Village Council Meeting Minutes - March 7, 2017

MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING

The Miami Shores Village Council held their regularly scheduled Council Meeting on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 in the Council Chambers of Village Hall. The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM with the following members present:

PRESENT:                      Alice Burch

                                        Steven Zelkowitz

                                        MacAdam Glinn

                                        Herta Holly

ALSO PRESENT:           Tom Benton, Village Manager

                                        Barbara Estep, Village Clerk

                                        Richard Sarafan, Village Attorney

CONSIDERATIONS

1)       VILLAGE CLERK                                                                  Barbara A. Estep

  1. APPROVAL OF THE FEBRUARY 21, 2017 COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.

Councilwoman Holly moved to approve the February 21, 2017 Council Meeting Minutes. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

  1. APPROVAL OF DOCTORS CHARTER SCHOOL BYLAWS AMENDMENTS.

Ms. Estep indicated that at the request of the Charter School’s Executive Director, the item was removed from the agenda.

2)          VILLAGE MANAGER                                                         Tom Benton       

  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING FARMER’S MARKETS

Mr. Benton provided information regarding farmer’s markets and the fact that a number of individuals have expressed an interest in operating the markets here in Miami Shores. He advised that as there are a number of individuals that have come forward, he believes that an RFQ is warranted. However, prior to moving forward with advertising an RFQ, he would like to get input from the Council regarding the location, frequency, etc. from the Council so that he can accurately solicit submittals.  

General discussion amongst the Council Members ensued, with the Council speaking about the proposed location, parking, times of operation and frequency, as well as their interest in having local businesses represented if desired.

Mayor Burch opened the floor for public comment.

Mary Benton                   Ms. Benton advised the Council that she had circulated a petition and it was available if necessary. She suggested that a weekly, year-round market be open on Sundays from noon to 4:00 PM.

Carol Hoffman                Ms. Hoffman spoke of the importance of having a professional market producer involved and that the most successful markets are conducted on a weekly basis.

Angela Attento                Ms. Attento spoke about being able to walk to the market with her young children so the Optimist Park location would be optimal. She does not want to have to drive to the local farmer’s market.

Doug Barnes                    Mr. Barnes spoke in support of a farmer’s market in the downtown district.

Xavier Peresrego            Mr. Peresrego expressed concern regarding the adjacent properties and suggested that maybe another location be looked at.

Elizabeth Cowen             Ms. Cowen spoke in support of a weekly farmer’s market in Optimist Park.

Mayor Burch closed public comment. Subsequent to a brief follow-up discussion by the Council and several motion amendments, it was moved by Councilwoman Ledesma to direct staff to issue an RFP for a company to hold a weekly farmer’s market in Optimist Park for one year with instructions to conduct market research, contact local downtown vendors for inclusion, and to allow for “backyard produce” at the market. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion. Council Members requested that prior to issuing an RFP, Mr. Benton contact the Bank of America as well as the immediate neighbors to let them know of the proposed project and to ensure that there were no objections.

  

3)       VILLAGE COUNCIL                                                             

  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING ESTABLISHING SPECIAL TAXING DISTRICTS FOR NEIGHBORHOOD STREET LIGHTING.                    Mayor Burch

Mayor Burch introduced the item, indicating that a recent change in the County Codes allows for municipalities to establish street lighting special taxing districts for residents who would like to have additional lighting and the assessment included on their tax bill. Council Members discussed the concept and asked that the Village Manager research the particulars of the program and report back to the Council.

  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING INSTRUCTING STAFF TO PAY OFF AQUATIC CENTER BOND CONTINGENT ON THE COMMUNITY CENTER BOND PASSING.                                                                Councilman Glinn

Councilman Glinn spoke of the perception in the community that the Council and Administration have not been transparent enough with respect to the community center project and the confusion regarding the aquatic center bond debt which is still owed. It was reported that there is $1.7 million remaining on the bond debt. There is currently $1.1 million reserved for repayment of the debt, leaving approximately $650,000 which will need to be used from the Fund Balance to pay off the bond. Council Members discussed the debt in general and their opinions on whether the bond should be paid off now or once the voters have voted on the community center bond. Following the discussions, Councilman Glinn moved to instruct staff to pay off the aquatic center bond, contingent upon the passage of the community center bond referendum. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz seconded the motion.

Mayor Burch opened the floor for public comment.

Al Crespo                       Mr. Crespo spoke of the political move to pay-off the bond and that he had not seen any construction estimates other than those provided by Councilman Glinn’s firm.

Ximena Huber                 Ms. Huber spoke about only having one option and that there is no comparison between a $1.7 million bond and a $20 million bond.

Elizabeth Cowen             Ms. Cowen indicated that the Village has been talking about the community center for a year and other than having input at the first meeting, the residents have not had another opportunity.

Mayor Burch closed public comment and called for the vote which was 4 to 1 in favor of the motion with Councilwoman Ledesma dissenting.

