REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
COUNCIL CHAMBERS – CITY HALL
1000 CITY CENTER CIRCLE
JANUARY 25, 2011
THE REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING of the City of Port Orange was called to order by Mayor Allen Green at 7:00 p.m.
Pledge of Allegiance
Roll Call: Present: Councilman Bob Ford
Councilman Donald Burnette
Councilman Bob Pohlmann (Arrived at 7:05pm)
Vice Mayor Dennis Kennedy
Mayor Allen Green
Also Present: Kenneth W. Parker, City Manager
Margaret T. Roberts, City Attorney
Robin Fenwick, Deputy City Clerk
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AND PROCLAMATIONS
4. The City Council recognized the Atlantic High School’s Bowling Team as State Champions for 2010-11.
5. The City Council recognized Tonya Saylor as the 2010 State of Florida Public Fire & Life Educator of the Year.
STATE OF THE CITY MESSAGE
Kent Donahue presented the pre-recorded State of the City Message from Mayor Green, which highlighted the growth and changes in Port Orange throughout 2010.
6. Kemper Sports Management report given regarding Cypress Head Golf Course by Ricardo Catarino for the last quarter of 2010.
Vice Mayor Kennedy said good job. It’s been a hard winter with the weather conditions.
Councilman Pohlmann asked how the course conditions are after the hard winter so far. Mr. Catarino said they are ok. The employees are working hard to keep it looking nice but it’s a difficult time right now.
Councilman Burnette says the numbers look overall better than last year. Good job.
Councilman Ford requested that the next reports show a comparison to last year so that he can see if the numbers are up or down. Mr. Catarino explained that if they had had normal weather during December, they would have blown away the budget. He feels they will meet budget this year. Councilman Ford asked what they can do to help. Mr. Catarino said just spread the word. Councilman Ford asked about the tee time problems. Mr. Catarino explained that they are having some regulars who are taking the best tee times and new customers are complaining. Mr. Catarino and the team are working with the regular golfers to make changes to the scheduling to accommodate all golfers. Thanked the Council for the opportunity to work with the City of Port Orange.
BOARD APPOINTMENTS AND INTERVIEWS
7. Board Appointment and Interviews
a. Construction Regulation Board (3 terms to expire on 2/15/13)
Motion to Appoint John Junco and Gary Wisniewski to the Construction Regulation Board made by Councilman Pohlmann, and Seconded by Vice Mayor Kennedy. Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.
Mayor Green will contact Ron Martin to see if he would be interested in being reappointed. No other applicants.
b. Parks and Recreation Board
Motion to Re-appoint Jack Wiles to the Parks and Recreation Board made by Councilman Pohlmann and Seconded by Councilman Burnette. Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.
No other applicants to fill the remaining opening. Councilman Burnette knows of somebody. He will contact that person and ask him to submit an application prior to the next meeting.
c. Library Advisory Board
Motion to Appoint Geraldine Bennett to the Library Advisory Board made by Councilman Burnette and Seconded by Councilman Ford. Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.
No other applicants to fill the remaining opening. Vice Mayor Kennedy knows of an individual he will ask to serve.
d. Youth Advisory Board
Motion to Appoint Courtney Fenwick to the Youth Advisory Board made by Councilman Pohlmann and Seconded by Vice Mayor Kennedy. Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.
Councilman Burnette asked how many other openings are on the Youth Advisory Board. Shannon Lewis, Assistant City Manager advised that there are two openings for students from Silver Sands Middle School and three openings for students from Atlantic High School. Councilman Burnette will attempt to find some interested students from Silver Sands.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION (Non-Agenda – 15 Minutes)
Ted Noftall, Chickadee Drive, requested that Council make policy regarding what goes on the website and when the documents are available to the public. Mayor Green advised that there are policies in place. Mr. Noftall questioned the changes to the ordinances after they have been made available to the public. Mayor Green advised Mr. Noftall that it is going to happen. It is very common for changes to occur especially during the first reading. Mr. Noftall asked why the agenda for the budget meeting did not include the packet of information provided at the meeting. All councilmen advised Mr. Noftall that they were able to receive and print the documents. Mr. Parker advised that the packet was uploaded to the website.
