Safety Harbor City Hall (Photo/Kathryn Malaxos)

Commission Notes: June 3, 2019

in city hall/news

Commissioner Carlos Diaz also appreciated the Love in the Sun event– and mentioned Mayor Ayoub’s cameo appearance in the movie.

Diaz expressed condolences for the victims of the mass shooting in Virginia Beach. As these tragedies keep happening, Diaz suggested that action is needed and this need not impinge on an individual’s Second Amendment rights or right to self-defense. “We may not be able to prevent it,” Diaz said, “but we should do everything possible to prevent it.” As with the tree ordinance, Diaz said this issue should be addressed close to home.

We’ve got able governments here in the County and in the City … We listen to the people and we’re accountable to the people.

Carlos Diaz

Mayor Joe Ayoub also shared condolences for Ms. Williams and appreciation for her dedication and service to the city.

Reflecting on Diaz’s comments about mass shootings, Ayoub expressed condolences for the Virginia Beach community as well as concern about mass shooting in general. He stated that “70% of NRA members are in favor of universal background checks. It’s low-hanging fruit and the people we send to Washington, D.C. won’t get it done.”

Ayoub expressed appreciation for the community’s support of Love in the Sun. Residents have inquired about the possibility of having future movies in the park. This was discussed with City Manager Matt Spoor and they are looking into the possibility.

City Attorney Nikki Day suggested a staff attorney could represent Safety Harbor in Tallahassee on Friday when a judge will hear a Motion for Summary Judgement on firearms preemption. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, “Thirty municipalities, three counties, and more than eighty elected local officials moved in Florida state court on February 21, 2019 to grant summary judgment on their claims that penalties attached to Florida’s firearms preemption statute unconstitutionally chilled them from enacting local ordinances to protect the safety of Florida residents.” Cities involved in this motion have been encouraged to attend in support.

Currently, municipalities are prohibited from regulating firearms except through zoning. From WUSF: “The cities are asking a judge to declare the provisions ‘unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid’ and are seeking an injunction preventing enforcement of the penalties.” Members of the City Commission asked Day to make arrangements for Safety Harbor to have representation at the hearing. According to Day, a ruling isn’t expected for several weeks but a report on the hearing will be available sooner. More on current gun laws in Florida from the League of Women Voters/St. Petersburg here.

Day also noted that she will be working in Orlando during the next Commission meeting but a representative from her office will be in attendance.

Commissioner Andy Zodrow and City Manager Matt Spoor were not in attendance at the meeting per previous arrangements.

Kathryn Malaxos has lived in Safety Harbor since 1990. She is a mother of two grown humans and a dog who may never grow up. Kathy started teaching in 1989 and continues to work as a public school teacher. She is a graduate of USF St. Pete’s master’s program for Digital Journalism & Design. Contact her with story ideas and suggestions at