Alert: December 21st City Council Special Mtg and Workshop at 7 PM on Charter

There will be a City Council Special Workshop, concurrent with a City Council Special Meeting on Thursday, December 21 at 7pm in City Hall.  The special meeting was called at the December 7th City Council meeting when City Attorney Max Lohman pointed out that there were issues with the implications of the ballot language wording for Ordinance 28, 2017.  Council was to discuss revised language for either an outright ban of term limited council members running again or to allow for a 3-year sit-out. 

There is now an additional agenda for a City Council Special Workshop to discuss all of the proposed ballot ordinances:

Public Comment will only be permitted for agenda items Ordinance 28, 2017 and Ordinance 32, 2017.

The Ballot summaries and ballot language have changed from the December 7th City Council Meeting.  There is a lot being modified in quite a chaotic rush in order to meet the need for 2nd reading and adoption on January 4th and the January 19th noon deadline for getting on the ballot March 13, 2018.  (This will get scant attention from even involved citizens as all head into the holiday period.  Thus our Council will attempt to meet the ‘letter of the law’ while not meeting the ‘intent’ of transparency and full disclosure.)

Please read our summary of the December 7th  meeting entitled Council Forges Ahead to Change Term Limits and Elections 4:1 and the latest Martino Minute entitled Charter Changes – No need, No reason, No urgency.

Council Forges Ahead to Change Term Limits and Elections 4:1

In their zeal to put proposed Charter changes on an expected very low-turnout, no-candidate electon in March, the Council spent more time debating whether or not an issue City Attorney Lohman found with ballot wording and the existing Charter for allowing term-limited council members to run again than they did the significant changes that reside not just in term limits, but in the base charter. Only Council Member Lane, voting against all four proposed ballot questions, raised significant issues with ballot language, the failure of the Council to conduct workshops or actively debate the changes, and need for such a rush to make these changes with so little debate and so early in the new council’s incumbency. His comments were met with derision and offense taken by the remainder of the Council and the City Attorney. Shame on them!

December 7th

We make no attempt to be objective on this issue – Matthew Lane was taking the correct position and raising precisely the issues that should have been raised at this meeting. He should be commended for taking a stand. While Mayor Marino proclaimed that the Council was to there to make policy and not legal arguments, the Council once again hid behind their appointed Charter Review Committee and avoided discussing the issues inherent in the ‘cleaned-up’ charter. It’s the often quoted “Let the People decide” which the weak use when unwilling to debate the issues and make difficult decisions. It is possible that some on the Council don’t even recognize that there ARE issues.

PBGWatch – as a blog, was formed in 2012 directly as a result of the actions that the (different) Council then attempted to take in introducing significant policy modifications in the guise of modernization. Sadly, history is repeating itself – although with a little more transparency but not much more deliberation by the current Council.

As in 2012, the proposed charter is a total replacement. As such, it is totally reorganized and renumbered. Whether originating in the work of the Charter Review Committee and/or the City Attorney, the voter will not know about the details within. Nor will those details have been discussed at any length or at all by the Council. There are changes that affect how elections are handled and how votes are tallied – but the voter will NOT know that.

While there were many members of the public speaking for and against extending term limits, allowing term-limited to run again and for/against majority vs plurality wins – not much new ground was broken on either side. Nor did it matter as the Council was already firm in their positions.


Expect Council votes to be pro-forma on these ordinances in the January 4th, 2017 City Council meeting since this council feels it has adequately addressed the issues.

The December 7th Council meeting was a long one – starting at 6pm. The first two hours were spent on the presentations, items of resident interest and board/committee reports, and other agenda items, all passing 5:0.

A more detailed list of items within the proposed replacement charter – Exhibit A in Ordinance 26, 2017, will appear as a separate future blog post.

Here is a link to the Charter discussions during the meeting. And here is the Palm Beach Post article on the topic.

Next PBG City Council Meeting on Thursday Dec 7th at 6PM!

