by KATHRYN DENTATO
There was an hour-long Executive Session prior to the regular Council meeting to discuss strategies with the negotiating committee in preparation for the Collective Bargaining session with the Firefighters Union. Executive Sessions are closed to the public but are recorded. The recordings are available once all the bargaining is completed and the contract is signed.
Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance
Dr. David Thomason, pastor of Anchor Baptist Church, gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Approval or Modifications of the Agenda
There were no changes made to the agenda. Council member Robert Battista made the motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Council member Betty Erhard. The agenda was approved by a 5-0 vote.
Certificates and Proclamations
Moton High School Anniversary – Council member Pat Brayton read the proclamation announcing the 9th reunion of the 1942-1968 graduating classes with the theme “The Rich Legacy of Moton High School Continues.” Thomas Floyd of the Moton Reunion Association thanked the Council for the recognition.
Certificate of Appreciation – Mayor Bill Kemerer read the certificate thanking John Lee for his contribution to the City and for the success of the Blueberry Festival. He also personally thanked Lee for stepping into the gap left by the previous Blueberry Festival organization. Kemerer presented Lee with The Key to the City of Brooksville. Lee thanked the Council but said all he did was rally the troops to make the event as special as it is. He was most thankful for the money raised for local charities. He looks forward to making it better, not necessarily bigger. Destination Brooksville presented Lee with a “Brooksville’s Blueberry King” plaque for all he did to promote Brooksville.
New Years’ Eve Tangerine Drop was scheduled but will be presented at a later time.
Phase II – Fire Assessment Methodology Update
Michael Britton wants golf cart restrictions removed as some residents are being warned about using golf carts on Barnett Road. City Manager Mark Kutney advised Council about the need for a study to determine the appropriateness of golf cart use. The report from the study could be returned by 06/17/19.
A resident of Southway Villas Park said modifying a golf cart to make it street legal could cost more than $2,000. He said using the golf carts is helpful for residents who don’t drive cars.
Brooksville Main Street
Lori Sowers discussed the Brooksville Main Street program and Vision Foundation. She supports the programs but wants them to be more accountable to the citizens and the Council since they are receiving taxpayer funds. Sowers suggested a Council liaison and for the programs to follow the recommendation of former Council member Frankie Burnett for more diversity on the Board. Bernardini, Erhard, and Kemerer agreed.
Sign for safety
Danielle Jankowski completed the requirements to get a sign installed in the neighborhood due to safety concerns for her children. A neighbor complained and the signs were removed. Kutney acknowledged the events and suggested that Council develop a policy to address situations like this. City Attorney Nancy Stuparich suggested that action should be based on facts. Bernardini made the motion to have Kutney review the facts and replace the sign if appropriate. Brayton seconded the motion. The motion passed with a 5-0 vote. Stuparich said she would review Florida Statutes for guidance.
Golf cart study
Donna Morin asked if the Council would violate HIPAA if medial documentation is provided. She discussed the use of golf carts on city streets. She discussed the cost of a stormwater study and whether the City would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a golf cart study.
Brayton moved to approve the consent agenda. Battista seconded the motion. The consent agenda was approved with a 5-0 vote.
Reappointment of Brooksville Housing Authority Members
This item was tabled at the previous meeting. Council members discussed Randy Woodruff and Francine Ward for reappointment for a four year term. Kemerer mentioned projects and property rentals the Housing Authority was handling.
Erhard requested that Board appointments be moved toward the first sections of the agenda, and that anyone who is being recommended for or applies to a Board position should be present. She asked why there is no Council liaison.
Community Development Director Bill Geiger said that while the Mayor appoints Board members, it is autonomous and does not require Council supervision because of HUD regulations.
Francine Ward gave an update to the Council. Meetings are noticed so the public can attend. Agendas and minutes are posted on the City’s website. Ward described an upcoming project and explained how the HUD procedures are slow but need to be followed.
Bernardini expressed that Randy Woodruff has missed two-thirds of the meetings and was not present for either Council meeting.
Battista made the motion to approve the appointments. Erhard seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
Volunteer Policy 6-2019 Application Process
City Clerk Jennifer Battista stated the City has no application process for volunteers. The form is similar to the County’s volunteer application. The Clerk’s office would like the option to make changes as recommended. Bernardini moved to approve the policy and Brayton seconded it. The motion passed with a 5-0 vote.
Interlocal Agreement with Brooksville Housing Authority
Stuparich explained the request was for a short term lease for storage. The Housing Authority would be responsible for transporting their records. The lease would end no later than 07/08/19. Bernardini moved to approve the agreement. Erhard seconded it. The motion passed with a 5-0 vote.
PDCS – Lease Amendment
Geiger provided background for the reason for the change to the lease with PDCS. The 2009 lease allowed PDCS to utilize the office space without charge. Geiger said PDCS acknowledged that revenues have increased and agreed to a new lease agreement which includes a $282 payment. If approved, the new lease would be effective as of 07/01/19.
Brayton moved to approve the end of the 2009 lease with PDCS. Bernardini seconded the motion. It passed with a 5-0 vote. Brayton then moved to approve the new lease amendment. Battista seconded the motion. The council voted 4-1 to approve the new lease. Erhard had the dissenting vote.
There were no comments from the public.
Items by City Attorney
Stuparich had no items to discuss.
Items by City Manager
Kutney said the good faith estimate from the property appraiser’s office was $4 million less than last year. He reported on a break in at Jerome Brown Center and it appeared the alarm scared off the intruder.
Kemerer thanked DPW Director Richard Radacky for getting the Southern Hills booster pumps running. Radacky said they have increased pressure on the hill but are reluctant to go too high since they do not know the effect it will have on lower pipes. The City and the developer will meet in December to discuss details relating to a second line.
Items by Council
Betty Erhard requested better communication relating to the agenda so the message on social media and to the council members is consistent. The specific example she gave was the presentation of the Key to the City of Brooksville. She wanted to know what made one person more deserving than another.
Vice Mayor Joe Bernardini accepted responsibility for the miscommunication about the Keys to the City. There is no criteria, just little tie tacks that the mayor could give in appreciation. Bernardini apologized for not recognizing Ward at the last meeting.
Robert Battista said the meeting was productive.
Pat Brayton handed a memo to the council members and read the memo into the record. There were three main points to the memo: increasing revenue sources, increasing the reserve fund, and capital improvement plans.
Brayton suggested restructuring the fire assessment fees so that citizens pay a higher percentage of operating costs, increase millage rate, reinstate occupational license, and utility service fees. The council cannot afford to do nothing, Brayton said, but it could work with what they have. Another option is to raise funds with bonds.
Brayton expressed concern that the City’s audit report will not be presented until the 06/17/19 meeting and it must be submitted to the State by 06/30/19. Brayton would like the process to begin sooner during the next fiscal year.
Mayor Bill Kememer agreed that reviewing the audit is important and wants to see the current financials. He said there has been a dramatic change in the City’s financial status. Finance Director Jim Delach said the draft should be provided by 06/07/19.
Kemerer thanked the public and the council members as well. The next meeting is scheduled for 06/10/19 at 3:00 pm.
Bernardini moved to close the meeting. Battista seconded the meeting. The motion was approved with a 5-0 vote.