First Responders Honored; All Aboard Florida Concerns voiced; No Charter Review

Mayor Premuroso kicked off the January 8th City Council Meeting by reciting Governor Scott’s declaration of Florida First Responder Appreciation Week, and honoring all those from the City’s Police Department and Fire/Rescue, many of whom were present at the start of the meeting. Ed McEnroe gave a presentation on the impact of the Honda Classic and described plans for the upcoming one starting February 23rd.   (see Palm Beach Post article on the Honda Classic).

January 8, 2015

During Items of Resident Interest, several of the council mentioned the Economic Update meeting they attended by Hank Fishkind, with a sunny outlook for Palm Beach Gardens. The Post summarizes Mr. Fishkind’s presentation here.

City Manager Ferris stated that the City received a response from All Aboard Florida (AAF) to a letter sent on behalf of the City by Mayor Premuroso. The City’s letter (read it here) had 19 questions concerning the impacts of the expanded rail service on the City.   AAF’s response addressed none of them. The Council directed Mr. Ferris to set up a workshop with management of AAF (not the Marketing team) to answer their questions. Council frustration about AAF was evident later in the meeting during  Comments from the Public, when resident Marilyn Klausner, addressing the Council for the first time, questioned why no one in the Cities and the County Commission were doing anything to stop All Aboard Florida. The Council described actions taken, but Council Member Tinsley summed it up best by stating that the Railroad was there first and that the cities had to have permission from FEC to cross it’s tracks rather than the other way around. Note: While the Council (and PBGWATCH) were under the impression the US Coast Guard would be our last line of defense due to impact on marine traffic, an article in the paper on Friday quoted the Coast Guard as saying the recent public meetings on the bridges were not primarily about AAF.

Another topic discussed by the Council was whether there was a need for a Charter Review. After some discussion it was felt that the last two elections (2012/2014) had Charter resolutions and thus there should be no action taken in 2016 on any charter changes. Since the Council would be changing due to term limits – let the new council deal with it.

Comments by the Public generated most of the discussion for the remainder of the meeting.

  • Alton Neighborhood Plat 1 was on the Consent Agenda and two folks (one from Boca Raton and the other from Palm Beach Gardens) spoke against any development on the Briger Forest. Council Member Levy rebutted claims made by the speakers about the pristine nature of Briger, which he said already had a damaged water table, and was surrounded by highways. He also rebutted the claim that the gopher tortoises would be destroyed – as all would be moved elsewhere and that Frenchman’s Forest had a similar habitat with lots of tortoises. Levy also stated that the property had alway been slated for development in the City’s plans.
  • Kevin Easton, resident from the Sunset Drive neighborhood, spoke about December’s meeting, where it was decided to begin Eminent Domain proceedings against him for not ceding an easement on his properties. Kevin also spoke about the County’s attempt to lump in canal ownership in the transfer to the City. Mr Ferris agreed that the County did try that in the beginning but was rejected by the City. Council Member Tinsley, as she did last month, reiterated that every residence in Palm Beach County has required easements and right of ways and no one is paid for those easements. Mr. Easton was NOT going to lose his property, but have an easement as does everyone else. And if he wanted payment, while all his other neighbors did not, then it would only be fair that all in the community be paid. (We hope that this can be resolved amicably)

Save the date January 29th for an FDOT Kick Off Meeting Phase 2 Study of the I-95 at PGA Blvd/Central Boulevard.  More details in a separate post.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...