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Village Council Meeting Minutes - January 17, 2017

MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING

The Miami Shores Village Council held their regularly scheduled Council Meeting on Tuesday, January 1, 2017 in the Council Chambers of Village Hall. The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM with the following individuals in attendance:

PRESENT:                                      Alice Burch

                                                          Steven Zelkowitz

                                                          MacAdam Glinn

                                                          Herta Holly

                                                          Ivonne Ledesma

ALSO PRESENT:                           Tom Benton, Village Manager

                                                          Elizabeth Keeley, Communications Specialist

                                                          Richard Sarafan, Village Attorney

Ms. Myrtha Wroy from the Miami Shores People of Color organization read an excerpt from Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Mayor Burch introduced Key Biscayne’s Councilman Luis de la Cruz and Recreation Director, Todd Hofferberth, who spoke about their experience with building the Key Biscayne recreation center.

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 3, 2017 COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.
  1. AUTHORIZATION TO ENGAGE ALBERNI, CABALLARO & FIERMAN, LLP FOR THE VILLAGE AUDITING SERVICES.
  1. A RESOLUTION OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL AUTHORIZING THE CREATION AND USE OF ONE OR MORE ACCOUNTS AT BANK UNITED, N.A., IDENTIFYING AUTHORIZED SIGNATORS AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
  1. AUTHORIZATION TO ENGAGE GOMEZ BARKER ASSOCIATES, INC. AS THE VILLAGE’S STATE LOBBYIST FOR AN ANNUAL FEE OF $24,000.

Ms. Keeley read the statement concerning the Consent Agenda and the individual items listed as part of the Agenda. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz recused himself from voting on Item 1C, citing the fact that Bank United is a client of his law firm. He then moved to approve the rest of the Consent Agenda as presented. Councilwoman Ledesma seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion. Councilwoman Ledesma moved Item 1C. Councilwoman Holly seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion, with Vice Mayor Zelkowitz abstaining.

  1. VILLAGE CLERK                                                                     Barbara A. Estep
  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING AUTHORIZATION TO FORM AN EDUCATION COMPACT BETWEEN MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE AND MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

Ms. Iraida Mendez-Cartaya was present from the Miami-Dade County School system and briefly outlined the components of the Compact. Councilwoman Ledesma moved to approve the Education Compact. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz seconded the motion. Council Members spoke in favor of the Compact and the work of Ms. Mendez-Cartaya and the Education Compact Committee members in putting together the document. Mayor Burch called for the vote which was unanimous in favor of the motion.

3)           POLICE DEPARTMENT                                                                        Chief Kevin Lystad

  1. REQUEST APPROPRIATION AND EXPENDITURE OF FORFEITURE FUNDS FOR THE FOLLOWING PROJECT EQUIPMENT:
    1. FIXED/STATIONARY – NON INTELLIGENT CAMERA DEPLOYMENT

AT A PROGRAM COST NOT TO EXCEED $18,000

  1. FIXED/STATIONARY – INTELLIGENT MAST ARM CAMERA DEPLOYMENT

AT A PROGRAM COST NOT TO EXCEED $500,000

  1. TASKFORCE SURVEILLANCE VEHICLE RENTAL

AT A PROGRAM COST NOT TO EXCEED $30,000

Chief Lystad reviewed the equipment proposed for purchase with this request for forfeiture funds and responded to questions posed by Council Members relating to other community’s use of the equipment and the restrictions relating to use of forfeiture funds, as well as lighting throughout the Village. Councilwoman Ledesma moved to approve the Forfeiture Fund expenditure request. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion. Mayor Burch opened the floor for public comment.  

Myrtha Wroy       Ms. Wroy asked about the ongoing maintenance costs for the cameras and lighting.

John Garcia         Mr. Garcia expressed his opinion that more police may be more effective than cameras and would be in front of any crime rather than tools effective after a crime has taken place.

Julio Martinez     Mr. Martinez spoke of the need for additional preventive measures.

