I just hit 1,000 posts…. 1,000! And they said it wouldn’t last!
Here’s to the next 20,000!!!!
Thanks for reading, commenting and participating!
I had no idea…. today is my One Year Anniversary with WordPress.
I moved this blog over from my old Blogger account after several years there. You may get a link to my old blog here.
It has been fun at WordPress and I plan on sticking around for a while longer!
Thanks to everyone for the support, the great reading and the new friendships!
Last night the Town of Lake Park Commission met in Budget Chambers to begin the process of approving an operating budget of the Town’s 2012 – 2013 year. I felt the meeting went well, although incredibly long.
There seemed to be a sense of camaraderie and desire to work together at last night’s meeting which has not been evident for many months.
In a nutshell (sorry don’t have a lot of time for writing) our starting point for the Millage was set at 8.5% this is less than last year. The goal is to get it to 8.4% at the end of the process. Additionally, Storm Water and Refuse rates were held at the 2012 rate.
This was only step one of the budget process and we will be continuing further conversations moving forward; HOWEVER, now that the base rate has been set for our millage and Storm Water, Refuse rates they CANNOT be raised, only lowered!
For further information on the proposed budget, you may go here. This link is for the original presentation, this will change and I recommend that you stay informed to know where your tax dollars are being spent and for what purposes.
As always, thanks for your continued participation in the process and input.
The purpose of the meeting was an Attorney – Client Session to discuss on-going litigation. The meeting was noticed, and approved by all Commissioners at the May 2nd, Regular Commission Meeting.
As the majority of the meeting dealt with an Attorney-Client Session, I will not report what happened in the closed session.
Following the closed session meeting, one item was left on the agenda on first read.
At our last Commission meeting, Mr. Stevens recommended that the Town Charter be changed to reflect that the Town Manager may be hired and fired by a majority of the Commission, instead of super majority as it presently states.
All members of the commission gave consensus for this item to be moved forward for Ordinance.
Tonight the Commission voted 3-0 in favor of the Ordinance on first read.
At the conclusion of the vote, the meeting was adjourned.
Next Wednesday, May 16th the Town of Lake Park Commission will meet in regular session. The meeting is open to the public.
At the beginning of the meeting, Interim Town Manager Jamie Titcomb introduced the Town’s new Recreation and Finance Directors. I welcome both members of the team and look forward to working with them moving forward.
The first item on the agenda was a comprehensive presentation by Erin Flaherty, CEO of the Community Development Corporation. Mr. Flaherty discussed the goals of the CDD and projects they are presently involved in. The presentation and work of the CDD was unanimously praised by all members of the Board.
Mr. Flaherty invited all members of the Community to attend CDD Board Meetings on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Information on meetings and additional services of the CDD may be found here.
Consent Agenda items were approved 7-0. Items listed on consent were CRA Board Meeting Minutes of April 4, 2012 and CRA Board Workshop Meeting Minutes of April 11, 2012.
Three items were on the agenda for Discussion and Possible Action.
1) CRA Landscape Maintenance. Mr. Richard Pittman presented to the commission recommendations for new landscape maintenance in the CRA. After much discussion from all Board Members, my preference was to ask our Public Works Department to develop a budget for taking over the responsibilities of the CRA and Marina Landscape Maintenance. I requested line-item pricing for aspects of the landscape services and also bid the projects. With this plan we can best utilize the monies of our community for these programs.
2) CRA Board Workshop Updates of April 11, 2012. As Economic Development Director Jennifer Spicer was unable to attend the meeting, Interim Town Manager Jamie Titcomb began the presentation of this item. As the presentation began I interrupted Mr. Titcomb to express my displeasure with the memo and the lack of details included. After Board discussion, the item was tabled and directive was given that a new report is expected with detailed timelines and information included.
3) Separate CRA Board Meeting from Regular Commission Meetings. At a recent Commission Meeting a resident came to the podium and requested that meetings be scheduled on separate nights as the meetings run long. Consensus was not given to change the dates or separate the meetings.
** SIDE NOTE: Today when I arrived home I had received an email from a resident expressing displeasure with the decision not to separate the meetings. I respect the resident for his email and respect his opinion, I am entitled to mine….. I will not support a change in day for meetings. I also will not support separating the meetings. As a Commissioner, Vice-Mayor and Board Member, I dedicate numerous hours to the Town each week. I also work almost 60 hours per week on my regular job and try to dedicate time to my Church, family and friends.
