Angry words directed at City Commissioners by Stone Hotel property owner and businessman, Pete Carmichael
Pete Carmichael is not a man to mince words. He has no love for codes, bureaucracy, and regulations which he sees as efforts to diminish his property rights. At Tuesday’s meeting of the Marianna City Commission, Carmichael declared that through the costly steps the city had placed before him as requirements before he could even request authorization to use his building for a planned business were unreasonable.
The city codes require stamped engineering or architectural drawings of a facility as part of the permitting-licensing process for a new business. Carmichael states that his best cost quote for this service is over $8,000. Then there is no assurance that his intended use of the facility would be allowed unless the building was brought up to full compliance with today’s codes.
Carmichael wants to use the old Stone Hotel as a rental banquet-meeting area for local citizens and organizations to use. The city planning officials have prevented this usage, first requiring the detailed building plans, and then requiring the very costly upgrade of the aging building. The building was last used as an antique store, which attracted many visitors to Marianna.
“You have made my 7000 sq. ft, 100 year old historical building useless. I am the one who is suffering a big financial loss because of your requirements,” raged Carmichael. He had direct verbal encounters with City Manager Jim Dean and City Attorney Frank Bondurant during his time at the podium.
“Mr. Carmichael, your allowed three minutes to speak has elapsed. We must now move the meeting into other areas,” announced Mayor Roger Clay in an attempt to end the confrontation. “You are just trying to get rid of me! Thank you for Nothing!!” shouted Carmichael as he stormed out of the room in disgust.
A secondary issue which was brought up was the usage of a small billboard which Carmichael has placed in the front yard of the hotel, proclaiming that the City has improperly taken his property and violated his property rights. Carmichael wants to rent usage of this sign to others who might wish to voice a protest.