  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING FORMATION OF A COMMUNITY CENTER RESIDENTS ADVISORY BOARD.         Councilman Glinn

Councilman Glinn reiterated his comments regarding transparency and getting residents involved in the community center project process. Councilman Glinn explained how the building of a public facility is accomplished and the fact that it is the norm to limit up-front spending on public projects. Councilman Glinn stated his belief that there needs to be a guarantee that there will be input from the public, citing the County School bond referendum and the Building Better Community bonds, both of which involved a citizen’s committee. He spoke of the proposed Advisory Board being set-up like other Village Boards, with the Council selecting the members based on their applications and to meet on a monthly basis. Councilman Glinn also spoke of his desire to have three public charrettes held to solicit additional input from the community. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz asked Councilman Glinn to elaborate on what an advisory board’s authority is. Councilman Glinn stated that as with other advisory boards, their discussions and/or recommendations are non-binding, that the Board will meet in the “sunshine”, minutes will be required and the Board will sunset at an appropriate time, which he believes would be at the end of the design process.

Vice Mayor Zelkowitz spoke about the process and that the Administration and Council have been working on the community center for over a year. He further spoke of other cities that borrow funds and use revenue bonds to fund building construction, etc. instead of general obligation bonds, and that revenue bonds do not require a vote of the residents. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz indicated that Bermello Ajamil, working in conjunction with Ballard*King had estimated the community center facility to cost $19 million.

Council Members offered their comments regarding Councilman Glinn’s proposal, concluding with Councilman Glinn moving to set up a Community Center Advisory Board with 5 members to be appointed by the Council in the same fashion as other boards, and will meet with Village staff, the architect and builder on a monthly basis to give input on the project. The appointees should have experience in architecture, construction, planning, or real estate, with the Board sun-setting at the conclusion of the design process. In addition, the Village will hold a minimum of 3 charrettes throughout the design process to give the community at large the ability to influence and give input into the project. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz seconded the motion.

Mayor Burch opened the floor for public comment.

Al Crespo          Mr. Crespo suggested that the board be comprised of 7 residents to allow for non-professional input into the process.

Julie Claussen    Ms. Claussen also spoke of wanting to have the opportunity to be heard even though she is not an architect, planner, etc.

Mayor Burch closed public comment.

Councilman Glinn offered an amendment to his motion to change the wording, “The appointees should have experience in architecture, construction, planning or real estate” to “Council should consider if the applicants have architectural, construction, planning or real estate experience”. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz accepted the amendment. Mayor Burch called for a vote on the amended motion which was unanimous in favor of the motion.

  1. REPORT FROM THE ADMINISTRATION REGARDING THE SIZE, SCOPE AND COSTS OF THE PROPOSED COMMUNITY CENTER PROJECT.

Councilman Glinn offered a brief statement regarding the Manager and Recreation Department’s work on shrinking the proposed building in response to the resident’s concerns. Councilman Glinn advised that the firm he works for does approximately $700 million in public construction projects and that the company provided construction costs at no charge because it is the right thing to do, saving the Village thousands of dollars. He stated that his firm has no intention of bidding on the construction project nor would they be permitted to do so.

Mr. Benton then provided the audience with the current status of the building size and projected cost which amounts to approximately $15 million including architectural fees, permitting costs, and including a required sewer connection. Mr. Benton stated that the Village will continue to look at economy of scale for project savings.   There was discussion regarding the publication of an information pamphlet to be distributed once approved by the Village Attorney.

                                              

4)         ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ms. Estep read the announcements.

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

Elizabeth Cowen             Ms. Cowen expressed her appreciation of the discussion on the process of constructing the community center. She spoke about when she completed the survey and not thinking of the cost when filling out the information.

Al Crespo                        Mr. Crespo spoke of residents having “selective inattention” which means people don’t pay attention or focus on issues when first presented.

Don Molta                       Mr. Molta spoke of demolition and operating expenses associated with the community center.

Ximena Huber                 Ms. Huber spoke of the scope of the community center project and ongoing maintenance.

Julie Claussen                 Ms. Claussen spoke of getting the informational brochure as soon as possible.

Xavier Peresrego            Mr. Peresrego suggested information to be included in the community center pamphlet.

Angela Attento                 Ms. Attento reminded residents to look at the website for information.

6)         COUNCIL COMMENTS

Herta Holly                     Councilwoman Holly spoke of the successful Unity Day event.

MacAdam Glinn              Councilman Glinn also spoke of Unity Day and thanked those residents in attendance at the meeting.

Ivonne Ledesma               Councilwoman Ledesma spoke of the community center project and her appreciation of the civility always maintained at the Council Meetings. She indicated that she is not running for re-election.

Steven Zelkowitz             Vice Mayor Zelkowitz stated that he would like everyone to look forward with respect to the community center project and not so much on looking back.  Vice Mayor Zelkowitz thanked Councilwoman Ledesma for her time and service while on the Council.

Alice Burch                     Mayor Burch spoke of the importance of communication and how it is accomplished.

Mayor Burch also spoke of Unity Day.

7)         ADJOURNMENT

The March 7, 2017 Council Meeting was adjourned at 8:47 PM.

                                                                                                           ___________________________                                                                                                                                      Alice Burch, Mayor

____________________________

Barbara A. Estep, MMC

Village Clerk