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City Council Meeting
July 10, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:15 pm
07.10.18 City Council Meeting Agenda
Call to Order…..00:00:00
Mayor Dale Massad called the meeting to order.
The invocation was given by Reverend Sandra Spaldi, Chapel of the Divine Spirit.
Pledge of Allegiance…..00:00:38
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
The roll was called. Mayor Dale Massad, Vice Mayor Terrence Rowe, Councilwoman Jennie Sorrell, Councilman William Dittmer, Councilman Richard Bloom, City Attorney James Mathieu, and City Manager Vincent Lupo were present.
Approve Council Minutes…..00:01:09
Vice Mayor Terrence Rowe made a motion to approve the minutes. Councilman Richard Bloom seconded the motion. All were in favor.
Comments from General Public…..00:01:27
Pastor Leonard Lord: 8114 Leo Kidd Ave. – Reminded Council of the backpack giveaway on July 28th. He quoted the bible to encourage understanding and patience with varying opinions.
Thomas Brown: 7436 Candlelight Ct. – Spoke about the easements he viewed on Pasco County Plat documents, specifically related to the Candlelight neighborhood. He also discussed a continuing concern about neighbors’ fences in his neighborhood and the City Code on the subject.
Blain Lee: 5713 Berlin Dr. – Commended the City for a successful fireworks display and specifically credited Jocilyn Martinez.
Comments from the City Manager…..00:08:03
City Manager Vincent Lupo spoke about the fireworks event on July 7th. He specifically thanked Ms. Martinez, Chief DeCanio, Mr. Hughes, all of the Firemen, all of the Police Department, and all of the Public Works individuals who worked the event. He reported there were no incidents during the event and to his knowledge everyone was quite pleased with the event. He reported that the staff planned to sponsor the event again next year with Council’s permission but they would like to expand the event allowing citizen input during the planning process as well as permitting sponsors and vendors to aid the effort to make it a larger and more attractive event. He again thanked all of the City employees and citizens who helped make the event successful.
Mr. Lupo provided an overview of the FEMA inspection that occurred recently. He stated that a tour of the community and review of the activities within the community resulted in a successful inspection. The result of the inspection may result in a positive impact on the flood zones and insurance rates of some properties in the City.
City Manager Vincent Lupo referred to a comment he made during the workshop this evening. He explained that the staff is preparing to launch a grant program that will help owner-occupants improve their home and assist some to come into compliance with the minimum housing standards that are being proposed to Council.
Comments from the Mayor & Council…..00:12:10
Vice Mayor Terrence Rowe congratulated staff on the successful fireworks show. He specifically commended the Police and Fire department for their interaction with the children at the event.
Mayor Dale Massad requested City Attorney James Mathieu to find a way to use his donated salary as a Council Member, as well as Councilman Bloom’s donated salary, to supplement the funds being used in the grant program.
City Attorney James Mathieu spoke to the legal parameters of the promise to give money toward the grant awards. A discussion occurred amongst Council and staff.
Mayor Massad requested a meeting with certain members of staff. City Manager Vincent Lupo agreed.
Councilman William Dittmer made a motion to approve the consent agenda. Councilman Richard Bloom seconded the motion. All were in favor.
Discussion of Residential Maintenance Standards…..00:19:05
Mayor Dale Massad opened the discussion to Council.
Councilman William Dittmer asked if the suggestions made by the citizens would be worked into the draft ordinance. He specifically asked how to go about the process to incorporate the concerns brought forward by the residents.
City Attorney James Mathieu provided his legal perspective. He stated because the second reading was voted down at the last meeting, the ordinance was back at square one. He explained that Council needed to decide how to proceed with the proposed ordinance at this point.
Councilman Richard Bloom made a motion to bring the Minimum Housing Standards Ordinance for a first reading. Vice Mayor Terrence Rowe seconded the motion.
Mayor Dale Massad asked if Council was able to make any suggestions for changs during the week and send it to City Attorney James Mathieu. Mr. Mathieu confirmed there was a motion for a first reading in the existing form.
Councilman William Dittmer addressed his concern that there were some points made during the workshop that should be considered. He also asked to add verbiage to the ordinance to ease the concern of unlawful entry.
City Attorney James Mathieu explained that he did not suggest putting such verbiage in the code that mirrors a state or federal law. However, he assured Council he will include anything in the code that the Council decides on.
Councilwoman Jennie Sorrell asked about the appeal process for a code violation. Staff explained that there are multiple notifications leading up to a code citation, however, once a citation is issued, it may only be appealed in the court system. Prior to a citation, a citizen may contact City staff with any concerns.
Council and staff discussed the verbiage of the proposed code and the suggestions of the public.