Chief Lystad indicated that RFQ’s would be solicited for the camera equipment and also stated that the mast arm installations would need to be approved by Miami-Dade County prior to moving ahead with the project.

Mayor Burch called for a vote on the motion which was unanimous in favor of the motion.

4)           VILLAGE MANAGER                                                                            Tom Benton

  1. A RESOLUTION OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL, MIAMI SHORES, FLORIDA, CALLING FOR A REFERENDUM REGARDING THE ISSUANCE OF GENERAL OBLIGATION DEBT BY MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS ($20,000,000) FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING A NEW COMMUNITY CENTER AND ASSOCIATED RECREATION FACILITIES.

Ms. Keeley read the caption of the resolution into the record. Mayor Burch clarified that Mr. Benton did not need to repeat his presentation regarding the background information relating to the Community Center as Vice Mayor Zelkowitz and Councilman Glinn are very familiar with the project. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz then moved to approve the Resolution. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion. Mayor Burch opened the floor for public comment.

Susan Ackley                     Ms. Ackley spoke in favor of putting the bond issue on the election ballot and of building a new community center. She equated the bond payment of $20/month to a cup of Starbuck’s coffee a week.

Patricia Cocchi                  Ms. Cocchi stated that the current center is over 40 years old and it is time to have a new community center which takes care of the children. She spoke of her personal donation of $10,000 earmarked for a new center.

Carol Cocchi                     Ms. Cocchi spoke of growing up in the Village and her time spent at the community center which is a great asset for the Village.

Myrtha Wroy                     Ms. Wroy stated that there is no real opposition to a new community center only that the proposed building is too large and will cost too much money.

Frank Hornstein                Mr. Hornstein stated that the proposal is too big and there is not enough parking. He shared his concern for traffic issues and that the proposed center is wrong for the community.

Tony Bennett                     Mr. Bennett indicated that he would like to see real costs and figures so that he can evaluate the impact to his taxes.

Melinda Hadad                  Ms. Hadad spoke of the proposed center not being to the scale of the community and that the Village cannot be compared to Key Biscayne. Urged the Council to vote no this evening to allow more time for consideration.

Giselle Kovac                    Ms. Kovac agrees with the need for a new community center but shared concerns regarding its size and believes the Village is taking on too much at once.

Andrew Bellison               Mr. Bellison likes the idea of a new community center but wonders who will use a new center the size of the proposed building.

Hugo Mijares                    Mr. Mijares indicated he is an architect and gladly would donate his services.

Janet Goodman                 Ms. Goodman stated that the Village is not rushing into proposing a new center, it has been talked about for years and urged people to go back and look.

Cheryl Gowing                  Ms. Gowing spoke of the programming limitations at the current center and that she has visited many new, state-of-the-art facilities that are similar to what the Village needs. She stated that some people will always say that it’s too soon.

Elizabeth CowanMs. Cowan is concerned with catering to a secondary market and not taking care of the Village first.

Ivonne Moody                   Ms. Moody spoke as a resident and instructor at the community center, and the need for a new building. Urged the Council to put the issue on the ballot as any delays will mean more money to build.

Jose Ferrer                         Mr. Ferrer asked the Council to be careful and not rush into the decision, citing the Charter School and the Aquatic Center as examples.

Bekky Leonard                  Ms. Leonard spoke of the current center and its space limitations. Reminded the Council that the proposed center includes space for an indoor basketball court and the field house being absorbed into the one building.

Mayor Burch closed public comment.

Councilwoman Ledesma indicated her intent to vote against the motion as she was given only one option for the building which she feels is not to scale and has too many bells and whistles which the Village does not need. She wants a smaller, cheaper building.

Vice Mayor Zelkowitz thanked the residents that came out to speak. He voiced his intention of not spending any more money on studies or plans because until the voters have a chance to vote, the Village doesn’t know whether or not there will be funding to support the project. He spoke of the $20 million being a not to exceed number as the ballot question has to contain a figure. He stressed the importance of putting the bond question on the ballot and reminded people that originally, the question was scheduled for the November general election and was delayed to give us more time to get a rendering of the center.

