CIty of Brooksville

April 1, 2019 Brooksville City Council meeting run down

by KATHRYN DENTATO
Hernando Sun Reporter

The meeting was opened by Pastor Kent Heaton of Brooksville Church of Christ, who led the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance. 

Agenda Approval/Modifications - Vice Mayor Joe Bernardini, requested the addition of the introduction of the graduates of the Jericho Road Ministries in the Proclamation and Certificate portion of the meeting. City Manager Mark Kutney asked for time to review the proposed ordinance format of the Parks and Recreation Rules and requested the item be removed from the agenda. 

Code violations increase in 2018, without full time enforcement

City Manager Mark Kutney introduced Bill Geiger, City Development Department, to discuss code enforcement. He provided a brochure of the most common code violations to council members. Geiger stated the brochure is shared with residents who have questions. He also gave a memo to the council members, broken down into categories, to show the different issues code enforcement has dealt with over the past year, along with a comparison to fiscal year 2017. Fiscal years begin October 1 and end September 30. 

Funding for sewer projects needed in Brooksville

City Manager Mark Kutney introduced Shawn Foster and Sam Wagoner from Sunrise Consulting, the firm that represents the interests/needs of Brooksville and Hernando County to the Florida legislature. In addition to the information presented in the agenda packet, Kutney stated that council members were provided maps, additional funding costs, etc. The project packet is virtually the same as last year. 

Rock Ridge Phosphate Trail: a promotional opportunity for Brooksville

by KATHRYN DENTATO

Hernando Sun Writer

A promotional website has been created, http://visitrockridgetrail.com, which features nearby areas with a historical link to phosphate mining, accessible by bike through the Withlacoochee State Trail and Good Neighbor Trail.  Historic places, activities and natural areas of Brooksville, Dunnellon, Inverness and Floral City are featured in an online map. A blog to showcase local businesses is planned.  Representatives from the City of Inverness spoke to the Brooksville City Council on the possibilities for joint marketing. 

Easement changes in preparation for underground power lines

by KATHRYN DENTATO

Hernando Sun Writer

At the Nov. 19 Brooksville Council Meeting, Ginger Broslat, Duke Senior Public Engagement Specialist for the Targeted Undergrounding Program, explained that Duke Energy will be investing more than $25 billion over the next ten years to move power lines from overhead to underground. Following a ten-year study, Duke Energy has identified areas where they will begin the energy grid improvements. The purpose for the presentation was to request new easements to be signed so the work can be scheduled and begun.  

Tentative millage rates set in Brooksville

The Brooksville City Council voted 4-1 to lower the tentative millage rate at a special budget meeting held on Monday, July 23, 2018.   The new tentative rate will be lowered from 6.9763 to 6.2 mills.  The council also voted in favor of keeping work boots and Gatorade on the Department of Public Works (DPW) budget.

The tentative millage rate was solely opposed by Council Member Joe Bernardini.   Mayor Betty Erhard and Council Member Brent Young opposed the city’s responsibility for work boots and Gatorade.

City considers increase to overtime parking fees

On May 15th, the Brooksville City Council held a meeting to discuss current parking and fine policies through the Brooksville Police Department. Cliff Taylor, on behalf of Hogan Law Firm, went before the Council to propose an ordinance regarding an increase to parking fees from five dollars to ten.

The ordinance would apply to all municipal city lots and will include any overtime parking.

Brooksville city council on the search for an interim city manager

City of Brooksville Seal

Readers may recall that the annual February evaluation of Brooksville City Manager T. Jennene Norman-Vacha was a topic of debate this year. Norman-Vacha, who accepted the position in 2007, has enjoyed automatic renewals of the contract from 2009 until this year. Opinions were divided, and the City Council voted 4-1 against renewing her contract.

Blueberry Festival Tom Varn Park lease agreement approved 3-2

(STAFF)

The Blueberry Festival lease agreement vote at the City Council meeting on Monday February 6, 2017 began with a warning from city attorneys about two instances that put the City Council body at risk for Sunshine Law violations. In one circumstance, Council Member Joe Bernardini responded to an email in regards to the Blueberry Festival lease agreement. Bernardini read the email aloud “...I will ask you one simple question: Would you do this deal if this were your property?” He continued, “And I responded back, I thought to him, “A simple answer to a simple question is no.” Mr.