Gulfport City Council held its regular meeting on St. Patty’s Day, and all looked dapper in green. Ward One Councilmember Dan Liedtke, with his deep-emerald, Masters-inspired suit jacket, took home the award for most committed.
On the agenda this week was 2014’s financial report, resolutions to grant Gulfport’s Get Rescued special event status, and to request the Florida Legislature support an amendment defining the phrase “recklessly or negligently” as it pertains to individual gun rights.
A Community Redevelopment Agency meeting to approve a resolution to allow more seating and tables in the Art Village Courtyard immediately followed the Council meeting.
February’s Get Rescued – the Gulfport Merchant Association’s downtown event to help pets find a home – was rained out. Gulfport City Council had no problem temporarily waiving some of the city’s provisions to allow for a do-over. The next (and hopefully dry) Get Rescued will be Saturday, March 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The issue of requesting the Florida Legislature to support an amendment to Florida Statue 790.15 was tabled in order to revise the resolution’s language. The statute in question deals with discharging a firearm in public or on residential property — it’s the statute that allowed Lakewood Estates neighborhood resident Joey Carannante to assemble his own backyard shooting range a couple months ago. Council, once the resolution’s language is agreed upon, hopes to have the terms “recklessly” and “negligently” clearly defined in the statute in the future. These terms provided a loophole for Carannante to set up the legal construction of his backyard shooting range.
Gulfport’s 2014 financial report garnered praise from both council and Chad Wetstone of Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, the firm responsible for conducting this year’s annual report.
“There’s no debt in the general fund,” said Wetstone, among other positive declarations.
Following the meeting was a Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) meeting. The lone resolution on the agenda aimed to allow more seating and tables to the Art Village Courtyard (approximately 16 more seats: four more tables with four chairs at each table). There were initial concerns from citizens in attendance regarding the potential lessening of parking spaces around the courtyard area. However, once it was made clear by council that parking would be unaffected by the resolution, it passed unanimously.