Village Council Meeting Minutes - February 7, 2017

MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING

The Miami Shores Village Council held their regularly scheduled Council Meeting on Tuesday, February 7, 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

                                        Steven Zelkowitz

                                        MacAdam Glinn (arrived prior to consideration of the Consent Agenda)

                                        Herta Holly

                                        Ivonne Ledesma

ALSO PRESENT:           Tom Benton, Village Manager

                                        Barbara Estep, Village Clerk

                                        Richard Sarafan, Village Attorney

CONSIDERATIONS

            

  1. CONSENT AGENDA*                                                         Barbara A. Estep

*Matters included under the Consent Agenda are routine, self-explanatory matters and are not expected to require discussion or review. Items will be enacted by one motion. If discussion is desired by any member of the Council, that item must be removed from the Consent Agenda and considered separately. If the public wishes to speak on a matter on the Consent Agenda, they must inform the Village Clerk prior to the start of the meeting. They will be recognized to speak prior to the approval of the Consent Agenda.

  1. APPROVAL OF THE JANUARY 17, 2017 COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.
  1. A RESOLUTION OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL URGING ALL MIAMI-DADE COUNTY MUNICIPALITIES TO ESTABLISH ZONING REGULATIONS THAT PROHIBIT MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO SCHOOLS.
  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.                                                   1st Reading
  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 EFFECTIVE                        1st Reading

Ms. Estep read the statement concerning the Consent Agenda and the individual items listed as part of the Agenda. Councilwoman Ledesma requested that Items 1B and 1C be pulled from the Consent Agenda. Councilwoman Holly moved the remainder of the Consent Agenda (Items 1A and 1D). Vice Mayor Zelkowitz seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

1B)   Councilwoman Ledesma asked for clarification regarding the proposed Resolution and the proposed Ordinance relating to cannabis dispensary businesses. Mayor Burch indicated that based on a request from the Miami-Dade School Board for a resolution addressing zoning restrictions for dispensaries in school zones, she had placed the proposed resolution on the agenda. Councilwoman Ledesma indicated that she believes the resolution is premature and would like more information regarding the State’s rules before the Village takes a stand on the issue. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz, stating that the resolution only urges County municipalities to enact their own legislation, views the resolution as a positive step and moved to approve the proposed resolution as presented. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion and the vote was 4 to 1 in favor of the motion, with Councilwoman Ledesma dissenting.

1D)   Councilwoman Ledesma requested an explanation on the purpose of the proposed ordinance instituting a moratorium on cannabis dispensing businesses. Attorney Sarafan, Mr. Benton, and David Dacquisto all provided information regarding the proposed ordinance, indicating that due to voter approval of a Constitutional amendment to allow the use of medical marijuana and the State’s ruling that municipalities cannot prohibit the dispensaries, a moratorium will allow the Village time to research the laws being enacted and develop appropriate zoning codes for the Village.    Mr. Sarafan stated that numerous municipalities are initiating moratoriums until they can enact proper zoning parameters. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz expressed that it is the prudent course of action for the Village to take at this time and moved to pass the proposed ordinance on first reading. Councilwoman Holly seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

2)          VILLAGE CLERK                                                                Barbara A. Estep

  1. APPOINTMENT TO THE CODE ENFORCEMENT BOARD (1 VACANCY)

Applicants:               Scott Abelson                  Therese Astolfo               John Berryman

                                 Richard Dailey                Michelle Dentico             John Farina                                                  Charles Million               Damian Milverton

Misters Abelson, Berryman, Farina, Million and Milverton, as well as Ms. Astolfo, were present and spoke on their own behalf. Council Members voted paper ballots with the following result:

Alice Burch                     -                         John Farina

Steven Zelkowitz             -                         John Berryman

Mac Glinn                       -                         John Berryman

Herta Holly                     -                         Scott Abelson

Ivonne Ledesma               -                         John Farina

As no applicant received a majority of votes, a second ballot was voted between John Farina and John Berryman.

Alice Burch                     -                         John Farina

Steven Zelkowitz             -                         John Berryman

Mac Glinn                       -                         John Berryman

Herta Holly                     -                         John Berryman

Ivonne Ledesma               -                         John Farina

As a result of the second ballot, John Berryman was appointed to the Code Enforcement Board to fulfill the term of Manny Quiroga through September, 2017.

