Council Meeting Minutes - Februar 21, 2017

MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING

The Miami Shores Village Council held their regularly scheduled Council Meeting on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, in the Council Chambers of Village Hall. The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM with the following individuals present:

PRESENT:                      Alice Burch                                  ABSENT:          Herta Holly

                                        Steven Zelkowitz            

                                        MacAdam Glinn

                                        Ivonne Ledesma

ALSO PRESENT:           Tom Benton, Village Manager

                                        Barbara Estep, Village Clerk

                                        Richard Sarafan, Village Attorney

PRESENTATION

Doctors Charter School Executive Director, Dr. Kelly Andrews and Finance Committee Chair, Hunt Davis, presented the Council with the quarterly financial report and information regarding a request for an amendment to the Bylaws. The representatives understand that the request for a Bylaws amendment will be brought back before the Council for action.

CONSIDERATIONS

            

1)          VILLAGE CLERK                                                                Barbara A. Estep

  1. APPROVAL OF THE FEBRUARY 2, 2016 COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.

Vice Mayor Zelkowitz moved to approve the February 2, 2016 Council Meeting minutes as presented. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

  1. AN ORDINANCE OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL, MIAMI SHORES, FLORIDA, ESTABLISHING A TEMPORARY MORATORIUM ON CANNABIS DISPENSING BUSINESSES AS FURTHER DEFINED HEREIN; PROVIDING FOR CONFLICTS, PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY, AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.                                                                                           2nd & Final Reading

Ms. Estep read the caption of the ordinance into the record. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz moved to adopt the proposed ordinance on second and final reading. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion. Mayor Burch opened the floor for the public hearing but seeing no one come forward to address the Council, closed the public hearing and called for a vote, which was unanimous in favor of the motion.

  1. AN ORDINANCE OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL, MIAMI SHORES, FLORIDA, RELATING TO SHORT-TERM VACATION RENTALS, PROVIDING A DEFINITION OF A “VACATION RENTAL”; REQUIRING A LICENSE TO OPERATE A VACATION RENTAL, PROVIDING STANDARDS FOR ISSUANCE AND REVOCATION OF A “VACATION RENTAL” LICENSE, REQUIRING INSURANCE FOR A “VACATION RENTAL”; PROVIDING STANDARDS OF OPERATIONS, PROVIDING FOR PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS SECTION, PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY, PROVIDING FOR CONFLICTS AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE2nd & Final Reading

Ms. Estep read the caption of the ordinance into the record. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz moved to adopt the proposed ordinance on second and final reading. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion. Mayor Burch opened the public hearing but with no one wishing to speak on the proposed ordinance, Mayor Burch closed the public hearing. Councilman Glinn asked for clarification on whether vacation rentals are currently licensed by the Department of Business & Professional Regulations (DBPR). The resulting vote on the motion was unanimous in favor of the motion.

2)          VILLAGE COUNCIL

A.)   DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING STEVEN SHULMAN’S

     REQUEST FOR REIMBURSEMENT.                           Councilwoman Ivonne Ledesma

Councilwoman Ledesma introduced the item indicating that she had sponsored the item so that Mr. Shulman could be heard by the Council. Mayor Burch requested Mr. Sarafan’s opinion as to whether or not the item was properly before the Council. Mr. Sarafan asked a series of questions to clarify the reason Mr. Shulman was looking for Council consideration. Mr. Sarafan provided the Council with the steps which brought Mr. Shulman’s code enforcement case before the Council for consideration of a refund. Mr. Sarafan stated that code enforcement issues are appealed through the civil court. Councilwoman Ledesma requested that Mr. Shulman have the opportunity to go through his presentation of what occurred. When Council Members asked the purpose of the presentation, Mr. Shulman indicated that he was looking to be reimbursed for the fines paid to the Village. Mayor Burch asked whether the other Council Members were inclined to hear Mr. Shulman’s presentation requesting a refund.   There was no consensus to hear from Mr. Shulman as the Council Meeting is not the proper forum.  

B.)   DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING PUBLIC SAFETY

       RECOMMENDATIONS.                                               Councilwoman Ivonne Ledesma

Councilwoman Ledesma offered a statement regarding the resident’s concerns with crime, the number of calls for service and staffing levels. Councilwoman Ledesma reviewed the contents of her backup memorandum to the Council and the items she would like to have discussed amongst the Council as well as hear comments from the residents.

Councilman Glinn offered his comments, indicating that despite what people believe, there is no discernable uptick in crime and the data supports no increases in crimes. He further stated that there has been neither a change in police response time nor a change in the Department’s solve rates. Councilman Glinn voiced his support of Councilwoman Ledesma’s items, 1 through 4, but wanted to hear from the others regarding the item relating to conducting an assessment of the Department.

