Tallahassee Impacts on Home Rule a Significant Concern to City

The February 2nd meeting was fairly brief, ending before 8:30.  All ordinances/resolutions passed 5:0 or 4:0 when one of the Council Members wasn’t in the chambers.  The most significant items were those not specific to Council votes.


  • The recognition and honoring of Evan Travers, Palm Beach Gardens Fire Explorer Post #705, who last April, assisted in the rescue of a driver and passenger in car accident, with the assistance of other passers-by – getting the crash victims to safety before the crashed car burst into flames.
  • Joe Corrao of Public Works explained the new Fleet Leasing Program (covered on Consent), which will allow for turn-over of all vehicles on a 5-year schedule instead of the current 10+ year schedule, reduce fuel and maintenance costs, reduce mechanic hours on vehicle maintenance and also save money.  The vehicles will also be turn-key – ready to use, instead of the normal 90 days it takes to configure a new vehicle for use after purchase.
February 2nd

City Manager Report:

  • City Manager Ferris, in explaining the Home Rule resolution (on Consent Agenda), outlined the bills currently being considered in Tallahassee which will severely impact municipalities’ Home Rule by taking away rights of those municipalites to control their own policies at the same time causing significant fiscal impacts. It is worth watching Mr. Ferris’ presentation for the list of bills and their impacts!  Or read the Palm Beach Post article entitled “Palm Beach County cities take fight to Legislature on home rule bills“.

Items of Resident Interest

  • Most on the Council mentioned that they attended the Palm Beach County Commission meeting where the County passed the final agreement approving the District Park.
  • Announcements made by Mayor Marino:
    • Jack Doughney, Assistant City Manager recently retired. Chief Stepp is assuming the position of Interim Assistant City Manager and Clint Shannon is assuming the Interim Chief of Police Chief.
    • Sandhill Crane Club House Grand Opening will be held on February 18 from 2-6pm – all are welcome.
  • Council Member Litt on the profound affect on  attending the screening “I am Jane Doe” – at the County Chambers, on Human Trafficking which occurs in all 50 states. She also mentioned that teachers and first-responders in the County are being trained to know what to look for.

Comments from the Public:


  • Mayor Marino started this portion of the Agenda reading the newly changed Comment Card procedure – which states that cards must be submitted before the start of the specific agenda item.
  • Paula Magnuson – expressed dissatisfaction with a council member saying that he would visit people’s homes if they sent him negative emails and praising another for his votes. This was met with an admonition by the Mayor stating that the speaker must address the Council as a body. Ms. Magnuson also handed the Clerk an envelope outlining other issues.
  • Adam Gee, Damien Murray – both of the Palm Beach Gardens Soccer Program, and Tony Badala of PBGYAA, all made comments congratulating the Council and the City for completing the agreement with the County for the District Park.
  • Carol Easton – wanted the Council to understand the history of Kevin Easton’s conflicts with the City as he tried to make improvements to the Sunset neighborhood, with her perceived heavy handed Code Enforcement as the repercussion.
  • Former Mayor/Council Member David Levy gave an update report as the City’s representative to the Loxahatchee River Management Coordinating Council; he was just appointed/elected to be Secretary of the Council. He talked about a wet district called Palomar, spanning Martin and Palm Beach County. The Council ask that he also give them a written report.

Items for Council Action/Discussion:

Mayor Marino and others on the Council were concerned about an email that Council Member Lane wrote to FDOT on behalf of the Steeplechase HOA. Proper procedure was discussed:  that such issues should be brought before the entire council or to staff, and then the Council would issue such an email or corresondence in the name of the Mayor or the City Manager.  (As an observer, what was also interesting was the attendance of most if not the entire Council at a private HOA meeting.  While they did not make policy or vote on anything there, they attended to hear the subdivision’s concerns. While this doesn’t seem to be a violation of Sunshine, it certainly wasn’t a meeting open to the public.)

City Manager Ferris will give the Council, for the next meeting,  details on the code enforcement activities regarding the Easton properties over the last few years, plus a brief explanation of Ms. Magnuson’s issues.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...