Claudia Smith: 7335 Candlelight Ct. – Reminded Council that despite their presumption that there would not be much of a turnout at the workshop, there were actually a considerable number of people in attendance who made valid suggestions on how to improve the code. She implored the Council to take that into consideration.
Sandra Spaldi: 8612 Green St. – Expressed a concern that the Council had motioned to continue with the proposed ordinance, as is, instead of considering the suggestions made by the public.
Bill Colombo: 7810 Chasco St. – Stated that he was displeased that the Council was moving forward with the ordinance, as is, and made it seem like there was only a workshop to pacify the public. He suggested that Council consider the public’s suggestions by removing the interior suggestions from the proposed ordinance and develop a rental specific ordinance.
Matthew Todd: 8301 Congress St. – Spoke of his frustrations with another citizen’s comments.
Pat Rogers: 4838 Sunset Blvd. – Asked for clarification on how a hypothetical renter situation may be addressed with the proposed ordinance. She was specifically concerned about who would be held responsible, either the tenant or the owner. Council clarified that the owner would be responsible. She also expressed that a tenant should be able to call Code Compliance if they feel as though the housing conditions are poor. Mayor Massad agreed but restated that if there are no minimum housing standards to hold the owner to, Code Compliance wouldn’t be able to hold the owner responsible.
Kathy Todd: 8301 Congress St. – Expressed that she was pleased with the outcome of the workshop and believes Council has taken the suggestions into consideration. She stated that she agreed that the City needs minimum housing standards to keep slumlords accountable to maintaining quality housing for the tenants.
There was a discussion amongst Council.
Mayor Dale Massad called the vote. All were in favor.
Discussion of FCT Agreement…..01:00:38
Councilman Richard Bloom explained that he requested to discuss the FCT Agreement to gain a better understanding of how the City is permitted to use the park. He expressed his desire to use Waterfront Park in ways to draw in visitors like the events held in New Port Richey’s Sims Park.
A discussion occurred amongst Council and staff about the potential uses of the park and potentially amending the agreement with the Florida Communities Trust. A consensus was reached that Council would like to hold more events at Waterfront Park and Councilman Bloom would be a good representative to look into the terms of the FCT agreement.
First Reading Ordinance # 18-662…..01:17:23
City Attorney James Mathieu performed the first reading by title only of Ordinance 18-662.
Vice Mayor Terrence Rowe made a motion to approve the first reading of Ordinance 18-662. Councilman William Dittmer seconded the motion.
Sandra Spaldi: 8612 Green St. – Stated that regardless of the ordnance, patrons had been bringing their dogs to the park for decades, and sometimes they were unleashed. She stated she was pleased that they were permitting dogs in parks but also reinforcing the leash law.
The vote was taken. All were in favor.
Discussion of Boards and Committees…..01:20:15
Councilman Richard Bloom made a motion to table the item for the next meeting in consideration of the time. There was no second.
Council and staff discussed the current list of board and committee members. Mayor Massad suggested striking the inactive committees. Mr. Mathieu clarified that some boards and committee could be disbanded at the direction of Council, however some were required, specifically the Personnel Review Board and Historical Committee.
There was further discussion. Staff confirmed board and committee members as well as vacancies were listed on the City website. Staff was directed to confirm with current members that they wish to be reappointed.
Pat Rogers: 4838 Sunset Blvd. – Stated that she used to be a member of the Historical Committee and recalled that Mrs. Frances Mallett had donated many photos and historical documents to the City. She requested the City donate the items to the Pasco Historical Society so they could be displayed.
City Manager Vincent Lupo agreed that the City could sort through the items stored at City Hall to determine those that were donated by Mrs. Mallett before giving them to the Pasco Historical Society on permanent loan.
Bill Colombo: 7810 Chasco St. – Stated that when he served on Council, the board and committee members were reappointed every year in October. He expressed that he saw no harm in keeping the current boards and committees in a dormant phase.
Staff was directed to confirm with current members that they wish to be reappointed.
Councilwoman Jennie Sorrell inquired about several items. She asked about the status of the playground equipment ordered for Waterfront Park. Chris Hughes explained that some of the items have been delivered but the City was waiting on the remainder of the equipment prior to install. Councilwoman Sorrell asked for an update on the sidewalks. Mr. Lupo advised that it was sent for engineering and staff was waiting for the completed reports before it goes out to bid. Councilwoman Sorrell inquired about the status of the median landscaping. Staff responded by explaining that they are working to finalize the drawings and get DOT to approve them before they can begin updating the landscaping. Mr. Muse advised that it may be a year before the City sees new landscaping.
Councilwoman Jennie Sorrell made a motion to adjourn. Councilman Richard Bloom seconded the motion. All were in favor.