Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Commission Back in Town

Last night I ventured out into the Arctic 62 °F cold and went to the commission meeting.  It was the first since October where the old/new commission were addressing regular business. 

Four of the five commissioners were present.  Wendy Duvall was not but was excused by motion for reasons she never stated. 

As is now the custom, awards were given to those who have pleased the mayor and this was the first item.  

First up was an award to the Miami Beach ROTC for helping out at the Halloween Party.   Since they didn't show up, it was decided to mail it to them.  

Second was the Keepout Award to the 360 for the most attractive landscaping blocking legally required public access to the bay. 
Locked Access to the Bay

Then an award was given to a North Bay Island resident for some plants and finally everyone else on North Bay Island was given an award for some reason or another but no one was there to collect. 

From there the meeting proceeded to Good & Welfare.  There were three people who spoke during Good & Welfare, Al Coletta, Rey Trujillo and your local blogger.

Mr. Coletta spoke strongly about the need for the village to make progress.  He talked about the obstacles to business, his frustration with the high rents and vacant spaces and the village's obstacles put in front of local businesses.  Love Al Coletta or not, (and it's possible to do both) he is spot on about the problem.   

Mr. Trujillo agreed in general terms and pointed out that the Planning & Zoning Board is working with the revision of the Village Code.   

Your Local Blogger then got up and reminded the commission that moving forward is based on completing past and current tasks noting:
  1. The School Improvement Plan and progress made it on it need to be reported back to the commission and the community. 
  2. The Kimley Horne Proposal for the plan to make a plan for the park under the bridge is now two months overdue.
  3. The sidewalks are supposed to be cleaned twice per year but only have been cleaned once.  When can we expect the next cleaning? 
  4. In February 2014, the village promised to hold a second workshop on Harbor Island Parking with the correct statistics.  As of December 2014, there is none scheduled. 
  5. The Causeway is going to be torn up in mid 2015 for a repaving project that will last longer than a year.  It would be a good idea to plan for that now. 
The commission then moved on to Board Reports.  P&Z  Chair Rey Trujillo informed the commission of the two approvals they made this month and that they would be on the January agenda.  The Community Enhancement Board was not present.  There are currently no other boards.  More about that later.  

I stuck around through the Commissioner's reports.  Highlights included the Mayor, looking smart in her new Rick Perry frames, asked about the illegal dumping all over the place.  Frank Rollason explained that it was really hard to enforce the anti dumping laws so they don't.  

Then she asked about PAL and when told there was no real money appropriated to the program, decided that the program should be postponed until "residents" come up with the bucks.   

Finally Mayor Kreps noted that there is a Menorah Lighting scheduled for next Tuesday and that the voices in her head unspecified residents wondered why there was no Christmas Tree lighting.  It was suggested to her that perhaps she should have organized one.  Mrs. Kreps looked confused.  

Former Vice Mayor Lim explained that businesses don't come here because we are an unattractive demographic and some other stuff.  

Commission Vice Mayor  Gonzalez then jumped energetically into his new role and tackled the tough issues.  

On Harbor Island parking, he established that maybe sometime in the future there might be another workshop.  He also pointed out that MODA, the new rental project will increase traffic.   

The Gonzalez was concerned about the lack of a shelter for kids waiting for the school bus and the Village Manager explained that a shelter under a tree was dangerous in lightening storms and no one talked about moving the bus stop except to say that might be hard so why do it?  

Then he assured the assembled residents that he, The Gonzalez, had spoken with the developers of the new projects on the Causeway and they remain steadfast in their commitment to provide unicorn farms public access to the Bay. 

The Gonzalez made no mention of his own illegal blocking of bay front access at the 360. 
 So after that,  your local blogger decided to leave since I will only live so long and it's clear that if you combined the intelligence on the dais, you'd have a half wit. 

But I checked in online later and the Commission was discussing the boards.  Specifically should there be a board to evaluate services for residents with special needs?  The Gonzalez wants it and Chervony backs it and the Village Attorney says we accrue no special liability by studying the services required but the most public of our special needs residents, Mayor Kreps, would have none of it but eventually she was instructed to vote for it so it passed 3-1. 

The Commission was then SHOCKED to discover that the other boards which they have spent the last two years abusing, ignoring and running people off if they were not "positive" for some unknown reasons are not attracting residents willing to serve and be ignored and berated by them.  So they are going to combine their collective wisdom and study the problem.  We should see action in about two years.  

So that's the news. 

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