top of page

City Commission Work Session Minutes - February 24, 2022

Present Mayor Phil Anderson; Commissioners Marty Sullivan, Sheila DeCiccio, Carolyn Cooper and Todd Weaver; City Manager Randy Knight; City Attorney Kurt Ardaman; City Clerk Rene Cranis.

1) Call to Order Mayor Anderson called the meeting to order at 1:03 p.m.

2) Discussion Item(s) a. Advisory Boards Direction and Missions Mayor Anderson said that this meeting is to address frustrations expressed by advisory board members on lack of clarity of their board’s mission and what their role on the board. He feels the quasi-judicial boards have clarity of purpose and stated there may be opportunities for the commission to help guide proactive requests as was done with the commission joint work session with P&Z on the Fairbanks Avenue Corridor. He stated that there may be an opportunity for the commission and board to come up with commission and/or self-driven projects.

Mayor Anderson stated that most of the frustration stems from the advisory boards and asked the commission to provide input on what they feel the role of an advisory board should be, focusing on advisory boards first, then quasi-judicial boards.

Mayor Anderson stated he feels the role of an advisory board role is to advise the commission on policies that should change or be implemented, as well as advise on priorities and aesthetics. He noted that these advisories are issued in a non-binding way and the advisories on policy can either be self-directed as the board as the board sees a need and comes forward or wants the commission to generate an area of evaluation, such as EDAB as an example. He explained that the commission is working with EDAB to come up with the board mission.

Commissioner Sullivan stated the quasi-judicial boards have a clear-cut role but also have an advisory role on policy and feels the commission needs to produce clear-cut ideas of what the boards should do, in cooperation with the boards. He stated that the commission attempts to put people on the boards who are experts or knowledgeable in respective areas and feels members should be encouraged to provide professional advice based on their expertise as well as be the eyes and ears in the community and funnel that information to the commission.

Commissioner DeCiccio said she board members have expressed to her their frustration related to unclear direction and not receiving enough information from staff. She feels there should be more opportunities for members to utilize their expertise and provide recommendations. She stated that she understands that staff is extremely busy resulting in a “push /pull” between staff and the board and needs to be addressed. She suggested ways the chair and/or board members can assist staff with developing the content for the meeting agendas.

Commissioner Weaver stated that he is enthused by the issues raised by Commissioners DeCiccio and Sullivan and that it comes down to staff who is presenting information to the board. He discussed how the electric vehicle initiative was moved forward and was a combined effort of the board and staff and is optimistic that sustainability efforts will move in the right direction with the new Natural Resources and Sustainability team.

Commissioner Cooper agreed with the points made by the commissioners and added that she feels there are specific things that the commission could work on that would make things better for the boards. She suggested that annually, the commission submit particular questions to each board on what they would like the commission to know. She feels a huge void is in training and while the city provides a brief training, there is no road map to the existing data that would help them do a better job on the board. She said that participation is critical and attendance monitoring needs to be routine. She added that policy guidance can’t be expected unless an appropriate budget is in place and there needs to be a budget agreed upon by the commission for use by boards to implement programs or projects. She stressed the importance of having a strategic and master plan for the boards, setting priorities and transparency.

Mr. Knight agreed with the overall comments on board frustrations and stated the one of the most important things the boards are requesting is direction from the commission on what they should be working on. He suggested compiling a list of the commissioner’s thoughts on each board to present for commission approval and then provide a list to each board. He stated that board budget requests could be presented and included as part of annual budget discussions.

Mayor Anderson agreed with Commissioner Cooper suggestion for boards to submit questions and that assigning tasks to boards is best. He suggested developing a list of ideas during this meeting for staff to consolidate and provide to the commission for review and then have additional discussion at a later date to approve tasks for each board. Mayor Anderson discussed training and options for agenda setting with flexibility for smaller sub-groups to discuss specific tasks/agenda items. He suggested it would be a good idea to consider quarterly joint work sessions with quasi-judicial boards.

Commissioner DeCicciostated that frustration from the boardsis governance and stated that feedback she has received includes questions regarding who makes the decisions, what they (the boards) can legitimately ask for and can an advisory board chair set the agenda. She stated that setting guidelines and having consistency in governance would help the boards.

