Next City Council Meeting on Thursday, June 4th at 7pm

The next City Council Meeting will be this Thursday, June 4 at 7pm at City Hall.


  • There will be a presentation on Project Bruin (which is on the Consent Agenda)

Consent Agenda includes

  • Project Bruin – which is requesting $350,000 from the Quick Action Closing Fund – in exchange for a Capital Investment of $1,895,000 by 12/31/16 and retaining 473 existing employees and creating 178 new jobs with an average wage of $83,000.
  • Two Purchase Awards – One for annual asphalt milling and resurfacing services for 2015 in the amount not to exceed $558,370, which is a piggyback on a competitively bid contract with the Village of Wellington; the second is also a Piggyback on a Miami/Dade contract for Employee Benefits Consulting Services in the amount of $210,000.

Public Hearings include:

  • 2nd reading of Ordinance 4, 2015 (Replacing Chapter 62) and Ordinance 9, 2015 (Replacing Chapter 70) and it’s related Resolution revising schedules and fees related to Chapter 70
  • Ordinances 7 and 8, 2015, 1st Reading – related to a temporary change in the Municipal Election date for 2016 (in order to coincide with the March 22 Federal Presidential Primary Election) and adjusting the Candidate Qualifying Period, affected by the change.
  • Ordinance 10, 2015 transfers approximately $5.5 Million from the General Fund Budget Stabilization Reserve Account, leaving a balance of $462K, and using the transfers for: Supplemental appropriation for Golf Course Clubhouse, Additional payment towards unfunded public safety liabilities, Supplemental appropriation for City Park, Supplemental appropriation for Police Tactical Training Facility. Unassigned General Fund Reserves are unaffected, and will remain at $23,066,106
  • Resolution 11, 2015 – Seacoast Banking Center signage changes
  • Resolution 20, 2015 – Church in the Gardens – Art in Public Places approval of  a seven and one-half (7 %) foot tall statue of Jesus Christ Ascending to Heaven.
  • Resolution 24, 2015 – a site plan amendment to allow for the build out of Phase II of the La Posada Senior Assisted Living Facility

Items for Council Action/Discussion 

  • The two items that were on the May Agenda and not discussed are once again on the agenda – Citizen Survey Results and North County District Park.

The agenda (with links to full detail) can be found here.  Check the agenda to see if any additional items have been added before the meeting.

See a summary of the May Council Meeting as well as the latest Martino Minute on the PBG Watch website.

We get the government we deserve – and it’s up to us to watch what they do.  Hope you can make it.  If you can’t make the meeting try and watch live-streaming or on-demand.

No to All Aboard Florida Bonds; Yes to everything else

All council members were  present.  Mr. Russo commented he may not be able to stay the entire meeting due to medical problems at home.

Council chambers were filled for the Frenchman’s Creek and Frenchman’s Reserve presentation.  Jane Feinstein and Mik Fernanandi  presented their arguments against All Aboard Florida (AAF), mentioning the lack of transparency with AAF and DOT.  Noise, vibrations, expected slower response times and possible hazardous waste issues with the expected increase in freight trips were also discussed.  They requested the council write a letter objecting to the issuing of bonds.  There are claims that peoples’ rights have been violated because many people have objected to the “bullet” train but that AFF and the DOT said “no local residents have objected.”  They mentioned that a Jupiter and PBG resident have filed lawsuit.

May 7, 2015

Ali Soule, representative for AAF, spoke for 3 minutes after that presentation in favor of AAF. Two other people spoke in favor of AFF. 5 residents voiced their opinion against AFF. It was a hot topic and the Mayor had to quiet the crowd several times. A motion was made and accepted to send a letter out against issuing the bonds.

Fl. Representative Pat Rooney gave an update on the latest legislative session noting that they ended 3 days early.  No progress was made on the budget and there is a special session scheduled to meet again 6/1/15 through 6/20/15 to discuss the budget and the expansion issues with Medicare/Medicaid.  Mr. Rooney also spoke about the 750K funding for the C17 canal.  Legislation on sober homes is also being discussed

The annual Audit report was given by Marcum LLP.  Their representative, Enrique Llerena  gave the report noting there were no deficiencies and noted that the staff did a great job providing the information.

City Manager proclaimed May 24 Sherri Pla day. The African American Golfers Association acknowledged Sherri as their 1st award recipient for her involvement in promoting golf.

The Consent Agenda was approved 5-0.

Ordinance 4, 2015  repealing and rewriting Chapter 62 (regulations that govern the use of city streets, swales, right of way and public places) was passed 5-0.

Ordinance 9, 2019 repealing and rewriting Chapter 70 (traffic and vehicles) also passed 5-0.  Note that Resolution 19 is a companion item and will require council action on the 2nd reading next month.

