zoning-permitting focus group headed by Commissioner John Monetti, one of several city groups headed by commissioners that were formed in January to address renter, construction, garbage, noise and parking complaints.

        The focus groups were named in February shortly after Buonagura made her initial records request.

        In a one-page memo dated Aug. 28, Buonagura summarized her findings, but does not provide substantiating evidence or a report to document her claims.

        She noted that she requested an examination of the building department’s records in January and she completed her research July 10.

        She called lack of code enforcement by the city “egregious” and alleged malfeasance on the part of elected officials.

        Though Buonagura complimented the building department staff as efficient and for professional and accurate recording of “what is in each property file,” she also noted missing information on the building inspector’s reports.

        “In virtually every case of records I searched,” wrote Buonagura, inspection reports were noted “acceptable,” adding there were no comments or instructed “redos.”

        The inspection reports did not track with what I witnessed in my drive-by site inspections, she said.

        Buonagura continued, “In one case I reported a reconfigured roof line and encroachment onto the neighbor’s property,” adding that her report led to an almost immediate stop work order.

        In addition to looking at the files and various construction sites, her research with county, state and local codes and other public records was aimed at determining who was at fault for homes being illegally built for eight years, according to her memorandum.

        “Clearly, the research points to an egregious lack of enforcement by the city,” she concluded.

        Mayor Rich Bohnenberger said last week he and public works superintendent Joe Duennes were studying Buonagura’s memorandum.

        He said because it only sets out general allegations, without specific addresses, it was difficult to know what’s being claimed as problem properties.

        Nonetheless, Bohnenberger said he is researching the issues raised by Buonagura, and will provide a more thorough response at a later date.

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