Mr. Knight explained that there are instances where a board a chair that has their own agenda that is not necessarily the agenda of the entire board. He stated that the agendas should be set around task the commission wants the board to work on and other agenda times should be a majority of board setting what they want to address, not the chair who wants to control the agenda. He explained the challenges staff has with these situations and noted that the commission has a policy requiring at least two commissioners agree with another commissioner wanting to add a topic to an upcoming agenda. He stated that the policy should be the same for the advisory boards as well. Commissioner DeCiccio added that this type of policy should be included in guidelines to be set up for the boards and gave other examples of rules that would help the boards. Mayor Anderson suggested adding a section for “Future Agenda Items” to the agendas and explaining to the boards that a majority consensus is required to add a topic to the agenda.

The commission heard commentsfrom staff and discussed the following boards:

• EDAB Mayor Anderson stated the board is moving along and a small group discussion is being scheduled with some board members, commission members and staff.

• UAB Mayor Anderson noted that strategic plan is being developed based on the discussion at the February 23rd commission meeting.

• PAAB Commissioner DeCiccio stated that the Public Art Advisory Board is unsure of their purpose. Mr. Knight stated the board is working on public art fee as part of building permitting process.

Clarissa Howard explained that one of the challenges for the board is acquiring pieces due to lack of funding which is the purpose of the public art fee. She stated the core of the board’s mission to identify opportunities in city where public art can be showcased. In-depth discussion followed on the board process for selecting, identifying and find location for artwork, art maintenance, funding challenges and solutions, and permit fees.

• KWPBS /LWAB /LKAB Director of Natural Resources and Sustainability stated that guidelines set between staff and board members will reduce frustration. She stated that there is inconsistency with board members being included in requests for information as opposed to a single spoke person and providing the information in a timely manner. She explained that the boards have not seen any tangible data recently and it will take some time to rebuild and provide data. She stated that she hasn’t received any negative comments from KWPBS or LWAB and discussed the frustration voiced by the new LKAB and staff is working to bridge the gap with trust.

Discussion followed on commission directed initiatives for the board, board inclusion with agenda preparation, timeline for distribution of information such as water quality, lake safety, waterfront construction, marketing efforts for the city’s lakes and sustainability and department staffing.

• PRAB/ TPB Mr. Seeley explained that Forestry/Tree Preservation Board has had challenge obtaining a quorum. He stated that staff is working with the board to set up goals and a strategic plan and would benefit from direction on and stated that there are no current issues with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Commissioner Cooper feels what is missing from the Lakes and Tree Preservation boards is a defined processby which and when they participate in giving advice relative to conditional uses and land use decisions. as they relate to trees. She stated the commission needs to determine if it wants these boards advice from the boards and how that information is integrated into the land use decision process. Discussion followed on the tree permitting process, board involvement with tree canopy preservation policies.

• CRAB Mayor Anderson stated that the Community Redevelopment Advisory Board is more about more about projects that are important to the community that the CRA makes up. Mr. Moore stated that the board has a clear funding source and formal guide and their primary goal is long-term capital planning and other issues. He feels that staff has a very good working relationship with the board and stated that the County makes the decision to allow a CRA and extensions. Mr. Moore responded to questions regarding use of funding within the CRA.

• TAB Mr. Stephenson explained that the Transportation Advisory Board is used as policy sounding boardas the department works on new ideas such as neighborhood traffic calming the new sidewalk policy and keeping the board up to date with the city’s multi modal plans. He stated there is a lot of expertise on the board and noted that the board agenda currently includes a process that allows for comments at the end of every meeting where board members can present agenda items for future meetings.

Discussion followed on budget, board initiatives, and inclusion in developing the content of transportation plan.

Mayor Anderson noted that he would like to see TAB work to complete the city’s

connectivity plan for the trails to Morse, I-4, Fairbanks and up to Maitland. Commissioner Cooper added that the board could be more task driven which could include connectivity, traffic calming.

Commissioner Sullivan restated his view that all advisory boards should be eyes and ears in the community and a good role for TAB would be to find a way to educate the public on traffic projects.

Mayor Anderson suggested staff provide a list of questions/asks that the commission would have for each board discussed for feedback. He suggested the commission provide ranked choice items for each board and circulate to commission. In addition, the commission will send their send recommendations by Board to Mr. Knight.

The meeting adjourned at 2:51 p.m.

Posted to on April 22, 2022.

3 views0 comments


bottom of page