Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wilton Manors Commission Meeting - June 23, 2010

Rather a lot happened last night. 

The City has been instructed by the Commission to look into the deal that we have with Fort Lauderdale for Fire Service.  Their mayor who was once our mayor wants to raise our rates.  Ironically he was the same person, Jack Seiler, who had gotten this deal in the first place and now thinks that Wilton Manors isn't paying enough for protection.  We beg to differ and intend to actually negotiate a proper deal.  

The trash pickup deal with Waste Management has been extended for another three years.  This was written into the contract and was the path of least resistance.  I'll go into greater depth on another posting.

There will be a special election held November for Vice Mayor Justin Flippen's seat.  This is the best time for that to happen.   Justin is running to State Representative for District 92 and the election for that Primary will be in August.  If Justin wins, he will go on to run against a candidate from the republican party in November.  If Justin loses, I believe it is possible for him to run again for the unfinished term in November.  His non-revokable resignation will take effect as of November 1 so there will actually be time for him to do so.  Nothing on that has been announced, so stay tuned!

Planning and Zoning Board picked up a second alternate in Deborah Rockland.  The former holder of the position, resigned and it was moved that we select to the board the person who got the most votes in the prior elections.

The Board of Adjustments will also have new members.  Since the Board's powers were reduced and most passed onto the Planning and Zoning Board, Commissioner Tom Green made a motion to reduced the number of members from 7 to 5.  As such, another motion was made to pass those people present onto the board and select a new member, Scott Herman.  Mayor Resnick also wanted to include a long time Board member Frank Buxton who was not present as he is wheelchair bound.  All selections passed unanimously.

The Recreation Board also had elections where two current members were returned, John Fiore, and Todd De Jesus.  Scott Herman was also selected for that board as a new member.

All of the above happened in short order.  Most evenings, if you get this far on the Agenda, you are looking at being close to done.  We were on the last item and the selection proved to be one for debate.

Vice Mayor Justin Flippen proposed to create a Board to study the Two Lane Initiative as presented by Wilton Manors Main Street.  Everyone understands that this is a very complex issue and needs to be analyzed in great detail.  Justin believed that the best way to do this is via a duly appointed Board that meets under the Sunshine Law which requires it to be recorded by a Board Secretary and meet at times so that the public may be involved.  

This was another very long discussion, and I have broken out this into it's own posting for another day.

There was another discussion about parking.  The owners of the building that houses Acapulco Lindo Restaurant on the North End of the Drive have contacted the City to get the City to demolish the building and lease the land for a large 65 bay parking lot.  Ted Galatis said it well that it is not the business of the City to pay to provide for parking for the businesses.  This sort of thing should be paid for and funded by a private entity.   The cost for this project was proposed to have been paid for by the City and we would not even own the property.  Cheaper to buy the land and put up a Master Metered lot than to have to lease it.  It also seems to be against Code since all properties that are actually on the Drive are expected to have Retail or "Arts and Entertainment" oriented businesses within the A and E District. 

I'd personally prefer to see Retail there with a garage built on top by private funds.  The North End of the Drive needs parking very badly and the City intends to look into this more in the future.

Three short items that came up during closing comments:
1) The G Resort will be closing at the end of July and they intend to move forward.   This resort will be the Jewel in the Crown of their business and is expected to be quite a high end resort.
2) "Wings and Things is Moving Forward" - although no specifics were noted.
3) The Wachovia lot can be used after hours.  The hangup was insurance and indemnity.   Currently it is shared with the funeral home next door, so the details of when you can use it, how much of it is for "open parking" and so forth are not available.

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