A proposal by Holmes Beach Mayor Carmel Monti to have the Holmes Beach Police Department assume law enforcement responsibilities for Anna Maria would lower Anna Maria’s annual budget by $150,000 for the contract’s first year. At the same time, police coverage in Anna Maria would be reduced.
Monti’s proposal for law enforcement services calls for $485,000 from Anna Maria the first year of the contract, followed by annual increases of 6 percent, reaching $612,301 in the fifth year.
Anna Maria presently contracts with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement and the proposed contract for 2013-14 is about $615,000.
Monti’s proposal would put one police officer in Anna Maria during any 24-hour period.
Anna Maria presently has two MCSO deputies on duty 6 a.m.-1 a.m. And Sgt. Paul Davis, the substation supervisor, is on duty at least five days per week. One MCSO deputy is on patrol 1 a.m.-6 a.m.
Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn declined to comment on the proposal, saying it should first be discussed by commissioners.
Under Monti’s proposal, the two cities would be divided into zones, with Anna Maria encompassing one zone. Monti said shifts would be 12 a.m.-noon and noon-12 a.m. “Coverage will entail one officer per zone with all zones supervised by a sergeant, both shifts,” he wrote.
Anna Maria Commissioner Nancy Yetter said she would not be in favor of Holmes Beach patrolling Anna Maria.
“It just doesn’t sound like a good deal for our city,” she said.
Yetter noted that under Monti’s proposal, Anna Maria would be losing one of two officers for daily coverage, in addition to Davis. The initial savings would not be worth the lost coverage, or the city losing control of its law enforcement department, she added.
Yetter also noted beach coverage was not mentioned in Monti’s proposal.
“All things considered, I’m happy with the MCSO coverage, the cost and that we have some control over law enforcement,” Yetter said.
The commissioner said she would, however, welcome public input on the proposal.
SueLynn entered discussion with Monti about police consolidation at the direction of the commission following a suggestion from Commissioner Gene Aubry.
Aubry said he had not had a chance to review Monti’s proposal.