The next City Council Meeting will be on Thursday December 7th at 6pm.  Note the changed start time due to a very lengthy agenda.  Note also that first reading of the Ordinances related to Charter and Term Limits changes (Ordinance 26-29, 2017) are last on the agenda preceded by several presentations and other ordinances and resolutions.
  • Honda Classic Community Impact Presentation
  • St. Marks Church, Inc. – conduit debt obligation – bond acquisition (this corresponds to Resolution 83, 2017 which is on the Regular Agenda)
  • Lease Agreement for District Park – (corresponds to Resolution 54, 2017 on Consent Agenda)
  • Design Build of Public Services Operations Center – (corresponds to Resolution 79, 2017 on Consent Agenda)
Consent Agenda is lengthy but includes the following Purchase Awards:
  • Miscellaneous Public Works Projects – This Agreement is the City’s exercise of a three-year option to renew of the original Contract – 3 year total contract value $10M
  • Portable Truck Lifts for Fleet Division  – replacement of existing trucks – one time expenditure – $77K
  • Bleacher Covers for North side of Gardens Park – piggyback/access contract – $103K
  • Trackman Simulation Equipment for Golf Training Center – bid waiver –  will allow the City’s Sandhill Crane Golf Club to purchase a golf training simulation and swing analysis equipment and accessories for the Golf Training Center – $100K

City Manager Report  – no details listed

Public Hearings and Resolutions:
  • 2nd reading and Adoption of Ordinances 20, 2017 (micro wireless facilities) and Ordinance 21 (Tesla Showroom)
  • Resolution 77, 2017 – Art In Public Places for Clarity Pointe Assisted Living Facilities in Alton
  • Resolution 83, 2017 – Conduit Debt Obligation – Bond Acquisition – $10.5 Million – covered in Presentations
  • Ordinance 30, 2017 and Ordinance 31, 2017 – First reading – Small scale comprehensive map amendment and rezoning from Public to Industrial for city property located on SW corners of Burns and Ironwood – in preparation for the sale of the property when the new Public Works Building is completed.
  • Ordinance 24, 2017 – first reading – placing the annexation of BAY HILL ESTATES, THE PRESERVE AT BAY HILL ESTATES, AND RUSTIC LAKES on the March 13, 2018 ballot for residents of those communities.
  • Ordinance 26, 2017 (and related ballot wording ordinances 27-29, 2017) – First reading of  Proposed Charter changes to be placed on ballot on March 13, 2018. Ordinance 26, 2017 – Update the 1976 City Charter to be in compliance with State Law. Ordinance 27, 2017- Extend Term Limits to three – three year terms, Ordinance 28, 2017 – Councilmembers leaving office due to term limits may not be elected again for a period of three years, Ordinance 29, 2017 – elect Councilmembers by Plurality rather than by Majority.

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




Some…Are More Equal Than Others!

And our Mayor and Council apparently agree!

The November 2nd City Council meeting didn’t start with a bang, nor end with one – but the 8 minute ‘rant’ by former Mayor and Council member Eric Jablin (as covered by the Palm Beach Post here) provided for fireworks. It also demonstrated that our Council has one set of rules for some, and another set for others. It would have been interesting to see if Mayor Marino would have allowed some other former Mayors/Council members with whom she didn’t just happen to agree, the same courtesy of speaking longer than the allowed 3 minutes. Perhaps, but more likely, not.

November 2nd

Last month, several opponents of changes to the City’s term limits or allowing those term-limited, to run again spoke at the meeting. So this month, proponents of the proposed Charter changes came out in force to support 3 3-year consecutive terms (all but acknowledging that incumbents are always re-elected) – which is their right – including Steve Mathison (a member of the Charter Review Committee), Meg Shannon (also a member of the Charter Review Committee), David Markarian, Patrick Connors, Anita Carbone, Stan Klett, Bill Champlin (President of Ballenisles Community Association) – speaking for the Community on hurricane relief and personally on term limits, Jane Feinstein and finally Eric Jablin who was conveniently speaking last.  Iris Scheibl asked the Council to make City Manager Residence a separate ballot item, that the Council need not put anything on the ballot, and that they ponder who of the public are clamoring for longer terms in office.  Apparently, to hear the proponents of 3 3 year terms speak – no other City has ever had 2 consecutive Term Limits  (see:  Two Consecutive Terms is Good Enough for PBC Cities)

It was hoped that the Council would use the relatively light agenda to explore the proposed Charter Changes in more depth – however it was not to be. At the end of the council meeting, Council Member Marciano lamented the tone of some of the emails he has been receiving with implied threats of ‘we’re watching you’ – that the Charter Committee consisted of well-respected members of the community and that he welcomed input from anyone who wanted to discuss things whether or not in agreement with him. He insisted that no one is trying to eliminate term limits. Mayor Marino echoed Marciano’s comments and also said the Committee consisted of an ‘independent’ group of volunteers….. But other than that, none of the Council spoke to the Charter. Council Member Lane nominated former Mayor/Council Member Levy to a council position usually filled by one of the Council Members.  City Attorney Lohman saw no issue nor business conflict and Mr. Levy’s membership was voted 5:0.

