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Village Council Meeting Minutes - June 2, 2015

MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING

The Miami Shores Village Council held their regularly scheduled Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. The meeting was held at the Community Center and was called to order at 6:30 PM with the following individuals present:

PRESENT:                        Alice Burch

                                           Steve Zelkowitz

                                           Herta Holly

                                           Ivonne Ledesma

                                           Jesse Walters

ALSO PRESENT:             Tom Benton, Village Manager

                                           Barbara A. Estep, Village Clerk

                                           Richard Sarafan, Village Attorney

PUBLIC INPUT: Public comment on items appearing on this evening’s agenda.

Mayor Burch made an opening statement regarding recent events surrounding Doctors Charter School, its Executive Director position and the Board of Directors. Attorney Richard Sarafan outlined the protocol for public comment.

Paul Calli                                         Mr. Calli spoke of the need for transparency and the recent actions of the Charter School Board.

Dick Direnzo                                   Mr. Direnzo spoke of the training for the School Board and their financial predicament.

Stephanie Bruder               Ms. Bruder spoke of how staff turn-over at the School is detrimental to the students and that the policies of the School do not reflect the times. Ms. Bruder suggested that a Council Member sit on the Charter School Board.

Allison Ludicke                               Ms. Ludicke spoke of the need to look to the future and take steps to correct the problems by selecting the right individuals to sit on the Board.

Rosemarie Banich             Ms. Banich spoke of the great staff at Doctors Charter School and expressed positive attributes of Mr. Dorn.

Annalyn Heine                                 Ms. Heine is a student and she expressed her concern that the Board had only heard negative comments regarding Mr. Dorn.

Samantha Gallo                               Ms. Gallo is a student and spoke of the positive role model Mr. Dorn presents.

Emily Vega                                      Ms. Vega is a student and spoke in support of Mr. Dorn and that she appreciates his efforts.

Lady Iglesias                                    Ms. Iglesias is a student and expressed her opinion that students should evaluate Mr. Dorn, rather than teachers and the Board. Ms. Iglesias stated that Mr. Dorn makes an effort.

Kelly Jackson                                   Ms. Jackson spoke of her daughter’s education who attended DCS and the fact that she has chosen to place her son at DCS as well this next fall. She spoke of the School as an asset to the community and is concerned about the current drama surrounding the School.

Patrick Greda                                   Mr. Greda is a student and spoke of his graduation this week after having been in the dual enrollment program at FIU. He spoke of the positive role models at the School and the failure on the part of the Board of Directors.

Hunt Davis                                       Mr. Davis spoke of the need to restore faith in the community and the School.

John Pegg                                         Mr. Pegg is a parent with students in the School and works as the swim coach. He spoke of the positive moral at the School this past year.

Dennis Leyva                                   Mr. Leyva thanked Councilwoman Ledesma for suggesting that the meeting be moved.

Jerry Lance                                       Mr. Lance spoke of the fact that Mr. Dorn is from Miami Shores Village.

When no one else stepped forward to speak, Mayor Burch closed this portion of Public Comment.

CONSIDERATIONS

 

  1. VILLAGE CLERK                                                                                   Barbara A. Estep
  1. APPROVAL OF THE MAY 19, 2015 COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.

Vice Mayor Zelkowitz moved to approve the May 19, 2015 Council Meeting Minutes. Councilwoman Holly seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

  1. A RESOLUTION OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL AUTHORIZING THE VILLAGE MANAGER AS SIGNATORY FOR APPLICABLE VILLAGE BANK ACCOUNTS, AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

Ms. Estep read the caption of the resolution into the record. Councilwoman Holly moved to approve the proposed resolution as presented. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

  1. FINANCE DEPARTMENT                                                                     Holly Hugdahl
  1. PRESENTATION AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE 2014 COMPREHENSIVE ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2014.        