Vice Mayor Kennedy advised that we are doing everything we can to be “open”. Changes to the ordinances are going to occur, it’s a work in progress until we vote on it.
Councilman Pohlmann agreed that we are trying to get the information to the public in a timely fashion. Certainly, the citizens are allowed to come to City Hall for copies, they can attend the meetings to get information. We are not trying to hide anything.
Mr. Noftall asked about a City blog so that citizens can get information ahead of time.
Mayor Green explained that topics come up and are discussed during meetings sometimes for years, and once the items are at a point to be placed on the Council Agenda, they are available to the public.
Councilman Burnette also explained that the ordinance was a first reading and was discussed in detail and was sent back to Staff for revisions. The public was invited and some were present to discuss the ordinance regarding feral cats. The public also has input during the second reading. Councilman Burnette concurs that anything we can do to be more open, we should do. He does not agree with a City blog. There are other websites out there already blogging. He is available to the citizens to discuss anything they wish.
Councilman Ford believes everyone wants to be open, we are going through some growing pains, and we should focus on the website upgrades. We’ve come a long way in just a year. We are working on it.
8. Project Managers’ Report
9. Award of Contract for Construction of a Traffic Signal at Devon St. and Taylor Road
Motion made by Councilman Burnette to approve Consent Agenda items #8 & 9. Seconded by Vice Mayor Kennedy. Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.
FINANCE (John Shelley)
10. Monthly Financial Report
John Shelley presented a report which was discussed in more detail at the budget workshop prior to this meeting (Minutes under separate cover). The YMCA report was included through November (December’s numbers were not available at the time of this report). The Golf report was also included.
PUBLIC WORKS (Warren Pike)
11. Discussion of Landscape Contract
Warren Pike advised that he is preparing for a downturn for next year’s budget. He is looking at the number of times we mow each year and trying to reduce costs. Mr. Pike is also looking at switching out the grass along medians and other City properties from St. Augustine turf to Bahia turf. His question to the Council is what should Staff do about the County properties that the City is mowing without compensation from the County. Years ago the County paid but not anymore. Mayor Green asked about perennial peanuts. Mr. Pike said they will begin replanting seeds at the end of February. Mayor Green would like for Staff to show a savings and that savings be reinvested so that we can maintain long term. That may mean changing the product, but we need to keep things looking nice.
Councilman Ford believes we need to spend the money to make the City attractive. We are not going to attract new businesses or residents if the City looks unkept. Bahia grows fast and will need to be cut more often. Councilman Ford takes issue with the fact that the County does not take care of their own properties. The City should not have to do it, but we will have to if the County is not going to do it.
Councilman Burnette agrees with Councilman Ford. He is not interested in cutting less, but rather replace the product. Dunlawton looks awful and we need to invest in the appearance of the City, rather than cut services. Mr. Pike is planning on planting Bahia along Dunlawton this year.
Councilman Pohlmann supports mowing the County areas. He would like to see all of the St. Augustine grass removed and replaced with low maintenance, drought tolerant grass. Councilman Pohlmann believes cutting the number of mowings, spaced out properly could help save money, supports Mr. Pike’s efforts.
Vice Mayor Kennedy agrees that he too is concerned about the City’s appearance. It’s going to cost money to take care of the City’s properties. He believes the answer is putting more effort into the maintenance of the City’s areas, which means putting money into it. A key element to Port Orange has always been the appearance. Mr. Pike is embarrassed by the looks of Dunlawton. Even though the causes were out of our control, it’s embarrassing.
Further discussion was held regarding the use of different types of grasses.