Speaking on unrelated topics during Public Comment were Katie Gettinger on a Solar Cooperative in Palm Beach County , Andrew Heim on PBG Soccer and the Predators, and Kevin Easton on traffic issues and Sunset Drive.

Also on the agenda –

  • The CEO of Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center Dianne Goldenberg on the economic impact of the center
  • students at the Weiss School speaking on their Cube Sat project ( for background see Here’s Why NASA is Sending a Gardens’ School Satellite into Space)
  • presentation on the City’s participation in the FPL Solarnow Program – brought to the City’s attention by Council Member Litt.

City Manager Ferris also thanked two Police Dispatch Supervisors – Kirsten Tucker and Sharlotte Theriault for the grueling 6 days they spent in Marathon working night shifts after Hurricane Irma providing huricane relief.

Passing 5:0 on First reading were Ordinance 20, 2017 to provide for the collocation of small wireless facilities or micro wireless facilities on existing utility poles or the installation of new utility poles to support the collocation of small wireless facilities or micro wireless facilities in City-owned rights-of-way and amending the definitions to be consistent with Florida Statutes, and Ordinance 21, 2017 allowing land development section 78-159 to permit Electric Automobile Showrooms. Tesla will be bringing their proposed showroom before the Council in December.

Next month is already planned to have a heavy agenda – so be assured – the proposed Charter Review ballot items will probably get short shrift on discussion – because it appears that the Council has already made up their minds and not scheduled any kind of workshop on the topic. We hope they prove us wrong.


Next City Council Meeting on November 2nd at 7pm

The next City Council Meeting will be on Thursday November 2nd at 7pm in City Hall.  There will also be a Council Workshop on Transit Oriented Development immediately preceding at 6pm.  More details below.
  • Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center CEO Dianne Goldenberg
  • Weiss School
  • FPL SolarNow Presentation (re: Resolution 75, 2017 under consent agenda)
Consent Agenda includes:
  • Resolution 75, 2017 – The City wishes to enter into a master license agreement with Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) for the use of certain City premises for the installation of renewable energy-generating equipment, and the distribution of any electricity generated by that equipment exclusively within the City’s premises. 
  • Purchase award – Real Estate Brokerage Services (Public Works Property)– piggyback/access contract:  “BACKGROUND: The purpose of this Agreement is to hire a realtor for the competitive sale of the City-owned facilities and property located at 3704 Burns Road….The premises was appraised earlier this year for just over $2,200,000. The City hopes to realize more than the appraisal price from the sale. Funds realized from the sale are earmarked for funding the construction of the new Tennis Center Clubhouse.”  Contract listed as for > $65,000
  • Purchase award – Purchase of Bunker Gear for Fire Rescue – piggyback/access contract for $89K
  • Purchase award –  Purchase of Boom Truck for Public Services Department – replacing 14 year old current truck which will be sold at public auction.  Piggyback/access contract for $154K.

City Manager Report  – no details listed

Public Hearings and Resolutions:
  • Ordinance 20, 2017 – First Reading – A City-initiated request to amend Chapter 62 of the City’s Code of Ordinances to provide for the collocation of small wireless facilities or micro wireless facilities on existing utility poles or the installation of new utility poles to support the collocation of small wireless facilities or micro wireless facilities in City-owned rights-of-way and amending the definitions to be consistent with Florida Statutes.  In the last few meetings, under Ordinance  23, 2017, there was a temporary moratorium on implementation of new statutes until staff could recommend changes.  Discussion on this statute has revolved around the state legislature’s  impact on Home Rule.
  • Ordinance 21, 2017 – First Reading – A request initiated by Gardens Venture LLC to amend various sections of the City’s Land Development Regulations. The Applicant, Gardens Venture LLC, is seeking to open an electric automobile showroom for Tesla at the Gardens Mall.  The proposed amendment will provide for a new use of Electric Automobile Showroom within the General Commercial (CG1) and Intensive Commercial (CG2) zoning districts; will provide definitions for Electric Automobile Showroom, Electric Automobile, and Hybrid Vehicle; will provide additional development standards for an Electric Automobile Showroom; and will prohibit the proposed use in the PGA Boulevard Corridor Overlay.   

