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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Holmes Beach to Anna Maria - forget combined cop ops

Holmes Beach Mayor Carol Whitmore has given a polite "thanks, but no thanks" reply to an effort by Anna Maria City Commissioner Duke Miller to discuss the cost of Holmes Beach assuming law enforcement duties for Anna Maria.

In a letter to Miller and the city Aug. 5, Whitmore said she appreciated the confidence that Miller had shown in the HBPD, but "at this time, I do not feel the timing is right to move forward and present you with a proposal."

Whitmore added that she recently attended an Anna Maria City Commission meeting and did not feel that the commission yet "grasped the strong mayor form of government."

To put it bluntly, Whitmore said she has observed Anna Maria commissioners "micro-managing issues that are clearly legislative and cannot subject my police department and myself to this (sic)."

But if Anna Maria wants to return to the issue in the future, when commissioners stop micro-managing, "please let me know and I will bring this to my commission," Whitmore concluded.

Miller's effort with Holmes Beach came after the Manatee County Sheriff's Office increased its contract price with Anna Maria for 2004-05 from $510,000 to $580,000, with no option for negotiation. Miller and other commissioners are seeking measures to either reduce spending or generate revenue, without increasing the city's millage rate.