Councilman Pohlmann requested that Margaret Momberger, Landscape Architect, get involved regarding what could be removed for easier maintenance.
Mr. Parker pointed out that our Code Enforcement Officers have a hard time enforcing codes that the City is not willing to keep up with on their own properties. Mr. Parker offered to check with the County to attempt to recover a portion of the dollars spent in maintaining their properties.
Mayor Green recapped that the consensus is be creative and don’t lower the standards.
12. Police Benevolent Association (PBA) Sick & Annual Leave Exchange for Pay Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
Motion to Approve made by Councilman Ford, and Seconded by Vice Mayor Kennedy. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.
13. Memorandum of Understanding between the IAFF Commander Unit and the City of Port Orange
Motion to Approve made by Vice Mayor Kennedy, and Seconded by Councilman Pohlmann. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.
14. First Reading – Ordinance No. 2011-2 – Benefits Revision for Police Pension Ordinance
ORDINANCE NO. 2011-2
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF PORT ORANGE, VOLUSIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, AMENDING CHAPTER 54, ARTICLE V, CODE OF ORDINANCES, CITY OF PORT ORANGE, FLORIDA, ENTITLED “POLICE PENSION FUND”; AMENDING SECTION 54-122, DEFINITIONS; AMENDING SECTION 124, VESTING; AMENDING SECTION 126, PENSION BENEFITS; AMENDING SECTION 127, FORMS OF BENEFIT PAYMENT; AMENDING SECTION 128, DISABILITY BENEFITS; AMENDING SECTION 130, BENEFIT LEVEL; AMENDING SECTION 137, FUNDING; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY OF PROVISIONS; PROVIDING FOR REPEAL OF CONFLICTING ORDINANCES; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Motion to Approve the First Reading of Ordinance No. 2011-2 made by Vice Mayor Kennedy, and Seconded by Councilman Pohlmann.
Council Comments: Councilman Ford said it’s a good beginning. He is in favor of employee pensions.
Councilman Burnette believes it’s got to be fair and affordable.
Councilman Pohlmann and Vice Mayor Kennedy support the Ordinance.
Attorney Roberts explained the changes made to the Ordinance read as compared to the Ordinance provided prior to the meeting.
Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.
15. Discussion of Regional Fire Services: Mr. Parker gave background regarding regional fire services, which means shared training and equipment and other areas, but not personnel with New Smyrna Beach, South Daytona, Ponce Inlet, Edgewater, and Port Orange. Sharing personnel may be something Council wants to explore. Mr. Parker explained in detail the models available for research. The RCC cities will need to discuss the dispatch issue. Mr. Parker asked for any questions.
Councilman Pohlmann clarified that there is a Feb. 24th meeting with other cities on this issue, he supports that meeting. He supports saving money but there are still a lot of issues, for example: Do we want to discuss this again with RCC cities? Issues need to be worked out before moving in that direction. Contracts need to be worked out, we need to start at ground zero. Councilman Pohlmann doesn’t know if we can move forward with consolidation without the agreement to start from ground zero. Port Orange is moving in the right direction to take control of our contracts. There is a lot of ground work to be completed prior to even talking about consolidation, a lot of questions: would an agreement lead to our citizens paying for a new fire station in another city? We have a city identity with the fire department, do we want to give that up? Councilman Pohlmann isn’t sure we are at the point to set up a meeting.
Vice Mayor Kennedy believes this will be a long and difficult road. He also has lots of questions: how do we sustain the costs that we are incurring? Our fire department is an extremely important part of our community. There are a lot of variables to make a merger work and now may not be the right time. We need to look at getting answers to the questions.
Councilman Burnette disagrees. He wants to get with the neighboring cities to see if there is any desire from those neighbors before we put too much effort into these questions. There are five communities doing all the same work. He asks that we sit down with our neighbors to see if we all want to explore it further. This opportunity goes beyond costs for Councilman Burnette and believes this is not a consolidation but a unification. He questioned the Council: Do we really need to have something on the side of a fire truck saying Port Orange and not explore this? Nothing has to be decided on Feb 24th. Councilman Burnette believes we have a duty to our citizens to explore if this will save the City money and give better service to them. He agrees it needs to be built from the ground up and believes it’s time to have the conversation with our neighbors because our department will be going through changes with several retirements.