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

There will be an earlier City Council Workshop at 6pm immediately preceding the City Council Meeting.  The Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council will present “Transit Oriented Development – Mobility in the Gardens (a work in progress)” – there is no detail provided but one could assume there will be results from the business and public workshops held on October 19th.  

We hope that the Council will continue to discuss proposed Charter changes during the November meeting, although it is not on the Agenda.  See recent PBG Watch articles related to Term Limits:

Proposed Term Limits Weakening Dominates Meeting

The October City Council meeting had a fairly light agenda, with the exception of the Charter Review Committee Final Report – which was expected to generate a lot of discussion. Mayor Marino reordered the agenda to leave the report until Council Member Lane, who was delayed, could be there to hear it. So the Consent Agenda (4:0), City Manager Report, and Items of Resident Interest preceded the presentation.

October 12, 2017

Prior to the Council meeting, several supporters of the Palm Beach Gardens Needs Term Limits Committee, demonstrated outside City Hall carrying signs. During the meetings, opponents of the Charter Review Committee recommendations regarding Term Limits and elections sported stickers stating “Don’t Touch My Term Limits – Leave it alone!!”

Charter Review Committee Final Report agenda item:

The Charter Review Committee met several times in August and September.  The Committee, selected by the Council , consisted of Craig Allgood, Ian Helsby, Steve Mathison, Meg Shannon – Vice Chair and Brian Seymour – Chair – all City residents.  They developed a set of recommended modifications including simplification and removing conflicts with Florida State Statute.  They also made recommendations with respect to Council terms and elections.  Present from the committee were Brian Seymour and Meg Shannon.

Mr. Seymour presented the Committee recommendations, focusing on those known to be controversial. Copying directly from the report those are:

We recommend that term limits remain and that they be provided as three full three (3) year terms and that it be clarified that after being elected to three consecutive three (3) year terms and serving at least one-half of the final term, a person may run again only after sitting out a full three (3) year term. We should also clarify that service of one-half or less than one-half of a full three (3) year term shall not count toward the subject term limit.

We further recommend that some of the language relative to “a majority of the votes cast” be clarified to provide that only votes cast for a qualified candidate whose name appears on the ballot and is eligible to take office at the time of the election shall be counted. No vote for a deceased, withdrawn, or removed candidate should count or contribute toward the total number of votes, number of under votes, or number or over votes

We recommend that elections be determined by plurality and not majority of votes cast for a candidate qualified to be on the ballot at the time of the election.

City Manager residency was also one of the issues during the 2012 charter review however not discussed at length:

We recommend removing the residency requirement for the city manager as follows: “The city manager need not be a resident of the city at the time of appointment, however, must be a resident within one year following the appointment, though residency as soon as practical after appointment is encouraged.”

See the report and rationale for each point here: 2017 Charter Review Committee Final Report.

There were numerous residents who made comment on the report.  The following summary doesn’t do justice to their comments:

  • Tom Cairnes – representing himself,  not speaking for the PGA Corridor Association – praised Irma cleanup  then spoke on the charter: projects take 30 years to happen, need continuity to carry through on original concepts and make sure what was in original plans are followed up on over time. Tri-rail is an example – in support of  Review Committee’s recommend changes.
  • Roma Josephs – member of the Board of Ballenisles – takes a long time to get anything done – need the experience and will to see it through. supports the charter committee. Ballenisles will vote for it.
  • Kevin Easton – against any changes to Term Limits  – proposed changes disenfranchise voters by changing term limits
  • Sid Dinerstein –  proposed changes reflect utter contempt for the PBG electorate by putting on a March ballot when no candidates are on the ballot. More voted for term limits than voted for any of the Council. Plurality instead of majority is a scheme to tilt election odds in favor by adding straw candidates. Already can’t trust you, the new council
  • Philip Blumel –  Lake Worth, President of US Term Limits – commended those who got it on the ballot and got 80% of the citizens to get it approved. nothing about the current term limits allows those to run again. Simple and just like the ones everywhere else. It’s typical for electeds to try and circumvent – first went to court, next resort is always a new and improved version – always includes letting them sit for additional terms, and not count their existing term and put on a low ballot election – typical.
  • Vito DeFrancesco – very impassioned remarks – With small turnouts it can be tilted. For 30 years elections have been tilted by powerful, well organized high-end communities that will turn out their voters despite what the majority wants. You’re going to try and sneak in, back-dooring everyone who voted and that our opinion means nothing. Not right. Government at its worst. Voices of people don’t mean anything – government can’t be trusted, gets what it wants, government sticks together and the people are puppets meaning absolutely nothing in your opinion. If you change it, we’ll put it back, get it back on the ballot and make it so you can’t touch it again – what you’re doing may be legal but surely isn’t ethical.
  • Iris Scheibl – who had attended most of the charter review meetings, read the text of the 2014 ballot question, pointed out that none of the Council would be there had it not been for term limits, that just because the committee made a recommendation doesn’t mean the council has to accept it, and asked that any election or term limits change be on a November ballot.
  • Fred Scheibl – recounted Council’s history of losing trust – and is trust is rarely regained. Term limits was a grassroots petition effort and city fought it at every step. courts validated the law despite the city’s objections. you were elected by these rules and should abide by them. not enough time to evaluate. Make no changes regarding the conduct of elections; changes to basic principles means of gaming the system. if you go forward – the campaign organized to opposed it – you will be on that ballot.
  • Marilyn Parmet – agree with previous statements – she was one of those who got term limits petitions signed – no one turned her down in signing the petitions – this is the will of the people, please respect and do the right thing
  • Nick Tomboulides –  Melbourne – Executive Director of US Term Limits – if term limits are too short – that means it’s working. on one side is 80% of the voters; on the other side – those who are affected by that term limits law. It’s a conflict of interest – you shouldn’t be discussing let alone placing on the ballot – should recuse yourself.  Hands off term limits
  • Barbara Grossman – another person who collected petitions and no one turned her down.  All were losing faith in the council due to the stadium.

The Council, after some debate on two 4-year terms, which Council Member Lane favored, discussed their views on the proposals and directed City Attorney Lohman to present 4 ballot questions to them next month – a base question updating the Charter, and the 3 questions related to term limits and elections. The Council will then vote in December and January (first and second readings), in time to place the questions on the March 2018 Uniform Municipal Election. Watch the Charter Review part of the City Council Meeting here, for complete discussion and read a summary of the subject from the Palm Beach Post here.

After the extended Charter Review discussion, passed 5:0 were:

  • Ordinance 22. 2017 – Ban of Medical Marijuana Treatment Center and Dispensing Facilities. While one person made pubic comment saying that it was silly to wait for allowing such centers in the City, Council Member Litt had Police Chief Stepp address some of the safety issues due to the fact that all transactions have to be done in cash. He also pointed out that patients can have the medical marijuana directly delivered to their homes. Rachelle Litt then gave an outstanding in-depth explanation for her ‘No’ vote – articulating how the current legislation is an attack on Home Rule, covering medical concerns as a pharmacist, and that this was an ‘all or nothing’ proposition. Watch the discussion by Council here and the Palm Beach Post summary here.
  • Ordinance 23, 2017 – Moratorium on Micro wireless Facilities until December 31, 2017 – this is another attack on Home Rule. Staff will come back in the November Council meeting to cover recommended policies.
  • Resolution 71, 2017 – allowing for 3 Entry Signs to the Burwick Residential Community within PGA National

Additionally – Appointments and Reappointments for AIPP, Parks and Rec, and PZAB Advisory Boards were discussed and voted on. Council Member Lane spoke at length about the candidate process. He pointed out that candidates apply for many boards, don’t have to outline their qualifications for each (any) of those boards, nor make the case why they should be considered. Not all votes were unanimous – see the  City’s Board and Committees page at a later time – the website has not yet been updated with the new names as of this posting. Staff was asked for a future recommendation on enhancing the application process for Boards and Committees.

Next City Council Meeting on October 12th, 2017 at 7pm

The next City Council Meeting will be on Thursday Oct. 12th at 7pm in City Hall.  

Agenda Highlights:

