Monday, February 16, 2009

City Commission Meeting Agenda 2/17

It's my understanding that Mayor Clemens will be out of town for this week's Commission meeting and arrangements have been made for him to participate by telephone. Vice-Mayor Golden will conduct the meeting. I'm not sure about encouraging the practice of using the phone to attend the meeting as I think it leaves room for conspiracy theorists to wonder if that indeed was the intended person on the other line. It leaves open questions about what else they were doing at the time and who was with them, etc. I would be disappointed if this became common practice.

Here are some items that draw my attention.

The first item under presentations will bring Straticon up to the podium. This is done at the request of a certain Commissioner. You have three guesses which Commissioner that is and the first two don't count. If you guessed Commissioner Mulvehill, you earned 5 gold stars!
I'm not sure what you think, but didn't they give a presentation last on 1/27 before the Commission? The City doesn't have a formal relationship with this company yet and the City is preparing it's Request for Letters of Intent (RLI) and then a Request for Proposal (RFP) for companies like them to submit proposals to renovate our beach and casino building. Should they even be in the building? Shouldn't there be some "cone of silence" during this time? Is Commissioner Mulvehill's mind made up about who she would choose before others have even had the opportunity to present their credentials? Do you think that other potential respondents might notice this preferential treatment given to this firm? Is the information they will provide coming from an objective, professional source? How can anything they say be seen as objective at this point? They want the job and they want a return on their investment of time and money spent on the structural analysis. Do we give all potential respondents to the RFP the opportunity for a 10 minute presentation before the Commission?

Here is part of the back-up memorandum. Notice the continued propagandistic misuse of the word "restoring" in the subject line:

Under Consent item B, the Commission has an opportunity to formally adjust the order of its agenda by moving Commissioner comments and liaison reports to just before public comment. This makes sense to me as this relates to "news" and gives a chance for Commissioners to tell us what they are doing when they aren't in a formal public meeting. I found this interesting item in the back-up material relating to Commission procedures:

I wonder when these "District Public Forums" fell out of favor. These would be a great idea but with the closed nature of this Commission, I don't see this happening soon. For all her talk about public input, Commissioner Jennings would rather talk to her core group of supporters than actually inform the general public about what is going on and what she is doing to make her district a better place to live. Remember, the political signs and materials of both Mulvehill and Jennings left out any reference to district designations. This confused the voters and allowed Commissioner Jennings to skirt the fact that she actually represented a geographic area of the city. These "District Public Forums" need to be reactivated!

Under unfinished business, the public relations/lobbyist for the city - Politically Correct, Inc. quarterly report is on the agenda. When last I talked to Donna Brosemer, she was trying to get direction from the city administration regarding expectations for her to do more of the press release/public relations activity for the city. Not surprisingly, she was having trouble getting an answer. Perhaps the discussion here will help provide that. As noted before, there seem to be a few press releases that are more informative than what we have come to expect and these are generally well-written. Perhaps this is due to the firm's involvement. We'll find out more tomorrow night.
And, oh joy, Charles Celi will re-present his appeal of the Gulfstream approvals by the P&Z. Expect Commissioners Jennings and Mulvehill, whose campaigns received $500 and $1000 from Mr. Celi, respectively, to be confused and make much more of this than needs to be made. The owner has made additional concessions and offerings to the city that should weigh the balance in the Gulfstream's favor - if it was before an impartial body.

The Sister City Board is a good idea.
I will include the information from the City Attorney's report in another post. The City Manager's report will include information, one assumes as there is no back-up, from the Building Official regarding the review of the multitude of structural reports on the building and how increased shoring will allow the building to stay open past his March 31, 2009 evacuation deadline. This is just a guess.