When I was elected I knew that many hours would be required to be a Commissioner, I have given above and beyond. Being an elected official does not mean I am not entitled to other parts of a life, yes meetings are long, yes chairs get uncomfortable…HOWEVER, Channel 18 also carries the meeting and residents can watch the meetings and be at Town Hall within 5 – 10 minutes from ANYWHERE in our Town. IF someone can’t sit through the entire meeting, they can do what MANY others in our community do, they watch, they make contact with me via email, phone or in person and they talk. Some watch and then come in for the meeting when their item is getting close to discussion.
I don’t think it is an imposition on anyone that we hold two meetings on the same night once per month. I am confident most people in our community will support the decision that was made by the Board regarding this issue last evening.
I realize that some won’t appreciate my comments on this issue or agree… I am sorry, I am entitled to my opinions and reasoning as anyone else is as well.
Board Member Comments we delivered by all on the dias and then the meeting was adjourned.
Commissioners each completed a ballot selecting the Top 5 candidates for interviews for Town Manager. Additionally, a discussion took place facilitated by the Town’s Human Resources Director discussing interview dates for the applicants.
After discussion and coordination of calendars it was decided that interviews will take place on Saturday, June 16th. I am concerned that this process will not move forward with interviews for another six weeks, however that was the first available date that all could agree on.
The Consent Agenda was up next for approval. Items on this week’s consent were:
1) Regular Commission Meeting Minutes of April 4, 2012
2) Regular Commission Meeting Minutes of April 18, 2012
3) Proclamation Recognizing May 25, 2012 as National Missing Children’s Day
4) Proclamation Recognizing May as Civility Month
Commission Jeanine Longtin pulled the first and fourth items from the Consent Agenda for separate vote.
The April 18th Commission Minutes and National Missing Children’s Day Proclamation were approved unanimously.
The April 4th meeting minutes was approved 4-1 with Ms. Longtin voting against approval.
The Proclamation for Civility Month was approved unanimously!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Commission then entered into Public Hearing on three ordinances all on second read.
1) Ordinance No 05-2012 Town Manager and Town Attorney Authority. This item has reworked the powers of the Town Manager and Attorney. The ordinance passed 3 – 2 with Commissioner Stevens and myself voting against. While I support the changes 100%, I voted against the ordinance over 1 word. In discussion Ms. Longtin asked to change a word from “shall” to “may.” While this may seem minor, it is not, in a legal document shall is a directive. Our Town Attorney and Commissioner Stevens both supported the use of the word “shall.” These gentlemen are attorneys and I trust their professional opinions on issues like the one that was brought forward on this word choice.
2) Ordinance No. 06-2012 Establishing the Office of the Town Attorney. Without discussion this item was passed 4 -1 with Longtin voting in opposition.
3) Ordinance 07-2012 Noise Amendment to Chapter 10. Without discussion this item was passed 4-1 with Longtin voting in opposition.
Items for Discussion and Possible Action Included:
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Grant Amendment was passed 4-1 with Commissioner Hockman voting in opposition.
The next item was the announcement of the Final Candidates for Town Manager. (I will come back to this item at the conclusion of this Post.)
During agenda additions and deletions, Commissioner Stevens requested a discussion item be added. Mr. Stevens explained the item that would make the hiring and firing of the Town Manager be approved by a Majority Vote of the Commission and not a Super Majority.
As Mr. Stevens described this would further clean up the Code in relation to the Attorney and Town Manager. At a recent meeting Ms. Longtin spoke against the Town Attorney being hired and fired by Super Majority as many other communities do not require this. The Commission voted in line with Ms. Longtin’s request and kept the hiring and firing of the Attorney to majority vote. It appears that Commissioner Stevens is attempting to do the same with the Town Manager to keep them on par.
Consensus was provided by the Commission for the Town Attorney to bring forth an Ordinance with this language.
Human Resources Director Bambi McKibbon-Turner announced the finalist for Town Manager in the form of a matrix. The top five candidates will be invited to interview with 2 alternates on the list if need. (The matrix is presented below.)
With this Commissioners presented comments and the meeting was adjourned.