Councilman Ford explained that part of his previous job was to go into consolidated departments and split them up because it never works. Consolidation is the buzz word during recessions. He agrees with Councilman Pohlmann that we are moving in the right direction with our contracts. He agrees with Vice Mayor Kennedy regarding the fire department being extremely important. Councilman Ford believes union problems will be worse with a larger group, and asked who will pay for the unfunded liability? We need to change the contracts. He pointed out that the Halifax study showed Port Orange would pay the same with or without consolidation and he doesn’t believe there would be better quality of service. His recommendation would be to work with the fire department to build a department we can afford. Councilman Ford doesn’t believe consolidation is going to save any money. More questions: who runs the bigger group? These are all important things to think about. The cost in fire services is 24 hour a day shifts, not administrative. Our first duty is to our taxpayers. Councilman Ford has big concerns with consolidation. He would like to see figures from Jacksonville and other agencies who have consolidated.
Mayor Green said the point is what can we afford? There are no problems with loyalty from the fire department. His loyalty is to the citizens and will explore all avenues to get the best deal for the community. We have to get these costs under control. He wants to know the policemen and firemen but we need to be able to afford it. We don't know how to plan because we don’t know where we are going. Quality of service matters, not what the badge says. Mayor Green says bottom line is I don't know what the answer is. He agrees with Councilman Burnette that we should meet with our neighbors to see if they are interested in the consolidation, but the level of service must be maintained.
Councilman Ford suggests we continue repairing and fixing what we've got. The ball is in our court right now. The State will be making a move soon that will affect our decision. The unfunded liability needs to be handled.
Councilman Burnette believes we need to meet.
Mayor Green asked if the discussion can be included in the Feb. 24th meeting.
Councilman Pohlmann disagrees and doesn't want to talk about consolidation. He wants our fire people to bend and he believes there are too many issues to resolve first but will abide by council consensus.
Vice Mayor Kennedy agrees that we need to look at our options. We need to do something about our contract and the unfunded liabilities but wants to explore other options. He believes Councilman Ford has made good points and consolidation may not be the answer. Vice Mayor Kennedy believes that yes, we need to find out if others are interested, because if not, it’s a moot point.
Mayor Green says it’s about service and costs and we’ve got to get our "house" in order.
16. Discussion of Public Safety
Mr. Parker asked Council if they want Staff to explore public safety department.
Mayor Green thinks we should explore anything and everything to help save money.
Councilman Ford wants to explore it as well, but has concerns because police and fire are “siblings”. The Director needs to be able to work with both sides of the “house” without causing trouble. He would like positions saved.
Councilman Burnette wants to look at this option, although $177,000 will not solve all of our problems. He believes the model needs to be set for people who follow, a good ship runs itself. His concern is that the right person is needed. He is in favor of exploring a public safety department.
Councilman Pohlmann is in favor of moving in this direction, and would suggest that a new public safety administrator would receive a defined contribution account.
Vice Mayor Kennedy stated that this model works well in a lot of areas. He would like to see the retirement pension changed for administration in the fire department. Chief Monahan is a prime person for the position. He agrees with Councilman Burnette that it is an immediate savings. It comes down to costs of personnel and pensions. Vice Mayor Kennedy believes this moves us in the right direction and retains boots on the ground.
Mayor Green stated that there is nothing wrong with the service we currently provide, but the economy has changed, and our model may also need to be changed.