  • Charter Review Committee Final Report
  • Charter Review Committee Final Report  – The Charter Review Committee met several times and has submitted recommended modifications to the City’s Charter including:
    • elimination of duplicative, ‘unneccesary’, or sections covered by State Statute
    • removing residence requirement for City Manager
    • increasing number of allowed consecutive Council Member terms
    • allowing for term-limited Council Members to run again
    • changes to Council Member Elections – allowing for plurality instead of majority, and not counting certain votes when tallying total number of votes in election results.
  • The report can be read here.  The Council will decide which if any of the proposed changes will be placed on the March 2018 Uniform Municipal Elections ballot in ordinance(s) to appear on the November and December agendas.
Consent Agenda includes:
  • Purchase Award for Rental of Motor Vehicles (Police) – 5 year contract to rent unmarked vehicles on an as-needed basis.  $40K/year for 5 years for total contract of $200K.  Not publicly solicited.
  • Purchase Award for Management of Food and Beverage Operations at Sandhill Crane Golf Club – bid waiver since sole bid responder was not recommended by the Selection Committee. Contract value of $1 million over 5 years;  One Million Dollars (expected revenue to City over First Term). Option to renew for two additional 5-year periods.
  • Purchase Award – Piggyback/Access contract to construct a public safety training complex for the Police and Fire Rescue Departments, value $250K.

City Manager Report  – no details listed

Public Hearings and Resolutions:
  • Ordinance 22, 2017 – 2nd Reading and Adoption of the Ban of Medical Marijuana Treatment Facilities which passed on First Reading 5:0 on September 7th
  • Ordinance 23, 2017 – 2nd Reading and Adoption of a Moratorium on Micro Wireless Facilities through December 31, 2017, which passed on First Reading 5:0 on September 7th
  • Resolution 71, 2017 – to approve a miscellaneous amendment allowing for 3 Residential Community Entry Signs for Burwick Residential Community in PGA National
  • Resolution 68, 2017 – Appointments and Re-appointments to the Art in Public Places Advisory Board (AIPP)
  • Resolution 69, 2017 – Appointments and Re-appointments to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
  • Resolution 70, 2017 – Appointments and Re-appointments to the Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board (PZAB)

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

Two Budget Hearings result in 7.4% Increase in Property Tax Revenue

The City Council voted to hold operational millage flat at 5.55% at both Fiscal Year 2017/2018 Budget Hearings on September 7 and 25, 2017.  Even for those on the Council who would have liked to reduce property taxes somehow they concluded that it looks worse to residents, and is worse to lower the tax rate now and then have to raise it later. Legislative issues, potential passage of the 2018 ballot question on additional homestead exemptions as well as need for reserves due to storm impacts, all weighed into the debate. See Taxes to rise for many in Palm Beach Gardens from the Post, which covers some of the Council’s rationale.

The Council meetings spanned Hurricane Irma. On the 7th, City Manager Ferris gave a detailed update on Storm Preparation  and then on the 25th gave a summary of the actions taken to recover from the storm and bring the City back to full function as soon as possible.

The September 7th council meeting also passed 5:0 first readings on:

September 7, 2017
  • Ban of Medical Marijuana Treatment Facilities and Dispensaries
  • Moratorium on Micro Wireless Facilities until December 31, 2017 – allowing regulations to be developed consistent with State statute
  • Rearrangement of Floodplain Management Regulations

Also passed were:

  • 2nd Reading and Adoption of Operation of Mobile Food Trucks
  • Art in Public Places resolution for La Posada
  • Approval of FPL Watts Substation on utility parcel at Alton

The September 25th council meeting featured a short presentation by Joseph St. Germain on the 2017 Resident Opinion Survey. The survey can be read in its entirety here  and the Post has a short recap. The survey was quoted in several places in the budget documents to bolster rationale for future action plans.

September 25, 2017

Summaries by the council during Items of Resident Interest raised issues with recent (and expected) actions by the State Legislature that severely impact Home Rule.

Besides the adoption of the Tax Levy and Millage rate and the adoption of the FY 2017/2018 Budget, the council passed 2nd reading on the two ordinances related to the Floodplain Management Regulations 5:0.

The October 12th City Council meeting will feature the recommendations and report of the Charter Review Committee.

Final Fiscal Year 2017/2018 Budget Hearing and Council Mtg – Monday 9/25/17

The next City Council Meeting will be on Monday September 25th at 7pm in City Hall.   This is also the final of two Fiscal Year 2017/2018 Budget Hearings.