Ordinance 5, 2015 (2nd reading) 10 year water supply facilities work plan was passed 5-0.

Ordinance 6, 2015 (2nd reading) Mirasol club renovations passed 5-0.  The companion item Resolution 16, 2015 for additional parking also passed 5-0.

Resolution 18, 2015 to allow a 2000 sq. ft. restaurant and drive thru to be build had some 5 residents that spoke against the resolution. The Brocks changed the hours of operation after council expressed concern. The resolution passed 5-0.

Resolution 17, 2015 Appointment of regular members to the Police pension board passed 5-0 after all persons mentioned were approved by council.

Resolution 21, 2015 Eminent domain of 8511 40th Terrace North for a utility water line was combined with Resolution 22, 2015 the eminent domain to acquire a parcel of land at 8342 Sunset Drive.  Todd Engle presented a slide show on the reasons for the taking.  Carol Courtney spoke at the public comment.  She noted that there were several very old trees, one in particular that was estimated by arborist to be approximately 250 years old.  Carol stated she had spoken to the city forester and the day before and he said he was not aware of the issues with the trees.  Michelle Ball spoke about the close proximity of the cul-de-sac to her home.  Kevin Easton spoke about the problems in communication and the attempts to get all interested parties, like the city forester, fire chief, etc. to meet on site to develop a plan that works best for the neighborhood.  Kevin requested to show some slides presenting his ideas to tweak the current design to save the trees and keep the “gardens” charm that he has enjoyed since purchasing his home (1989.)  That request was denied.  Council instructed the City Engineer to work with Mr. Easton to see if his proposals could be incorporated and to try and save the trees.  The Council passed both resolutions 5-0.

The council meeting concluded at 10:30.

Next City Council Meeting on May 7 at 7pm

The next City Council Meeting will be this Thursday, May 7 at 7pm at City Hall.  It is a very full agenda with many topics of interest.

Announcements/Presentations includes a Legislative Update by Representative Pat Rooney, the 2014 Annual Audit Report and a topic regarding All Aboard Florida and residents of Frenchman’s Creek and Frenchman’s Reserve.

Public Hearings and Resolutions include amending Chapter 62 (Streets, Sidewalks and Certain Public Places) making property owners share in responsibility of swales/right of way maintenance , amending Chapter 70 (Traffic and Vehicles) The proposed new ordinance would provide the City with a new set of parking regulations and the repeal of Article VI. Dangerous Intersection Safety regarding the use of unmanned image capture technologies. , Revising Schedule of Fees and Charges, amending Donald Ross Village PUD, Condemnation and Eminent Domain Proceedings on 2 parcels (Sunset Drive and 40th Terrace) as well as 2nd reading on several items.

Council Action/Discussion will also include discussion of the Citizen Survey Results and a discussion on North County District Park.

The agenda (with links to full detail) can be found here.  Check the agenda to see if any additional items have been added before the meeting.

Martino: Term Limits will make competition for votes fairer

In a recent Palm Beach Post “Letter to the Editor” from a Palm Beach Gardens resident who wrote he was “disturbed” about the results of the November 2014 election concerning term limits. I fail to understand his lamentations. He admits that of 20,000 votes cast, 16,000 were favorable. That’s an impressive 80%!

The resident also says with misplaced enthusiasm, “While it’s true that our City Council has been elected to office over a 25-year period, its members have been steadfast in accomplishing the tremendous controlled growth in Palm Beach Gardens.” The City of Palm Beach Gardens was incorporated in 1959. The roots, foundations, and principles of “controlled growth” in the Gardens were planted, built, and institutionalized in the 1970’s and 1980’s, long before the current members of the City Council were elected.

The resident further opines, “And voters have had numerous times to vote out people they were uncomfortable with.” While this is a truism, it also begs debate and clarification. Open for debate is the supposition that current incumbents have been re-elected because they have done a good job. Part of the clarification is the very real possibility that the current incumbents have been re-elected not solely based on the good job hypothesis but due to block voting in certain sections of the City which is also a truism.

Will the current term limited incumbents be missed? Maybe by some, but probably not, by others! The history of the City Council in Palm Beach Gardens did not begin with the current members and will not end with their exit. Before the current elected five, many qualified and interested men and one woman have served as Council members accomplishing and contributing to the quality of life that Gardens residents enjoy today. It is my opinion that future elected City Councils will continue to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of Gardens’ residents with equal intellect and vigor, as all of their predecessors, have exhibited.

In conclusion, I say, no one has said, and term limits certainly will not, eliminate the competition for votes. Term limits will simply make the competition for votes somewhat fairer for all contestants, and not just incumbents.

Perhaps, in the interest of still further fairness, an initiative to elect Council members by districts should be contemplated.