17. Comments/Concerns from Council Members
Vice Mayor Kennedy asked questions regarding the Districting Committee. He has two people interested but they were asking questions as to time commitments, etc. Mr. Parker explained that the 1991 and 2001 groups met for 6-8 hours over four meetings or so. The Committee looks over maps and data and presents 2 or 3 options to the Council. It is a 10 year appointment.
Councilman Burnette is concerned with the change in Dorothy Hukill's bill. Mr. Parked explained what happened with the change. Discussion was held regarding the Bert Fish decision.
Councilman Burnette asked if there is a hotline for fraud or waste. Mr. Parker said yes.
Councilman Ford advised that the doors on Station 72 are broken and asked why the fountain at Talluto Memorial Park doesn’t work. Mr. Parker doesn’t know but will find out.
Mayor Green reminded Council of the Special Meeting on January 31, 2011 at 4:30p.m. for the reading of Ordinances. Also announced there is a candle light vigil for the missing girl, Lauren Rogers on January 31, 2011 at 5:30p.m. Mayor Green would like a schedule of the Tallahassee events. He believes Mr. Parker should attend some of those events and meetings and let Shannon Lewis, Assistant City Manager fill in. Mayor Green believes Council should give Mr. Parker freedom to attend those meetings. Mr. Parker advised that the meeting is going to be rescheduled. Attorney Roberts advised that the Council needs to give direction during this meeting because there wouldn’t be another opportunity. Mayor Green said Mr. Parker can make the decision. Mayor Green asked about Tony Marino. Mr. Parker advised that Tony’s surgery went well and Tony is doing well.
18. City Council Committee Reports
a. City Investment Committee given by Vice Mayor Kennedy:
Shannon Lewis, Mr. Parker, and Vice Mayor Kennedy went to a training in Orlando recently. Committee met January 11, 2011, overall portfolio has gone up 2.81% over the last year.
b. Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) given by Councilman Ford:
Attended a retreat. Regular meeting was held on January 25, 2011. They would like projects submitted in case money becomes available. Would like some direction from Council as to what they would like to see from the TPO. Mr. Parker asked if the City of Daytona talked about the Madeline extension. Councilman Ford said no. Mayor Green asked Councilman Ford to request a slip lane off I-95.
c. Library Advisory given by Vice Mayor Kennedy:
The Library meeting was canceled due to lack of a quorum.
d. Municipal Firefighters Pension Board given by Councilman Pohlmann:
Not meeting until the end of February
e. Municipal Police Officers Retirement Trust given by Vice Mayor Kennedy:
Meeting at the end of February
f. General Employees General Retirement Trust given by Councilman Ford:
Good rate of return on investments, issue to discuss later: rate of return. Discussion held regarding pensions.
g. YMCA given by Councilman Pohlmann:
As of November, 2010 balance is $116,000, they are doing well.
h. Volusia Council of Governments (VCOG) given by Mayor Green:
Beth Rawlins spoke, but Mayor Green requested the other side have a chance to speak. They are going to schedule same. We need to understand the cause and effect of TABOR.
i. Volusia League of Cities given by Mayor Green:
Thursday night dinner to honor their Mayor, who passed away unexpectedly.
j. ArtHaus given by Councilman Burnette:
All is well. Meeting was held on January 13, 2011. Annual meeting on Feb. 10, 2011. Profit and Loss report was done.
k. Port Orange/South Daytona Chamber of Commerce given by Councilman Burnette:
Reported on recent events and announced upcoming events. He will continue visiting businesses within the community. Mayor Green asked when we are going to change the new paint scheme on the Port Orange Police Cars. He doesn’t like the new colors.
l. Golf Course Board of Directors given by KemperSports previously.
m. Communications Interlocal Agency (CIA) no report
Mr. Parker reminded Council members of the January 31, 2011 Special Meeting at 4:30 p.m. and discussed what is on the Agenda.
Councilman Pohlmann apologized for missing the 5:30 meeting. He was stuck in Orlando at another meeting and then had to drive through the storms.
Mayor Allen Green
Kenneth W. Parker, City Manager