Monday, April 29, 2013

Wednesday Workshop Meeting Agenda [UPDATE]

An agenda for the upcoming City Council workshop meeting was finally posted to the City website this afternoon. You can read the full agenda here. This meeting will be held Wednesday, May 1 at 8:30 a.m. Here's what the lucky attendees have in store:

Belle Isle Gateway Presentation by Hahn & Hahn

Hahn & Hahn Hardscaping/Landscaping Concepts AKA Hahn and Hahn Team, Inc. will be presenting at the Wednesday meeting, apparently on the proposed "Belle Isle Gateway" project. According to Belle Isle public records, there are two phases to the Gateway project:

Phase 1:  Build large "gateway" construction at the intersection of South Conway Road and Hoffner Avenue.

Phase 2:  Produce design guidelines so that other Belle Isle "gateways" of varying sizes can be installed around the City.

The final cost of this project is unknown. It is clear from the Hahn & Hahn proposal that the initial cost will be $25,000.00, for which Belle Isle will receive "30% Complete Design Plan Schematics/Concepts for Hoffner/Conway Gateway" and "Design Guidelines for City of Belle Isle Gateways." This means that it is going to cost significantly more just to get a 100% complete design plan for the Hoffner/Conway gateway. And that's before we even start building.

Phase 2 of the project indicates that City Hall's plans don't end at the Hoffner/Conway gateway, but that it has plans to build similar structures at all the entrances to Belle Isle. So while City officials try to sell us their fire department and annexation proposals on promises that residents might save a few tax dollars, it plans to spend those imagined savings many times over on a massive capital improvement project building new signs all over the City. Read more about the Belle Isle Gateway project at under "Belle Isle Gateway."

Approval of Past Meeting Minutes

Next, the council will approve the minutes for the past two months worth of Council meetings. Meeting minutes are typically completed and approved within one month to ensure Sunshine Law compliance. No formal statement has been issued by the Council as to why the March 5 meeting minutes took nearly two months to prepare and approve. You can see the minutes up for approval attached to the workshop meeting agenda.

Vice-Mayor Election

The Council elects a new Vice-Mayor from the seven Belle Isle Commissioners each May. This election will take place at the Wednesday workshop meeting. For those interested in reading more, below are the relevant sections from the Belle Isle City Charter specifying the election process and duties of the Vice-Mayor:

Sec. 4.03. - Vice-mayor: Election.

At the first council meeting in May, after each regular city election, or whenever a vacancy occurs, the council shall elect one of its members as vice-mayor. While serving as acting mayor, the vice-mayor shall not have a vote on any matter coming before the council.

Sec. 4.04. - Vice-mayor: Duties, term and appointment of council member [commissioner].

During the absence or disability of the mayor, the vice-mayor of the council shall perform the duties of the office of mayor and during such time shall not serve in the capacity of a commissioner. In the case of the death, resignation, removal of the mayor, or a prolonged disability that is expected to last beyond the normal term of the mayor, the vice-mayor shall perform the duties of the office of mayor until the next regular election. At the next regular election, an election for a new mayor shall be held for the unexpired portion of the original mayor's term.

Upon assuming the duties of the office of mayor, the vice-mayor shall appoint a temporary commissioner, in accordance with section 3.07 of the city charter, to fill the vacancy created by the vice-mayor serving as acting mayor. However, the temporary commissioner shall only hold office until the next regular election or the vice-mayor reassumes the office, whichever first occurs.

City Manager's Report

The City Manager will be reporting on the following matters:
  • the "Orange County/Belle Isle Third Amendment to Inter-local Agreement for Fire Protection and Rescue Services"
  • speed limits in Belle Isle neighborhoods (Council discussion)
  • a City resolution to amend the city budget and create a "Charter School Debt Service Fund"
You can find the proposed amendment to our Inter-local Agreement for Fire Protection and Rescue Services, as well as documents regarding the Charter School Debt Service Fund, attached to the workshop meeting agenda.

City Attorney's Report

The City Attorney will be reporting on the following matters:
  • the Belle Isle City Manager's contract
  • a Belle Isle "De-annexation Petition"
Nothing more is known at this time.

Commissioner Readey's Report

The proposals discussed in the "Restoring Democracy" articles will be up for Council discussion, including:
  • publication of candidate filing dates by mail and on the City website
  • elimination of the Mayor's ability to appoint replacement Commissioners upon resignation
  • a "Performance Work Appraisal" (PWA) evaluation process for the City Manager
Additionally, the Council will discuss issuance of a proclamation clearly eliminating the Belle Isle Fire Department development process.

Commissioner Shuck's Report

Commissioner Shuck will be discussing a process for building and extending brick walls along Hoffner Avenue (Lake Conway Estates) and Gondola Avenue.

The workshop meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 1. As you can see, this is going to be a big one, with many important items up for Council discussion. Resident comments are not permitted at workshop meetings, so just come to listen, learn and support the Commissioners who support you!

UPDATE 4/30/13:  Because the copy of the $25,000.00 "Gateway" contract I received from City Hall was not signed by the City Manager (see, I assumed in this article that the City had not yet entered into a contract with Hahn & Hahn for the Gateway project. However, at least one Sun reader believes that the contract has already been signed by the City and that Hahn & Hahn will be presenting on the project's results at Wednesday's meeting. This is based on the fact that the Hahn & Hahn contract calls for a completion date in March 2013, and Wednesday's meeting would be a logical time to present the results. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Also, I had a couple questions from readers regarding the location of Wednesday's 8:30 a.m. Council meeting. All City Council meetings are held at Belle Isle City Hall unless otherwise noted. The address is 1600 Nela Avenue (click address for map).

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