Former City Attorney says 4 commission seats “are in doubt,” decisions SPB commission makes could be “jeopardized”

Former St. Pete Beach City Attorney Tim Driscoll told the city commission last night that the basis for his client’s request for a delay in commission approval is that “we don’t want to have any approval that could be jeopardized by the make-up of the commission, quite frankly.”

Driscoll referenced the recent lawsuit filed by Protect St. Pete Beach and city residents alleging that the current city commission is not lawfully seated.

Driscoll’s remarks were made while asking for a vote on his client’s conditional use permit (CUP) to be delayed.

Driscoll’s remarks are the first sign that attorneys outside of the current city attorney’s office see some risk in obtaining approval from the current city commission. If a court finds that it isn’t lawfully seated, any decisions it made are nullified.

“You have four seats that are in doubt because of a pending lawsuit,” Driscoll bluntly said in response to a question from Betty Rzewnicki, whose appointment to the District 3 seat is in dispute. Rzewnicki generally appeared to not understand that she and the other appointed commissioners are pawns in a big stakes game. Rzewnicki was the lone “no” vote in granting the request to delay the CUP vote. Such a delay is also known as a continuance.

The discussion in the meeting video begins at 17:00 and is less than 10 minutes. Pregnant silences were abundant.

Additional remarks that Driscoll made show, by implication, that he thinks that the four appointed commission seats are “under a cloud” and that not all members of the commission may be duly elected or appointed.

Will Driscoll’s remarks and legal analysis cause Columbia Sussex (the Sirata Resort) to ask for an additional delay of its $500 million beachfront redevelopment project?

As always….the Guardian reports and the readers decide. Please like our Facebook page to find out when we publish new stories.