Next City Council Mtg on June 2 at 7pm

The next City Council Meeting will be this Thursday, June 2nd, at 7pm in City Hall.

Presentations include 2015 Audit Report – no details provided

Consent Agenda includes:

  • Resolution 38, 2016 – Conceptually approving a ten percent (10%) local match to Project Falcon for the State’s Qualified Target Industry Tax Program – BDB requested of Palm Beach County and PBG for $80K each; for an ‘un-named’ company already in the City to retain 450 local jobs and create 200 new jobs.
  • Resolution 40, 2016 – extending an interlocal agreement between the Village of North Palm Beach, the Town of Lake Park, Palm Beach County, and the City of Palm Beach Gardens originally entered into in 1997 and expiring in Sept. 2016, for another 5 years. “The purpose of the Task Force was to evaluate and recommend plans for the improvement, enhancement, and renovation of the Northlake Boulevard Corridor“.

City Manager Report – no details listed

Public Hearings:

  • Ordinance 5, 2016 – Police Pension Amendment. This makes clarifications to existing language, policies and practices and is not anticipated to change the cost of the plan.
  • Resolution 34, 2016 – Site plan approval for the development of a 124-unit apartment community within Parcel B of the Central Gardens Planned Community Development (PCD). This development would be adjacent to the 140-bed Assisted Living Facility approved by the Council on Feb 5, 2015.
  • Resolution 36, 2016 – Site Plan approval “on behalf of the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, for a Site Plan Amendment approval to demolish the existing Parish Center and Parish Office buildings, construct a new 21694-square-foot two- (2) story Parish Center building, expand the existing Pastoral Center by 396 square feet, and provide architectural and landscape modifications.”

Items for Council Action/Discussion:

  • Infrastructure Surtax Discussion (ed. note: since the Council last discussed the topic and decided not to approve, the County Commission and School Board have approved a modification to the original proposal, removing monies for economic expansion or cultural council. So the tax revenue would be shared according to statute with 50% to School Board, 30% to County and 20% to municipalities. The County once again is seeking approvals from cities representing 50% plus 1 of the total municipal populations)

Check the agenda to see if any additional items have been added before the meeting here.

Martino: Council Too Often Abuses Constituents’ Sacred Trust

The lack of sensibility and sensitivity to RESIDENTS concerns demonstrated at various Palm Beach Gardens City Council meetings that I have attended in the last two years is both disappointing and disconcerting. The stifling of any and all reasonable conversations about substantive issues raised rightfully by anxious RESIDENTS is forcing the abandonment of trust in the current City Council. But I am not surprised. In my opinion the building blocks for the perpetuation of these indignities began 25 years ago.

The City Council and its “defenders” will probably cry foul saying the above is anything but factual. Well, in my opinion facts are not foul. Consider the following current issues and the Council responses…

* Amid the swirl of controversy surrounding the validity of the results of the March 15th, City Council Seat #4 election because no candidate received a majority of the votes cast, the City Council, without any cause for concern, without any questions of the City Clerk or the City Attorney, voted to accept the certification of the Seat #4 election results even though the certification violated the intent, integrity and trust of the City Charter. In Article IV: The City Council, Section 4-1. – Election, of the City Charter, it clearly states the requirement for a candidate to receive a majority of the votes cast.

* The “Special Meeting” of April 20th was advertised as an agenda specific promise to display preliminary sketches and plans for the Shady Lakes Drive extension with a presentation of same and a with a question and answer period to follow. Instead of listening and fully answering the RESIDENTS questions and concerns the City Council rumbled into a vote to approve half-of-a-road based on these so-called preliminary sketches and plans even though a vote was not clearly articulated by the agenda. Some of the City Council members’ comments to the RESIDENTS were patronizing, rude, and antagonistic.