Agenda Highlights:

  • Second Reading and Approval of the 2017/2018 Budget and setting property tax rate
  • Second Reading of Ordinances regarding Floodplain Management Regulations
Announcements/Presentations: 2017 RESIDENT OPINION SURVEY – Presentation by Joseph St. Germain, PH.D., President of Downs & St. Germain Research.  The survey was referenced in the Budget document to identify strategic focus areas.  See the survey results here.
Consent Agenda includes:

  • Ordinance 63, 2017 – A request to allow the shopping center at Downtown at the Gardens (DTAG) within Regional Center Planned Community Development to have a total of 36 special events per calendar year that is 24 more than the maximum permitted by Section 78-187 of the City's Code

City Manager Report  – no details listed

Public Hearings and Resolutions:

  • Resolution 58, 2017/Ordinance 19, 2017 – the proposed operating millage rate for Fiscal Year 2017/2018 is 5.5500 mills and a debt service millage rate of .1178. The proposed operating millage rate of 5.5500 is 5.37% above the roll-back of 5.2671 . When combined, the total operating and debt service millage rate proposed for Fiscal Year 2017/2018 is 5.6678 mills, which is .18% below the current year combined rate of 5.6781 mills.  (Note: PBG Watch comment: This millage will raise $59M in taxes, an increase of $4.1M over last year’s $55M, up 7.4%. (Note that we compare the budget figures, not the calculated “rollback rate” which overstates last year’s budget.) The sales surtax provides another $3M windfall each year.)
  • Ordinances 15 and 18, 2017 – 2nd Reading and adoption.  A City-initiated request to amend Chapter 78, Land Development, in order to repeal the previously adopted and now outdated Floodplain Regulations from Chapter 78 and to amend Chapter 86, Buildings and Building Regulations to add the revised Floodplain Regulations. The proposed amendments will provide consistency with the Florida Division of Emergency Management's Model Ordinance.

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

See our article on the Budget and Tabor.

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.

First Budget Hearing and Sept City Council Mtg on Thurs 9/7

The next City Council Meeting will be on Thursday September 7th at 7pm in City Hall.   This is also the first of two Fiscal Year 2017/2018 Budget Hearings.

Agenda Highlights:

  • First Hearing 2017/2018 Budget and setting property tax rate
  • New Ordinance prohibiting Medical Marijuana facilities in the City
  • Final Approval of Ordinance on the Operation of Mobile Food Trucks 
Announcements/Presentations: None listed
Consent Agenda includes:

  • Resolution 59, 2017 – Ratifying the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the SEIU/FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICES UNION (FPSU) for fiscal years 2017-2020;   Employees' base salaries were increased as a result of being placed in a new, updated salary plan, effective October 1, 2017.  In addition, all employees will receive a 3 percent increase to base salary effective October 1st each year of the contract: 2017, 2018, and 2019. 
  • Purchase Award for Renewal of Microsoft Enterprise License for 3 years – Piggyback/Access Contract for $417K
  • Purchase Award for Landscaping for the New Golf Clubhouse – Landscape contract is for 1 time $175K – using an existing vendor with the City

City Manager Report  – no details listed

Public Hearings and Resolutions includes:

  • Ordinance 17, 2017 – First Reading and First Public Hearing Adopting the Fiscal Year 2017/2018 Budget..  The proposed budget holds Operating Millage flat at 5.55 mills.  The total operating and debt service millage rate proposed for Fiscal Year 2017/2018 is 5.6678 mills, which is less than the current year combined rate of 5.6781 mills. See our post on the growth of the proposed budget along with a link to the Proposed Budget page.  The second and final public hearing on the budget is scheduled for September 25, 2017. 
  • Ordinance 22, 2017 – First Reading of Ban of Medical Marijuana Treatment Facilities and Dispensaries  – amending Chapter 78 Land Development Regulations to prohibit such facilities in the city.  The staff analysis outlines the rationale for the proposed ordinance.
  • Ordinance 23, 2017 – First Reading of Temporary Moratorium through December 31, 2017 on Micro Wireless Facilities:  on the submittal and processing of applications and the issuance of any permits pertaining to the collocation on existing or the creation of new utility poles in the City-owned rights-of-way to support small or micro wireless facilities for a period ending December 31, 2017. 
  • Resolution 55, 2017 – Art in Public Places for La Posada
  • Resolution 60, 2017 – Approving a FPL Watts Substation site-plan on 5-acre utility parcel in the NE corner of Alton PCD.
  • Ordinances 15 and 18, 2017 – A City-initiated request to amend Chapter 78, Land Development, in order to repeal the previously adopted and now outdated Floodplain Regulations from Chapter 78 and to amend Chapter 86, Buildings and Building Regulations to add the revised Floodplain Regulations. The proposed amendments will provide consistency with the Florida Division of Emergency Management's Model Ordinance.
  • Ordinance 17, 2017 – Mobile Food Trucks – second reading and adoption of the new permit requirements approved on first reading in August

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

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