Over the past month, the Gulfport city charter review has been high priority at city council meetings. At their regular meeting Tuesday evening, November 5, council decided not to take action on amending section 302 of the charter, which covers term limits for elected officials.
During the October 1 city council meeting, the idea to change the mayor’s term limit from three to four years and councilmember terms from two to three years was brought up, then placed on the back burner.
On Tuesday, there were two competing ideas concerning section 302, primarily between Mayor Sam Henderson and Councilman Michael Fridovich.
Fridovich, who expressed interest in extending term limits, said, “I feel it would make sense [to extend term limits] because it gives you time to actually accomplish something… We’re constantly running for re-election. I’d like to see this put out to the public to see what they think, and put it on the ballot, let the public decide.”
“I think two-years is a good way to get your feet wet, see if you like it, see if people like you, so someone doesn’t get stuck with a job they might realize they don’t want down the road and the people don’t get stuck with someone that may not be doing the job they want done,” countered Henderson.
If council chose to take action, an ordinance would have to be adopted by December for the charter change to be on the March ballot.
After an open discussion among councilmembers, the idea was laid to rest for the time being until there’s more interest from residents. If more feedback is heard from the people, a discussion changing city charter section 302 can occur at any time.
“I’m very content with just the way it is until I hear a public outcry,” concluded Henderson.
Mayor Presents Awards for Halloween Decoration Contest Winners
At the Tuesday, November 5 regular council meeting, Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson, left, presented the awards for this year’s Halloween Decoration Contest Winners and thanked the participants for having the Halloween Spirit. The Dunning Family – from left, Harrison, Elisa, and Jennifer – won Best General Theme. For the fifth year in a row, Mike and Gini Fagan, at right, won Best Commercial Theme for the Gulfport Beach Bazaar.
PSTA Presents New Gulfport Trolley
Gulfport’s newest trolley was on display for residents to tour Tuesday evening, November 5, during the city council meeting at city hall. Brad Miller, CEO of Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), proudly handed the title for Gulfport’s previous trolley over to the city.
“We celebrate the bequeathing of not one but two trolleys… to the City of Gulfport. I feel like [Gulfport City Manager Jim] O’Reilly and I have been working on this for as long as I’ve lived here,” Miller joked. “It hasn’t been that long, but we’ve worked on this for a very long time.
The City of Gulfport will lease the new trolley from the PSTA for $1.
The new trolley seats four additional poeple, raising the capacity from 28 to 32 passengers.
Praise went to Patrick Drouin, a 25-year resident of Gulfport, who is responsible for the woodworking that has been done inside the new trolley. Drouin will continue to make aesthetic and functional improvements.
Current improvements to the old trolley are being made to ensure safety and deter vandalism according to Vice Mayor Paul Ray. Once these are completed the trolley will be placed in Trolley Market Square on Tangerine Avenue and 49th Street South. The trolley will be inoperable and a permanent park fixture.