The new City Council meets to select a mayor tomorrow (Monday) at 10:00 AM. Since it is the mayor who runs City Council meetings, this selection will tell us a lot about whether we will have congenial and concise business meetings, or a continuation of the contentious and endless meetings that have prevailed since November 2017. We certainly don’t need Washington, DC’s drama in our town!
Then the first meeting of our new City Council will take place this Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. The agenda includes important items that will set the tone and direction of this Council and could decide some key issues. The question foremost in peoples’ minds though is whether the unpopular decision-making and Council conduct of 2018 will continue in 2019. Here are some of the most important items:
3. CONSENT AGENDA
Item G: First Amendment to Lease Agreement by and between the City of Vero Beach, Florida, and Vero Beach Dog Park, Inc., fka The Friends of the Vero Beach Dog Exercise Area, Inc.
It extends the City’s lease of the dog park land to March 14, 2034. This will occur early in the meeting. It is critical to those of us who love both our parks and dogs.
4. NEW BUSINESS
There are four issues that may (or may not) be very important.
1) Strategy discussion for handling future negotiations for the City such as property sales and leases, hiring decisions, RFPs, and union negotiations in light of Sunshine Law and Majority Vote Limitations – Requested by Dr. Val Zudans
If you recall, during this past year the City Council majority generated a great deal of anger among voters for decisions or recommendations regarding City properties (River House brewery, downtown post office, Dodgertown Golf Course, etc.). Councilman Zudans was clearly in favor of all those decisions and now wants to have a strategy discussion about future handling of such matters. There is now a new City Council majority. Will it continue down the path of last year’s majority?
2) Discussion of Measures to prevent botched, negotiations of multi-million-dollar City business by a Councilmember as occurred with Dodgertown. “Agreement to Purchase and Sell Real Estate between Indian River County and the City of Vero Beach” (attached) – Requested by Councilwoman Laura Moss
Attacking a fellow Council member in an agenda item is in poor form and hopefully not a sign of things to come from Councilman Moss, especially when the next item is also being brought by her.
3) Protocol for City Council Meetings – Requested by Councilwoman Laura Moss
4) Name for Lagoon-front property owned by City at west end of Alma Lee Loy Bridge
This item is being suggested by the publisher of 32963/Vero News, not a Council member. He has often been critical of City government in his publication and in requesting this item for the agenda, commented: But this lagoon-front property also has the potential to become known by another idiotic, meaningless name like “Twin Pairs.” In an effort to head off a stupid name like “Three Corners,” we launched a “Name That Property Contest” with a $1,000 prize in the New Year’s issue of Vero Beach 32963…
Do we want a name for the property suggested by someone not in our community and who resorts to grade school language in showing his displeasure with the City? This should be a contest without cash prizes that allows City residents and voters to decide the name of City-owned properties.
8) CITY MANAGER MATTERS
Item B) Beachside Parking (2018-13) – Parking Study – Cost (up to $70,950)
After numerous Council meetings without a decision about this nagging issue because of those opposed to investing in a solution or those who aren’t sure which solution to invest in, the best way to handle it is to bring in outside professionals without any “skin in the game” to help make a decision and do something.
This meeting could be a roadmap to what kind of City Council we have elected. You are urged to attend!