Mr. Andrew Fierman with the auditing firm of Alberni, Caballero & Company provided highlights from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the year ending September 30, 2014, stating that the Village is in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles. Following the report, Vice Mayor Zelkowitz moved to accept the 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Councilwoman Holly seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

             

                                                         

  1. A RESOLUTION OF MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF ITS REFUNDING GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND, SERIES 2015 IN THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF NOT TO EXCEED $4,050,000 TO REFUND ALL OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE, FLORIDA GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS, SERIES 2004; AUTHORIZING THE PRIVATE NEGOTIATED SALE OF THE BOND TO TD BANK, N.A. PURSUANT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF A LOAN AGREEMENT BY AND AMONG THE FLORIDA MUNICIPAL LOAN COUNCIL, MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE, AND TD BANK, N.A.; APPROVING THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT; DESIGNATING THE BOND AS A “QUALIFIED TAX-EXEMPT OBLIGATION”; PROVIDING CERTAIN OTHER MATTERS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ISSUANCE OF THE BOND; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

Ms. Estep read the caption of the resolution into the record. Mr. Benton provided general information regarding the purpose of refinancing the Bond, indicating that the Village would save approximately $950,000 over the remaining term of the Bond and directly pass those savings along to the homeowners with a reduction in the debt service millage. As this particular General Obligation Bond is connected to the Charter School, Mr. Benton explained that the Bond was obtained in 2004 in order to construct the Charter School. These monies are separate and not related to the Trust monies that were obtained from the North Dade Medical Foundation to assist in operational costs and shortfalls of the School’s budget. The Village’s Finance Director, Holly Hugdahl, advised the Council that the interest rate would be reduced from 5% to 2.4% with the refinancing. Council thanked the Staff for bringing this item forward. Councilwoman Ledesma moved to approve the refunding resolution. Councilman Walters seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

  

  1. PLANNING DEPARTMENT                                                                  David Dacquisto
  1. AN ORDINANCE OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL AMENDING

SECTION 518 “FENCES, WALLS & HEDGESCONTAINED IN THE ZONING APPENDIX OF THE VILLAGE’S CODE OF ORDINANCES BY REPEALING THE CONTENTS OF THE SECTION IN ITS ENTIRETY AND ADOPTING A NEW

       SECTION 518 “FENCES, WALLS & HEDGES”, PROVIDING FOR

       SEVERABILITY, PROVIDING FOR CONFLICTS AND PROVIDING

       FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

Ms. Estep read the caption of the ordinance into the record. She indicated that the ordinance is being presented on first reading. Councilwoman Ledesma moved to approve the ordinance as presented for first reading. Councilman Walters seconded the motion. Following brief comments made by the Council Members, Mayor Burch called for the vote which was unanimous in favor of the motion.

  1. DISCUSSION AND APPROVAL OF THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN EVALUATION AND APPRAISAL NOTIFICATION LETTER.

Councilwoman Holly moved approval of the letter as presented.   Councilwoman Ledesma seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

  1. 4)           VILLAGE COUNCIL                                                                              
  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON POTENTIAL CHANGES TO BUDGET WORKSHOP(S).                                                                                  Jesse Walters

 

Mr. Walters withdrew his item in consideration of Councilwoman Ledesma’s item, 4B.

  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON ADDING A RESIDENT BUDGET WORKSHOP PRIOR TO THE COUNCIL BUDGET WORKSHOP.            Ivonne Ledesma

Councilwoman Ledesma suggested that the Council conduct a separate resident budget workshop to be held at the Community Center for residents to attend in order to facilitate an open dialogue regarding the Village’s annual budget. Councilwoman Ledesma indicated that Mr. Benton had raised issues relating to the timing of the workshop and a potential issue for funding requests coming directly from the residents. Councilwoman Ledesma advised that some requests would not be funded in the budget but hearing the requests would be a positive exercise. Councilwoman Holly stated she was in favor of the idea but shared her concern regarding the timing because of the possibility of needing to obtain vendor quotes, etc.

Mr. Benton reviewed the budget calendar and the TRIM requirements of the County, indicating that the Council Budget Workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, July 14th and a resolution setting the millage rate is required to be sent to the County prior to August 4th. He suggested that a resident workshop could be held during the first full week of July.