* For a year or more residents of the Mirasol developments have raised the Health and Safety issue of understaffing at Fire Station 64 which serves their area. The City Council has sloughed the issue to the side by having the Administration meet and cajole with the RESIDENTS to soothe their anxieties without success. A new budget year came and went without staff increases for Fire Station 64 based on Administration recommendations that the City Council swallowed hook, line, and sinker. The RESIDENTS continued to bring the staffing issue to the forefront. Magically, at a recent Council meeting the well-intentioned Fire Chief and his top echelon were induced by the City Manager to present a full blown dog and pony show attempting to justify the below level staffing of Fire Station 64 as acceptable practice. Almost two years after the issue first gained traction, and two days before the dog and pony show, the City Administration contracted with an outside agency to help solve the staffing problem. Once again an issue of significant importance to the RESIDENTS is manipulated by the City Council in collusion with its Administration. The RESIDENTS are patronized by the Council with the smokescreen promise that an unnecessary outside study of all Fire Rescue service needs will answer the Fire Station 64 staffing problem.

There simply are no excuses or justifications for the inaction and inattentiveness to the above issues by the City Council of Palm Beach Gardens. In my opinion, however, there are a myriad of reasons why this unresponsive attitude pervades. Palm Beach Gardens has a “lazy” City Council. It is the only municipal government in Palm Beach County that has only one regular meeting per month and no scheduled workshop meetings. The Council is driven by Administration recommendations and, at least in public, does little in the way of original thinking or policy making of their own. The Council gives short shrift and little or no attention to everyday resident concerns and complaints.

A City Hall is the seat of local government where a municipal body that has been bestowed the sacred trust of a constituency through a secret ballot election, conducts legislative and administrative powers, such as, setting policy directives, passing ordinances, and appropriating funds, on behalf of that constituency. Inherent with this conferred trust and power is the regulating of the health, safety, and welfare of the enabling constituency, thereby, establishing a quality of life. The City Council of Palm Beach Gardens is such a municipal body. From my perspective, however, it has abandoned much of its powers to govern to the administration, and, all too often abuses its constituents’ sacred trust.

Progress on 117th Ct, Quiet Zones and Avenir Approval with Undercurrent of Distrust on Other Issues

The Council Meeting was kicked off by a 7 year old ‘Mayor for the Day’ who led the Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.


  • All Aboard Florida Quiet ZonesCity Engineer Todd Engle said that the City has 6 crossings, and the majority of the improvements will be to install more exit gates. The Council was pleased with the progress, especially after many years of seeking quiet zones for the FEC trains through the City.
  • 117th Street Ct N Conveyance
    • City has been trying to acquire the right of way since 1994
    • After approval by the City, the documents will go to School Board for approval in June.
    • Have to coordinate design and construction with School Board and has to be completed within 18 months, with the objective to improve the traffic pattern for the two schools and provide a dedicated lane direct to City Park.
    • Estimated cost 2.2 million. Mayor Tinsley pointed out that there may be an opportunity to get Federal funds (after the design is completed) to offset some of the expenditure.
    • Construction begins as soon as deed is processed- potentially early June and all road work will done before school starts
May 5, 2016

Public Comment:

