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Council watch

Billy Manes pays attention to city government so you don't have to



Aside from an innocuous declaration that June 3 would be declared Medina’s Grocery Day – when it was neither funky nor cold – this week’s agenda would scrape back to the boring bottom of civic governance: garbage truck purchases, bike paths, and for those into that sort of thing, a digester heating system to handle hot sludge. But beyond the muck, a couple of newly introduced ordinances loomed for their first hearing, mostly because new state laws require compliance, and the state will not be ignored.

The city approves Ordinance 2013-31 amending Chapter 5, Article III entitled “Red Light Infractions.”
Translation: Over the last two years alone, the city has issued $9.1 million in fines through its red-light camera program, Orlando Stops; $6.1 million has stayed with the city, with the rest going to the state. A new bill passed this year will require that punished parties have access to a hearing officer (at a cost of $12,000) in order to make the process more fair and efficient. The city will also utilize resources within its code enforcement department to serve as “clerks” to the hearings, and will hire an accounting specialist at $30,000 a year. Look! It’s all legitimate now!

The city approves Ordinance 2013-30 relating to fertilizer application.
Translation: Fertilizer is poop and poop needs to be handled correctly, at least if the city wants to continue to operate its storm-water apparatus legally. Generally speaking, this ordinance is just a heap of regulatory measures to limit harmful fertilizers loaded with phosphorous or nitrogen, because they pollute things (don’t do it in the rain or throw it in a sewer, etc.). It also sets up a training mechanism for commercial and institutional poop spreaders through the University of Florida agriculture extension program, because the more you know, the more you grow. Poop.

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