VENICE — The City Council will vote on filling two high-ranking positions next week and say goodbye to the occupant of another.

Lori Stelzer

Venice City Clerk Lori Stelzer

The Council interviewed Kelly Michaels last week and voted to extend an offer to her to be the next city clerk, replacing Lori Stelzer, who has held the job for 28 years.

Michaels was the only one of three candidates to appear for an interview but the Council members felt she was well qualified and would be a good fit, so they didn’t reopen the hiring process.

Because the clerk’s job is a charter office position, Michaels will have an employment contract.

The agreement the Council will vote on Tuesday calls for a salary of $125,000 a year, rising to $130,000 after six months.

In it the city agrees to reimburse her up to $5,000 in expenses to relocate from Waukesha, Wisconsin.

She’ll officially be the city clerk-in-training from Nov. 8 until Jan. 1, the day after Stelzer officially retires.

That’s the same last day for Police Chief Tom Mattmuller, who has been with the department for 30 years, the last five as chief.

Tom Mattmuller, Venice police chief

Tom Mattmuller

City Manager Ed Lavallee will ask the Council to approve the hiring of VPD Capt. Charlie Thorpe as the next chief Tuesday.

Charlie Thorpe

Capt. Charlie Thorpe of the Venice Police Department

Currently the Patrol Division commander, Thorpe joined the department after 27 years with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, from which he retired as a captain. He began his career as a police officer in Urbana, Ohio.

The Council will present a retirement certificate to Assistant City Manager Len Bramble after more than 14 years of service.

Bramble was hired as Utilities director in 2007 and was promoted to his current position in 2014.

Other business

Also on Tuesday, the Council is scheduled to:

• discuss the allocation of mobility fees to two Pinebrook Road projects — the intersection with East Venice Avenue and the entrance to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice campus.

The city has committed $2.3 million to the first project and is working on an agreement with the hospital for the second one, to which SMH has said it will contribute half.

Ironing out these details will determine how much is left in the city’s mobility fee fund to go toward widening Laurel Road.

• consider a resolution requesting Sarasota County to designate Laurel Road as a priority road project from Knights Trail Road east to Jacaranda Boulevard.

• consider a resolution setting the city’s Municipal Election for Nov. 2.

• consider a resolution requested by the Department of Transportation giving Lavallee the authority to approve temporary closures of U.S. 41 Business and the portion of the bypass in the city for special events.

• consider a resolution accepting utilities and improvements in Palencia Phase 1.

• consider a resolution approving an application to the State Revolving Fund Loan Program for funding for the North Venice booster pump station.

• vote on an ordinance implementing the final year of a five-year program of rate increases for solid waste collection. The increase is 1%.

• vote on an ordinance creating new rules for mobile food vending.

• vote on a contract with Wright Construction Group Inc. to construct the Taxiway E extension.

• consider a request from the Charter Review Committee to hold a joint meeting.

• proclaim the week of Oct. 3-9, 2021, as “Fire Prevention Week.”


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