  1. AN ORDINANCE OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL AMENDING SECTION 400, DISTRICT “R” OF THE “SCHEDULE OF REGULATIONS” CONTAINED IN THE ZONING APPENDIX OF THE VILLAGE’S CODE OF ORDINANCES, PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY, PROVIDING FOR CONFLICTS, AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.                                                                            2nd & Final Reading

Ms. Estep read the caption of the ordinance into the record. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz spoke briefly regarding the ordinance, indicating that he had originally raised the issue based on past discussions at the Planning & Zoning Board. 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 speak on the ordinance, closed the public hearing and called for the vote. The resulting vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

 

  1. AN ORDINANCE OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL, MIAMI SHORES, FLORIDA, CHANGING THE DATE FOR THE 2017 REGULAR ELECTION AND RUNOFF ELECTION FOR VILLAGE COUNCILPERSONS, ADJUSTING TERMS OF OFFICE NECESSITATED BY SUCH CHANGES IN ELECTION DATES, PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY, PROVIDING FOR CONFLICTS, AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.                                                          To be considered on an Emergency Basis

Ms. Estep read the caption of the ordinance into the record. Councilman Glinn reminded the Council that he had spoken about the possibility of changing the election date due to the Passover holiday and scheduled spring break for the public schools and Miami Country Day at the previous Council Meeting. Councilman Glinn suggested moving the date from April 11th to April 18th. Councilman Glinn then moved to adopt the proposed ordinance on an emergency basis. Councilwoman Ledesma seconded the motion. Mayor Burch opened the floor for public comment.

Resident Al Crespo spoke of the dates for the upcoming election and ballot question requirements.

Seeing no one else wish to speak, Mayor Burch closed public comment and the vote on the motion was unanimous in favor of the motion.

Ms. Estep indicated that with the adoption of the ordinance changing the election date, the resolution calling for the General Obligation Bond referendum question would need to change in order for the dates of the election to coincide. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz moved to amend the resolution accordingly. Councilwoman Holly seconded the motion.

Resident Robert Menge stated that he is in support of changing the election date and then spoke of recent crime and funding spent on the dog park.

Mayor Burch called the question which was 4 to 1 in favor of the motion with Councilwoman Ledesma dissenting.

  1. DISCUSSION REGARDING THE PROCESS OF APPOINTING A NEW VILLAGE CLERK.

Ms. Estep explained the reason for placing the item on the agenda and asked for approval of the proposed timeline outlined in the cover memorandum and also direction on how the Council would like to see the position structured in the future. Councilwoman Holly moved to approve the timeline and to continue the position’s structure as it’s been, with the Clerk serving as the Clerk in a Charter Officer capacity and also serving as the Village Manager’s executive assistant. Council Members discussed their views on structuring the position and Mr. Benton indicated that if the position is split, the Council would need to fund the new position and office space found within Village Hall to accommodate the Clerk.   Councilwoman Holly’s motion died for lack of a second.

Resident Al Crespo spoke of the differences in the two positions currently held by Ms. Estep.

At the conclusion of the discussions, it was the consensus of the Council to approve the proposed timeline and allow for advertising the Clerk position with enough flexibility that the new clerk may also support the Village Manager’s office.

3)          VILLAGE MANAGER                                                                      Tom Benton

  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING GRANTS FUNDING TO THE GREATER MIAMI SHORES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF HIRING A NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.

Mr. Benton provided information and background regarding the item, summarizing his discussions with the Chamber Board members since the Council agreed to providing grant funds to the Chamber for the new executive director. Mr. Benton outlined some of the parameters that could be included in the grant agreement such as routine reports to the Council regarding their efforts to market downtown retail space, the percentage of time spent on downtown marketing efforts, number of new retail and/or restaurant spaces leased, etc. Gladys Coia, Chamber President and Johnathan Meltz, Immediate Past President, spoke of the joint goals and the fact that the new Director could serve as a liaison to the Village. Council Members voiced their thoughts on the concept and general support of the Chamber’s initiative. Attorney Sarafan spoke of the fact that the Village could provide a grant to the Chamber as a means of helping the Chamber’s development efforts towards a shared goal as opposed to having the Chamber be responsible for fulfilling any Village function. Following additional discussions, Vice Mayor Zelkowitz moved to approve funding in the amount of $30,000 for each of the next two years, subject to the limitation of Village funding for the Green Day event to the amount of $4,500 per year, pursuant to an agreement to be negotiated by the Manager and the Attorney, and executed by the Village Manager. Councilwoman Ledesma seconded the motion.

Mayor Burch opened the floor for public comment. Resident Bob Swan spoke of a general concern regarding the Village granting funds to an organization and requested that the Chamber move their functions back to the Country Club.

Mayor Burch called for a vote on Vice Mayor Zelkowitz’s motion. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

Vice Mayor Zelkowitz excused himself and left the meeting at this time.

4)          VILLAGE COUNCIL     

             A)         DISCUSSION ITEM: CRIME IN OUR COMMUNITY                    Ivonne Ledesma            

Councilwoman Ledesma offered remarks regarding the purpose of placing the discussion item on the agenda and her desire to have a discussion, reciting Mayor Burch’s previously voiced comment that crime is not just a police matter but a resident responsibility as well. Councilwoman Ledesma indicated that she would like to have Village resident and Police Captain from another agency, give a presentation to the Council.