Councilman Walters moved to schedule a resident budget workshop for Tuesday, July 7th and subsequently changed the date to Monday, July 6th so as not to conflict with the regularly scheduled Council Meeting. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz seconded the motion for discussion purposes.   Vice Mayor Zelkowitz agreed that public input is important and suggested a PowerPoint presentation of the budget proposal. He stated that he would like to see about accommodating live streaming video from the Center for the workshop meeting. In addition, Vice Mayor Zelkowitz requested that Councilman Walters amend his motion to conduct the meeting on Thursday, July 9th as Monday, July 6th is the first day back after a long holiday weekend and people may be out of town. Councilman Walters amended his original motion with Vice Mayor Zelkowitz seconding the amended motion. The time of the meeting will be 6:30 PM. The vote was unanimous in favor of the amended motion.

Mayor Burch spoke of attending many budget workshops in the past when there were very few people in attendance and then suggested that when available, people review the budget on-line.      

  1. DISCUSSION REGARDING THE DOCTORS CHARTER SCHOOL.

Ivonne Ledesma

Councilwoman Ledesma spoke of hearing about the recent actions of the Charter School Board and the fact that residents are clearly upset about what has transpired. Councilwoman Ledesma indicated that she and the public wanted answers from Mayor Burch to a number of questions which she proceeded to recite. Mr. Sarafan advised that the Charter School Board was formed as a separate entity from the Council and the Council’s role is to appoint the majority of members to the School Board. Mr. Sarafan further stated that procedures of the School Board should be addressed to the School Board. Mr. Sarafan stated that it is inappropriate to be asking for explanations of what people believe to be the facts. Mr. Sarafan stated that he has looked into some of the issues and specifically researched dual office holding and does not see any dual office holding issue from a legal standpoint. Mr. Sarafan indicated that as soon as any member of the Council is elected and sworn in, they automatically lose any other public office that they may have been assigned to, whether they submit a resignation or not. He further stated that he saw no evidence of wrongdoing. Mr. Sarafan stated that the Board had made some mistakes which they then took steps to remedy.

Councilman Walters asked for clarification regarding the proper protocol to follow should someone believe that there was wrongdoing. Mr. Sarafan responded, advising Councilman Walters that the Village Council is not the entity to report or investigate any illegalities.  If anyone believes that there has been a violation of the law, Mr. Sarafan advised those people to go to the Charter School Board first and get the facts.

Mayor Burch provided brief responses to questions posed by Councilwoman Ledesma, indicating that she submitted a resignation letter to the DCS Board Chair on April 24. She attended the May meeting and sat in the audience, volunteering to distribute the agenda. She indicated that she would be happy to attend a future Board meeting and have an open discussion as to what happened.

A discussion between Councilman Walters and Mr. Sarafan ensued regarding what transpired at the recent Charter School Board meeting and whether or not minutes from those meetings are available for review.

Vice Mayor Zelkowitz spoke of the importance of the School in the community and the important role of the Board Members that will be appointed by the Council at the next Council Meeting in governing the operations.

5)           ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ms. Estep read the announcements.

 

6)             PUBLIC COMMENTS

Paul Calli                          Mr. Calli spoke of Mr. Sarafan’s comments.

Elizabeth CowanMs. Cowan spoke of the fence ordinance amendment.

Scott Henderson                Mr. Henderson spoke of the recycling program and the swim clock.

Patrick Greda                    Master Greda spoke of the need to focus on the School rather than on the Board of Directors which is no longer involved.

7)             COUNCIL COMMENTS

Ivonne Ledesma                Councilwoman Ledesma thanked people for attending the meeting and their participation and importance with the upcoming Board selections.

Jesse Walters                     No comment.

Steve Zelkowitz                Vice Mayor Zelkowitz thanked Rabbi Lang for his invocation and urged people to e-mail the Manager or the Council regarding budget issues.

Herta Holly                        Councilwoman Holly spoke of getting to know the people that are applying to the Charter School Board and to be involved in the community.

Alice Burch                       No comment.

8)             ADJOURNMENT

The June 2, 2015 Council Meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM.

                                                                                                                   _______________________

                                                                                                                   Alice Burch, Mayor

________________________

Barbara A. Estep, MMC

Village Clerk