Councilman Glinn thanked the residents and shared his respect for the concerns expressed by some of the residents but echoed the Vice Mayor’s comments regarding the $20 million being a ceiling figure and used to establish the necessary framework to move forward. He stressed that there is a lot of work to be done before a new community center can be built.

Mayor Burch spoke in support of putting the bond question on the ballot and of building a new community center which will accommodate all residents from the youngest to the oldest and the need to build a facility which will stand and be utilized for 40 to 50 years, as the current building was. She spoke of the center’s user demographics and the programs provided at the center. Mayor Burch also read a portion of a letter received from the Surfside Mayor with respect to their community center and its prominence in their community.

Councilwoman Ledesma reiterated her wish to see a smaller, cheaper building and proposed an amendment to the Vice Mayor’s motion which would lower the dollar amount from $20 million to $15 million. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz did not accept the proposed amendment. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz spoke of not wanting to pick a dollar amount out of thin air. Attorney Sarafan stressed the issue that the proposed bond referendum authorized funding for A community center facility, not necessarily the community center represented in the rendering.

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

Mayor Burch called for a short recess at 7:59 PM. The meeting resumed and was called back to order at 8:07 PM.

5)           VILLAGE COUNCIL                                                                               Mayor Burch   

A) DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON EMPOWERING THE MANAGER TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE GREATER MIAMI SHORES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE DURING THEIR HIRING PERIOD FOR NEW STAFF.

Mayor Burch provided information and the purpose of placing this item on the agenda. She spoke of looking for consensus as to whether or not the Village Council would support aiding the Chamber in supplementing their Director position’s salary to allow for an individual with an interest in marketing N.E. 2nd Avenue.   Chamber Board President Gladys Coia and Immediate Past President, Johnathan Meltz, spoke in favor of the concept and stated that they would welcome the opportunity to discuss the possibility further with the Manager. Although Councilwoman Holly voiced her concern on setting a precedent and indicating that the Chamber is not an arm of the Village Government, the Council Members generally expressed support of the Mayor’s suggestion. Following the discussions, Vice Mayor Zelkowitz moved to authorize the Village Manager to negotiate with the Greater Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce during their hiring period for new staff and to bring something back to the Council. Councilwoman Ledesma seconded the motion. Mr. Sarafan asked for clarification on “grant” and was assured that the proposal would not include that of a joint employee between the Village and Chamber.   The vote was 4 to 1 in favor of the motion with Councilwoman Holly dissenting.

 

6)           ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ms. Keeley read the announcements.

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

8)         COUNCIL COMMENTS

Herta Holly                        Councilwoman Holly spoke of the costs associated with all of the studies requested by the Village Council and the work to be done as a result of the studies. She further spoke of the YGrene program and its benefits.

Steven Zelkowitz              Vice Mayor Zelkowitz spoke of working with Key Biscayne as part of the Village Attorney team during their community center project and his belief that our residents will do what is best for the Village. He understands that the issue can be contentious and personal.

MacAdam Glinn                Councilman Glinn thanked those in attendance and expressed his concern that residents feel the Village has not been transparent in the efforts for a community center. He assured people that there has been transparency and that he will do everything possible to ensure that people can make an educated decision. Councilman Glinn further spoke of the possibility of continuing a relationship with Bob Levy & Associates for a short time frame. He further spoke of conflicts (Passover and Spring Break) with the scheduled election date and indicated that he would be looking to discuss moving the election back a week at the February 7, 2017 Council Meeting.

Ivonne Ledesma                Councilwoman Ledesma thanked those in attendance and for Councilman Glinn looking ahead. She spoke of her conviction that the community center would be built.

Alice Burch                       Mayor Burch spoke of the great 85th anniversary celebration event that took place at the Library and also of the Chief Chats which are being conducted regularly.

9)         ADJOURNMENT

The January 17, 2017 Council Meeting was adjourned at 8:39 PM.

                                                                                                                   Barbara A. Estep, MMC

                                                                                                                   Village Clerk