Author Archives: Bianca Benedí

Anna Maria VRO lobbyist gets to work

What’s up in Tallahassee? Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy reported at a Feb. 7 city meeting that lobbyist Chip Case is at work on behalf of the city in the state capital. Case was hired Jan. 23 on a $5,000 monthly retainer to battle state Senate and House bills that pose threats to the city’s […]

County backs WMFR’s ASL request

After a meeting with the Manatee County Board of Commissioners, a goal of the West Manatee Fire Rescue District is closer to reality. In a meeting Feb. 7, county commissioners requested that county attorney Mitchell Palmer draft legislation to allow WMFR to offer advanced life support services. WMFR Commissioner Randy Cooper addressed the county board […]

3 resign from center after-school program

Three employees at the Center of Anna Maria Island — all working in the Beyond The Classroom program either full or part time — have resigned. Children enrolled in the BTC after-school program will remain at Anna Maria Elementary for BTC until March 10, when the center should hopes to have its staffing problem resolved, […]

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Driving donations for dogs

Moonracer No Kill Animal Rescue is selling 150 tickets in a raffle for a 1985 Mercedes 280SL, donated by Rhonda Poklemba. The drawing will be Tuesday, April 25, and $100 tickets are available for purchase at Moonracer was founded by Islander office manager Lisa Williams to rescue and find forever homes for dogs and […]

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Anna Maria chair suggests planning for city manager

At the Anna Maria City Commission meeting Feb. 9, Chair Doug Copeland suggested the city consider adding the hiring of a city manager to its 10-year plan. “I don’t know how much this commission or our residents appreciate how much is involved in your job,” Copeland told Mayor Dan Murphy. Copeland said a city manager […]

Anna Maria authorizes study on special tax assessment

Anna Maria commissioners authorized a contract Jan. 26 for an engineering and consulting firm to study development of an occupancy-based tax assessment. Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy has advocated the fee, which would be based on the number of people living in a household, as a solution to recoup the city’s tourism and vacation rental-related […]

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Center board members discuss budget, fundraising events

A number of programs, events and initiatives are in the works to fundraise for the Center of Anna Maria Island. At a meeting Jan. 30, the center board of directors reviewed its year-to-date financial status — the nonprofit continues to operate in the red — and events on the calendar. Events include a dinner theater […]

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Center flounders, $135K in the red

Everything is not coming up roses for the Center of Anna Maria Island as the calendar shifts to February. The center’s year-to-date net income is in the red to the tune of $135,000, with $235,000 in revenue and $370,000 in expenses since the fiscal year began July 1, 2016. Kristen Lessig, executive director of the […]

Anna Maria negotiates 
more Bert Harris claims

The Anna Maria City Commission approved nine Bert Harris settlement offers Jan. 26, reducing the Bert Harris claims awaiting a response to 56. City attorney Becky Vose brought suggestions for claims filed Nov. 16-18, 2016, recommending occupancy rates of eight to 12 people. The Bert Harris Jr. Private Property Protection Act of 1995 allows property […]

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Anna Maria hiring lobbyist to challenge VRO rollback proposal

The city of Anna Maria is preparing for battle in Tallahassee. The Anna Maria City Commission unanimously approved Jan. 26 an agreement to hire lobbyist Chip Case with Jefferson Monroe Consulting LLC of Tallahassee to fight a Senate bill that likely would undo the city’s vacation rental ordinance. The agreement with Case runs five months, […]