  • Corey Jones Shooting – Michael Marsh of Vero Beach pleased with the responses by the City and pending implementation of body cams
  • Shady Lakes Expansion – Three residents (Israel Balderas, Kathy Beamer and Barry Mendelewisc) spoke on various aspects of the proposal.  Given the progress on 117th Ct N – why not wait until that plays out before implementing the Shady Lakes Expansion which the residents don’t want.  Request for another meeting with residents on both the 117th Ct N plans and updated plans for Shady Lakes – especially since berms and noise abatement still seems insufficient.
  • 10 Acre Congregate Living Facility (CLF) on Northlake Blvd – Matthew Kamula, resident and HOA President of Osprey Isles brought to the Council’s attention plans for a ‘sober home on steroids’ (by Council Member Levy).  This would be a 125 bed drug/alcohol detox and rehabilitation center.  While the property is not in the City Limits, it is right next to the City, and adjoining/nearby subdivisions were not informed nor their positions sought on its development, prior to County approvals.  In later Council discussion, the Council asked staff and City Manager Ferris to look into it and make sure the City’s position is known and presented.
  • PGA Blvd Bicycle and Traffic SafetyJoe R Russo mentioned Sarah Peter’s article on problems on PGA Blvd, discussed recent accidents and recommended that PGA Blvd be reevaluated for bike and pedestrian traffic, asking the Council to bring the issues to FDOT’s attention.
  • Fire Station 64 – several residents spoke, led off by Abbey and Matt Baker – about the continued delays in increasing staffing in station 64.  The perception was that the City just didn’t want to spend the money, was putting residents at risk, and was just using the out-sourced study to delay action.   City Manager Ferris, responding during the City Manager’s Report, said that there are so many issues with station 64 staffing. The city has never put anyone’s life in jeopardy. Based on level of calls budget decisions were  made. Call volume has not warranted adding staffing back in. The City increased staffing at station 65 and relies on 65 to augment 64.  The primary issue remains being geography – adding 2 to the staff won’t speed things up.  Perhaps the station and others are in the wrong place? Perhaps with Avenir and Alton and new ALFs, other changes need to be made. So the evaluation and study needs to be done.  It’s not all about money – it’s about justifying expenditures. It is his responsibility to justify what he’s doing to the Council.  He needs a plan and a strategy. There is no evidence of a lack of level of service problem – evidence of success. There is a city-wide response system for  both the fire/rescue and police dept.  Council Member Levy expressed concern about the growing level of perception of a problem by the residents.  Mayor Tinsley described accolades received by the fire/rescue and police departments.  Council Member Marino asked the residents for patience.
  •  And at least three references were made to what was perceived as an arrogant and  inappropriate Letter to the Editor in the Palm Beach Post written by a Council Member criticizing the positions of a resident.  The residents also mentioned the Council and staff’s arrogant and condescending attitude towards residents who disagree with them.

Public Hearings

  • Site plan approval for Alton Recreation and Fitness Facility – approved 5:0
  • Avenir Ordinances and Resolution – approved 5:0 Summarized in this article in the Palm Beach Post.  The majority of those speaking had spoken in the past in support of the project.  There were also several comment cards placed in the public record.

City Attorney Report

  • Max Lohman mentioned that there were multiple lawsuits underway but since he had already discussed status with the Council 1:1 there was no point in giving a report. (Editorial Comment – THIS IS NOT TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT – while Mr. Lohman may not want to go into the details and positions – he owes it to the Residents of the City to be aware of lawsuits. The Council should have admonished his comment and request that he give a brief summary to the residents. WE PAY HIS FEES!)

Next City Council Meeting on Thursday, May 5th at 7PM

The next City Council Meeting will be this Thursday, May 5th, at 7pm in City Hall. 2nd Reading on the Avenir Ordinances last heard in January are on the agenda.


  • ALL ABOARD FLORIDA 100% PLAN REVIEW/QUIET ZONE – no details provided
  • RIGHT OF WAY CONVEYANCE AGREEMENT FOR 117TH COURT NORTH – detail is provided in Resolution 33, 2016 on the Consent Agenda. Residents interested in the Shady Lakes Expansion will want to read here.

Consent Agenda includes:

  • Resolution 28, 2016 which reconstitutes the Budget Oversight Committee for another two years
  • Resolution 30, 2016 which allows the Azure development to provide a payment to Art in Public Places (AIPP) in lieu of building an artistic bus shelter in an alternate location, as there is no bus stop on the property
  • Purchase Award for 2016 Asphalt Milling and Resurfacing – Piggyback Contract for 1 year, valued at $580K
  • Purchase Award for Maintenance of Fire Alarm Systems – 5 year, publicly bid, non-renewable, valued at $78K
  • Several Proclamations

City Manager Report – no details listed

Public Hearings:

  • Resolution 31, 2016 – granting site plan approval for a 3.5 acre Community Recreation and Fitness Facility in the Alton Development
  • Ordinance 3, 2016, Ordinance 4, 2016 and related Resolution 4, 2016 – Second Reading and Approval of the Avenir Ordinances first voted on in the January 6th, 2016 Council Meeting

Items for Council Action/Discussion – none listed

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.