SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES

COUNCIL CHAMBERS Ė CITY HALL

1000 CITY CENTER CIRCLE

OCTOBER 30, 2012

 

THE SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING of the City of Port Orange was called to order by Mayor Allen Green at 6:01 p.m.

 

Pledge of Allegiance

 

Silent Invocation

 

Roll Call:††††††††††††††††††† Present:†††††††††††††††††††† Councilman Bob Ford

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Councilman Dennis Kennedy

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Vice Mayor Bob Pohlmann

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mayor Allen Green

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Absent:††††††††††††††††††††† Councilman Donald Burnette

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Also Present:††††††††††† Kenneth W. Parker, City Manager

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Margaret T. Roberts, City Attorney

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Robin Fenwick, Deputy City Clerk

 

DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS

 

5.    Approval of Scope of Work for Investigative Services with Moore Stephens Lovelace, PA

 

Mayor Green began with item #5 and asked Mr. Parker to discuss the item.

 

Mr. Parker advised that this request is for Moore Stephens Lovelace to continue working on the Civil Service Rules and Staff recommends approval. The work must be completed by November 8, 2012 according to the Civil Service Rules.

 

Margaret Roberts, City Attorney, provided an updated letter.

 

Mayor Green asked if Dan OíKeefe is the lead. Mr. Parker said he is the lead but is also overseeing the investigation.

 

Councilman Kennedy would like to be informed if the auditors find anything additional so that Council can address those issues.

 

Vice Mayor Pohlmann asked Mr. Parker to explain some of the rules of the Civil Service Rules. †Mr. Parker said an employee cannot be suspended with pay more than 30 days. The auditor is trying to finish the civil service portion within 30 days to take appropriate action.

 

Councilman Ford asked if the meters, computers, data entry, mailers, and everything else will be included. Mr. Parker said the auditor is looking at what was included in the charge letters to the two suspended employees only. The forensic audit will include those items Councilman Ford is asking about. Councilman Ford believes the interviews with employees should be taped.

 

Mayor Green asked if the purchasing of meters is included in this audit. He wants to make sure the audits are including everything top to bottom.

 

Vice Mayor Pohlmann asked if a court reporter could be used. Ms. Roberts said yes, discussions were held with the auditor about whether or not to record. The decision was not to record the interviews with employees. They felt the City's best interest was to not record.

 

Councilman Kennedy agrees with Councilman Ford that it's important to record. He asked if John Shelley is suspended with pay. Mr. Parker said no he is on vacation leave.

 

Ted Noftall asked if the interviews are over. Ms. Roberts said they are not over but they are close to be completed. There are a few follow up interviews to be done.

 

Councilman Ford would like to talk with the auditor after the investigation. Ms. Roberts said okay. Mr. Parker said okay as well. He will schedule a debriefing.

 

Motion to approve the letter of engagement as provided by Attorney Roberts was made by Councilman Kennedy and Seconded by Vice Mayor Pohlmann. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

 

4.†††††††† RFP for Audit Services

 

Motion to approve the RFP as provided was made by Vice Mayor Pohlmann, and Seconded by Councilman Kennedy.

 

Ms. Roberts said this is just a first draft of information for Council's consideration. She said the Pride billing could be added at this point, as well as "any major known errors".

 

Councilman Kennedy agrees, but thinks it should be ďany errorsĒ, not just major errors.

Vice Mayor Pohlmann asked if this audit is a complete audit. Mr. Parker said it is more broad, to include the entire internal controls system and help rebuild it including those items with billing, IT, warehousing operations, inventory operations, etc.

 

Ms. Roberts said it isn't written that broad. It's related to the utility billing specifically. She said it could be done in addition to what is being proposed. The cost may be an issue.

 

Mayor Green asked who will be handling the ranking. Mr. Parker said Council decided they wanted to be the ranking committee.

 

Councilman Ford said he has received complaints about the payroll system. This may be the time to do a one-time overhaul. Port Orange is going from a small town to a large city with a large budget. He wants it in two parts this plus the broader audit to include all departments. It may be costly but not as costly as the mistakes happening.

 

Mayor Green agrees to a holistic look, but maybe it should be created in modules.

 

Council consensus is holistic view but created in modules.

 

Ms. Roberts asked if they want the inclusion of the internal controls or optional. Councilman Ford said include the preparation of the internal controls. All agree.

 

Mark Schaeffer thinks the RFP should include the modules. He asked if Staff got outside help. Ms. Roberts said Toby Wagner and Brett Milliken helped with the RFP criteria. Mr. Schaeffer asked if Moore Stephens Lovelace is excluded since Council just hired them for the investigatory audit. Mayor Green asked Council's opinion. Councilman Ford said it is probably not wise to exclude them. Mayor Green agreed. Councilman Kennedy wants them available. Mr. Schaeffer agrees with Councilman Ford to expand the scope.

 

Ted Noftall asked what a forensic audit is. Mayor Green said they look at every document. Mr. Noftall asked how much it will cost. Mayor Green said they donít know yet. Nr. Noftall said Brett Milliken said 3-4 times more than their normal annual fee. He asked when the auditor is coming in for the year end audit. Mr. Parker said the issue with the timeframe has to do with the police and fire reports being filed. He will have to check with the auditor to see when they will be ready. Stella Gurnee, Comptroller, said the City will be ready in early November.

