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Date of Issue: September 28, 2006

Special master gets first-time nod in Bradenton Beach

Code enforcement in Bradenton Beach may take a more professional, if less personal, approach later this year.

City commissioners approved the concept of retaining a special master to hear and adjudicate code enforcement issues in the city. The final arbiter in such matters currently is a code enforcement board, which has been plagued with attendance problems and has drawn concerns that a more professional approach is needed to decide what are becoming more complicated issues.

The special master would be an "attorney, judge or person with specialized legal training appointed by the city commission to hear and decide code enforcement violations with the authority and powers ... to hold hearings, make findings of fact, render conclusions of law, issue orders and assess fines against violators of the city codes and ordinances," according to the draft ordinance.

Commissioners offered several technical revisions to the ordinance last week. Final hearing and decision on the matter will be reached at the Oct. 5 city commission meeting.