Mayor Burch referenced a letter to the Council from Village attorneys cautioning and reminding the Council of constraints on the discussion so as not to impinge on labor negotiations and collective bargaining issues. Mayor Burch spoke of the efforts of the Police Department and Police Chief to encourage discussions with the Department, i.e. the Crime Symposium and the numerous Chief Chat sessions. She stated that she believes it appropriate to hear from Chief Lystad before hearing from anyone else that may be present.

Chief Lystad stated that he did not know what Councilwoman Ledesma’s intent was based on the item contained on the agenda and therefore did not prepare a formal presentation. However, he reviewed the crime statistics, indicating that crime rates were lower in 2016 than 2015. Chief Lystad stated that there had been a number of special details run to address problem areas and certain crime types. The Chief reminded residents that the Village is surrounded by a criminal element. He pointed out that between himself and the three Lieutenants in attendance, they represent over 100 years of law enforcement experience, with over 50 years in Miami Shores.  

At Councilwoman Ledesma’s request, resident Dan Kerr spoke of the need to take a global view of how the Police Department is funded and staffed, suggesting that an assessment by a third party be conducted.

Public Comment was invited.

Johnathan Rose                Dr. Rose spoke in support of the police department, indicating that he would love to live in a crime fee community but that one doesn’t exist. He spoke of the individual choice to live in Miami Shores based on the services available.

Bob Swan                        Mr. Swan, citing his 41 years of law enforcement experience, indicated that the Miami Shores Police Department is one of the finest in the County and as long as there are major roadways, i.e. 6th Avenue, Biscayne Boulevard, 95th Street, etc. there will be a certain amount of crime.

Francine Steelman           Ms. Steelman spoke of her trust in the Police Department and appreciation for the Chief Chat sessions. She suggested that perhaps an evening Chief Chat session be held.

Damian Milverton           Mr. Milverton spoke of the need for communication with real information being shared. He endorses the use of social media to help with getting the message to the community.

Jenna Rassif                    Ms. Rassif, stating she lives in the area behind K-Mart, would like to change the dynamic of her neighborhood and have a reallocation of resources. She spoke of a number of improvements that could be done in the area including closing off the gate access and improving the street lighting.

Elizabeth Cowen             Ms. Cowen thanked Councilwoman Ledesma for initiating the discussion and her belief that the Village should do what is necessary to see what can be done better.

John Garcia                     Mr. Garcia spoke of the need for cameras throughout the Village and signage that indicates that cameras are being utilized, “you are being watched”.

Al Crespo                        Mr. Crespo spoke of best practices and that it is always good to have another set of eyes.

Janet Goodman                Ms. Goodman expressed her thanks to all of the Police Departments that responded to the shooting over the weekend and suggested a satellite station being built.

John Farina                      Mr. Farina suggested that minimum standards be instituted for individual resident alarm cameras so that when there is film footage available from homeowner’s camera systems, it is of such a quality that it can be used by the Police Department to assist them.

Dennis Leyva                   Mr. Leyva thanked Councilwoman Ledesma for adding the issue to the agenda, indicating that it is not an indictment of the Police Department. He suggested that an assessment is due so as to figure out how the Village is best served.

Mayor Burch closed public comment. Councilwoman Ledesma asked Chief Lystad to summarize the events of Friday night when an officer from an assisting agency was shot. In addition, she requested that the Chief address the increase in calls for service, referring to a spreadsheet that she had distributed to the Chief and Council just prior to the meeting. Chief Lystad responded and in particular, reviewed the specifics with respect to the increase in calls for service.  

Councilwoman Ledesma indicated that she would like to see Staff look into having an assessment completed.

Councilman Glinn indicated that he appreciated the conversation but stated that people live here in part based on the reputation of the Police Department. He stated he is grateful for their presence and responsiveness to the community. Councilman Glinn indicated he did not like the way the issue was raised or for ambushing staff. He suggested that a town hall type meeting would have been a better forum than having an open ended statement put on the agenda.

Councilwoman Holly spoke of the responsiveness of the Police Department; responding almost before residents hang up the phone. She spoke about the need for people to be aware of their surroundings and the fact that criminals are serving shorter jail sentences and returning to the neighborhoods. She stated that the majority of people speaking this evening were complimenting the force and she voiced her confidence in the Village’s Police Department and the Department’s ability to share best practices throughout other communities.

Mayor Burch indicated that she is not opposed to hearing comments from the residents but was not aware of where the discussion was meant to lead. She reminded the Council that they affect the budget but not personnel issues. Mayor Burch further reiterated a number of the programs and efforts being made to address the concerns of the community.

Councilwoman Ledesma stated she is glad that the other Council Members are addressing the issues as well and her intent to bring the item back up prior to April.

5)          ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ms. Estep read the announcements.

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

Captain Kerr spoke of the Council’s responsibilities to the community.

7)         ADJOURNMENT

The February 7, 2017 Council Meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM.

                                                                                                           _________________________

                                                                                              Alice Burch, Mayor

_________________________

Barbara A. Estep, MMC

Village Clerk