 

Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

 

6.    Discussion relating to the Ridgewood Corridor Plan

 

Mr. Parker said Brendan Galbreath asked that Council meet with business owners and homeowners to discuss the ideas they have for the Ridgewood Corridor. They want to discuss the issues they have had and some thoughts on helping to revitalize the area.

 

Brendan Galbreath addressed Council with some ideas that he presented in writing and was provided to Council in the agenda packets. Mayor Green said he is open to reviewing and helping with some of the permitting costs. Mr. Parker said Council needs to think about Ridgewood in two parts; the CRA side and the other side. He believes there are incentives in the RD zoning and there may be some other tools that can be used in this area. Mr. Parker said infrastructure is also needed in some of the areas along Ridgewood that the City could help with.

 

Councilman Ford doesn't like subsidiaries, because who decides which company or person gets what. He agrees with parks and open spaces with retention ponds. The drainage is horrible on both ends of Ridgewood.

 

Councilman Kennedy asked if the Ridgewood Corridor Plan has gone away. Mr. Parker said the focus has changed. The focus went to Town Center, specifically Riverwalk. There are development incentives in place still.

 

Craig Gittner, Manager and Owner of the Tavern and Chapel in the Garden, said all retention is done on their property. They want to do a community event but every vendor must get a permit. The process is too cumbersome and not worth the effort. Ms. Roberts explained that the Chapel is using their events as an alternative, where the other special events are doing their normal business alongside their special event. Mayor Green said it's doable. It just needs to be clear that it is different than the special events in the area. Wayne Clark, Community Development Director, explained some changes that could be done with zoning issues for Catfish Commons and the Chapel to allow for community events that do not fall under the special events requirements.

 

Debbie Connors, Chamber of Commerce, believes it is way too expensive to redevelop in the Ridgewood Corridor. The buildings are old. The codes need to be more lenient and flexible. Mr. Clark said the refund is tied to the certificate of occupancy (CO) and would be refunded at whatever Council is comfortable with and approves.

 

Mr. Schaeffer said the gas station needs to be fixed. Councilman Ford pointed out that it is private property. Mr. Schaeffer said Council needs to learn about Amendment 21 before zoning issues are decided and passed.

 

Steve Gaddis agrees with Ms. Connorsí comments. He is one of those who needs some flexibility in the rules and zonings. He doesn't want money, just flexibility with parking, interior and exterior codes. With that flexibility, he could open a viable business in the Ridgewood Corridor.

 

Mayor Green said make sure it is long term, whatever changes Council decides.

 

Mike Arminio also agrees with Ms. Connors. The Planning Commission has discussed the Ridgewood Corridor for a while now. He agrees incentives are the way to go. He suggests Council be flexible with the codes. The medians look terrible. Heíd like the standards brought up for the properties. It is time for the grandfathering to be over. There is a lack of traffic.

 

Tom Quick is confused that people are talking about relaxed codes. He believes the codes in that area are already relaxed and that has contributed to the problems. He thinks Council should look at the whole town. He said donít take all the undesirable businesses and put them on Ridgewood. Mayor Green agrees that itís time to sunset the grandfathered businesses. Mr. Clark said HC zoning is very limited in Port Orange. Sales and rentals use up 20% of the Ridgewood corridor.

 

Mr. Arminio addressed the hotels and asked how to control them and hold the owner responsible. Mr. Clark said the hotel and motel can be defined differently. He suggested looking at CDBG grants for demolition of some of the older, run down motels.

 

Newton White agrees with the demolition grants. He doesn't think the look is good when a business takes over for another business that is not a similar type of business.

 

Mr. Parker spoke about water/sewer credit bank idea.

 

Councilman Ford believes the area would be great for senior housing. He said the area needs another police on patrol. Jerry Monahan, Public Safety Director, addressed Councilman Fordís concerns. There is another officer put in the area when one is available. But there isnít one available all the time.

 

Tom Jordan said semi-professional businesses are what will work in that area. They are not relying on walk in traffic (dentist, martial arts, and computer businesses). He asked what the next step is for Council to take. Mayor Green would like to get an analysis on costs and acquisition of properties. He'd like to give Staff authorization to change codes.

Mr. Parker said there are some policy questions that need to be addressed first. He will schedule it for an upcoming meeting.

 

Mayor Green asked that streets, Halifax Drive in particular, be closed when there are water events. Councilman Ford asked Mr. Parker to talk with Public Works about closing the road due to flooding. Citizens called in asking for the road to be closed and Staff said they couldnít.

 

Dawn Aquino said Public Works employees told her they couldn't close the road because itís a major road.

 

Mr. Quick suggested that a Port Orange welcome sign be placed at Rose Bay to help encourage people to slow down. He wants a crosswalk at Farmbrook. He wants the billboards removed because they are an eyesore. He asked if anything can be done about the billboards. Ms. Roberts said yes, but it's expensive because there is a contract.

 

Councilman Kennedy agrees with some of the suggestions and he wants to move forward with at least some of them.

 

Vice Mayor Pohlmann agrees with the upfront fees needing to be discussed. Staff needs to compare with other cities and be comparable. He supports community events. He explained that the parking on the street is being changed by the FDOT. He is willing to help with incentives. He likes Mr. Parkerís suggestion with the credit bank.

 

Councilman Ford has a list and will continue pushing for the changes.

 

Mayor Green thanked all for coming.

 

ADJOURNMENT: †† 8:05p.m.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† Mayor Allen Green

Attest:

 

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Kenneth W. Parker, City Manager