Mayor Burch requested that the Council hear from Chief Lystad before discussing Councilwoman Ledesma’s memorandum further. Chief Lystad spoke briefly about the difficulty and problems with comparing different municipality’s crime and service statistics as there are many factors that affect the trends. Chief Lystad indicated that an additional dispatcher would be extremely helpful as it would eliminate the need to staff the dispatch service with an officer. He further spoke of the two additional sworn officer positions being requested.

Councilwoman Ledesma moved to approve/adopt all five of the items outlined in her cover memo.

Vice Mayor Zelkowitz indicated he would like to hear from the public prior to accepting Councilwoman Ledesma’s motion.   Mayor Burch opened the floor for public comment.

Penn Davis         Mr. Davis voiced concern about the perception of increased crime rates and suggested that a Department assessment not be conducted at this time because the Department is not fully staffed.

Dan Kerr            Mr. Kerr spoke of the increased crime in his neighborhood and urged the Council to move forward with all of Councilwoman Ledesma’s requests.

Douglas Barnes  Mr. Barnes suggested that operational assessments are a normal part of public agency operations.

Mary Benton      Ms. Benton voiced her appreciation of Nixle alerts but would like more follow-up communication to let residents know the outcome of the situation.

Bekky Leonard   Ms. Leonard stated that the reaction/response time of the Department is excellent and her opinion that the planned installation of cameras will assist the Department. She stated that she doesn’t believe an assessment is called for, especially at this time when the Department is not fully staffed.

Mayor Burch closed public comment.

Vice Mayor Zelkowitz spoke of funding the increased personnel costs from the Fund Balance and the monies already allocated from the Fund Balance in the past year. The Vice Mayor suggested that more research be done regarding the firms and/or agencies that conduct department assessments.

Based on the discussions, Councilwoman Ledesma moved to approve Items 1 through 3 as outlined in her cover memorandum and to direct staff to bring back information on firms that do assessments at a later date. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz seconded the motion.

Mayor Burch spoke of additional funds, both regular and forfeiture funds, dedicated to the Police Department since the beginning of the fiscal year. She further stated that the Department is in the process of applying for Accreditation which involves many of the same reviews that would be done for an assessment, including a review of policies, procedures, best practices, etc. She requested that the Council consider allowing the Department to complete the Accreditation process. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz agreed with Mayor Burch’s suggestion of waiting until Accreditation process is complete and said that he would second an amended motion should Councilwoman Ledesma agree to amend her motion. Upon further discussion, Councilwoman Ledesma clarified that her motion to direct staff to research the issue of an assessment did not have a timeline or action so an amendment to her motion was not required.

Councilman Glinn requested clarification on the issue of closing off the gate between N.E. 105th Street and the neighborhood behind K-Mart; suggesting that the area be closed to pedestrian traffic only if agreed upon by the majority of affected neighbors. Councilwoman Ledesma subsequently amended her motion to include authorizing the Manager to close off the subject gate if agreed to by majority of area residents. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz seconded the amendment to the motion, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

C.)   DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING A POSSIBLE 4 MONTH

       EXTENSION OF THE CONTRACT WITH ROBERT M. LEVY & ASSOCIATES.  Councilman MacAdam Glinn

Councilman Glinn advised the Council of his suggestion to extend the contract with the lobbying firm of Robert M. Levy & Associates through the end of the legislative session. Councilman Glinn spoke of the firm’s close relationship with the Miami-Dade Legislative Delegation and his belief that for a relatively small amount, the Village should do what is possible to increase the chances of obtaining State funding. Councilman Glinn then moved to extend the contract with Robert M. Levy & Associates through June 30, 2017. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz seconded the motion, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

3)                 ANNOUNCEMENTS           

Ms. Estep read the announcements.

Vice Mayor Zelkowitz left the meeting at this time.

4)         PUBLIC COMMENTS (3 Minute Time Limit Per Speaker)

Bob Smith          Mr. Smith congratulated the Chief and the Department on their apprehension rates. He also spoke of the removal of the street mail boxes that had been located on the south side of N.E. 98th Street.

5)         COUNCIL COMMENTS

MacAdam Glinn              Councilman Glinn spoke of Unity Day, scheduled for Saturday, March 4th.

Ivonne Ledesma               No comment offered.

Councilwoman Ledesma left the meeting at this time.

Alice Burch                     Mayor Burch spoke of the Post Office decision to remove the mail boxes. In addition the Mayor expressed her appreciation of the Police Department and spoke of the Community Bike Ride which took place on February 11th and an upcoming event at the Theater in honor of Black History Month.

6)         ADJOURNMENT

The February 21, 2017 Council Meeting was adjourned at 7:40 PM.

                                                                                                           _________________________

                                                                                                           Alice Burch, Mayor

____________________________

Barbara A. Estep, MMC

Village Clerk