Winter Park City Commission - Meeting Minutes - April 27, 2020

Updated: May 19, 2020


April 27, 2020


Mayor Steve Leary

Commissioner Marty Sullivan

Commissioner Sheila DeCiccio

Commissioner Carolyn Cooper

Commissioner Todd Weaver

City Manager Randy Knight

City Attorney Kurt Ardaman

City Clerk Rene Cranis

1. Meeting called to order

The meeting was conducted via GoToWebinar.

Mayor Leary called the regular meeting of the City Commission to order at 3:30 p.m.

2. Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance

Finance Director Wes Hamil provided the invocation followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

3. Approval of Agenda

No changes were made to the agenda.

4. Mayor’s Report

5. City Manager’s Report

Mr. Knight gave an update on the closure of city facilities and parks and asked for the commission’s position on reopening the golf course, tennis center, boat ramp, dog park and the Farmers Market relocating it to the West Meadow to provide more space between vendors.

Mayor Leary said he feels reopening should be phased and suggested reopening the golf course allowing two-somes for a short period.

Commissioner Sullivan provided input from a resident on restrictions when reopening the golf course including mandatory masks, removal of rakes in bunkers and online or debit payment only.

Commissioner Weaver supported reopening the golf course with social distancing for a trial period and would prefer that more people were wearing masks.

Commissioner Cooper said she feels the reopening of any public venues is premature.

Commissioner DeCiccio spoke in support of reopening the golf course with controls.

Mayor Leary said he would like for staff to develop restrictions. He opposed opening the Farmers Market.

Mayor Leary and Commissioners Weaver and DeCiccio supported reopening the golf course with restrictions for a trial period of two weeks. Commissioners Sullivan and Cooper opposed reopening any of the five venues.

Mr. Knight stated that staff is exploring the use of the community center and gym for public meetings to allow public participation depending on future regulations on social distancing.

Mr. Knight advised that the city has postponed the purchase of equipment to implement the approved charter provision that allows commissioners to participate remotely until it is determined how future meetings will be conducted during/after pandemic.

Mr. Knight stated that Fairbanks Avenue undergrounding is complete and poles will be removed beginning in mid-May.

Commissioner Cooper asked for department budget presentations to the commission, particularly capital improvement projects for each department and budget projection. Approved by consensus to have staff schedule presentations.

Commissioner Cooper asked for the status of fiber networking. Mr. Knight said installation of public Wi-Fi in some parks has been accelerated and is in the testing stage. A proposal to move forward will be presented to the Commission for approval.

Commissioner Cooper commented on the issues on the demucking portion at the Library and Event Center project and the increased cost that will come from contingency funds. Mr. Knight clarified that it would come from owner’s contingency. Commissioner Cooper said given the cost and impact on contingency there should be an opportunity for cost sharing.

Commissioner Weaver agreed with Commissioner Cooper and suggested a work session to discuss this project in detail given the potential reduced availability of construction materials and use of contingency funds this early in construction.

Commissioner DeCiccio agreed with Commissioners Cooper and Weaver and supported a work session to review the budget.

Commissioner Sullivan expressed his concern that this issue may be an indicator of where the project is going. He recommended an oversight task force to provide periodic budget updates, cost of work performed and work scheduled.

Mr. Knight stated that demucking was an allowance in the Gross Maximum Price (GMP) and most of the project is covered by the GMP directly and will not be impacted by deviations to the budget. He believes this issue is not symptomatic of the rest of the project due to the fixed GMP.

Mayor Leary stated the city has an owner’s representative who provides project updates and said he feels that an oversight task force is not needed.

Mr. Knight said the owner’s representative can provide the information requested by Commissioner Sullivan. Commissioner Sullivan requested the information include the details of variances between the actual and budgeted costs. Mr. Knight pointed out that the price variations for construction materials and cost increases are not passed through to the city and will not affect overall budget.

After discussion, consensus was to schedule a work session.

Mr. Knight gave an update on the COVID19 programs and services offered. The Feed the Need program with food provided by area restaurants served approximately 325 participants last Saturday. The City has made the $25,000 contribution to United Way’s 211 program.

Responding to comments by Mayor Leary, Mr. Knight stated that the idea of shutting down streets to allow for restaurants to spread out for evening dining has not been brought to the city and has not been evaluated by staff.

Commissioner Cooper asked for the CARES Act restrictions. Mr. Knight stated that the funds must be used for costs related to COVID19. The City has spent $50,000 so far from masks to decontamination devices for city facilities. Staff is following reports for other potential funds from the Federal government. He said he will get information on whether funds received by Orange County from the Federal government would be made available to the city.

Commissioner Sullivan asked about the availability of State resiliency grants. Mr. Knight said that the city is attempting to obtain those funds.

Commissioner DeCiccio said that she received an e-mail requesting COVID19 testing site in Winter Park. Commissioner Sullivan suggested a joint testing site with Maitland and Eatonville. Mr. Knight stated he will make the request.

6. City Attorney’s Report

Attorney Ardaman advised that the litigation regarding the City of Pensacola case regarding arborist regulations is still pending.

Mr. Ardaman advised that the administrative challenge of the adoption of the OAO has been dismissed by the petitioners. He asked for direction on whether to bring back a contingent moratorium if the ordinance rescinding the OAO is challenged and overturned. He responded to questions stating that there is minimal risk of a moratorium and suggested it would be prudent to acknowledge and recognize the rescission ordinance’s validity and also recognize receipt of statements of an intent to challenge the rescission ordinance. This would put all affected property owners on notice that even if the rescission ordinance was overturned, there would be a moratorium in place to allow time to consider and adopt a new OAO.

Commissioner Cooper supported a moratorium. Commissioner DeCiccio concurred with Mr. Ardaman.

Commissioner Sullivan stated he could support a moratorium that is triggered upon the overturning of the rescission ordinance. He said the length of the moratorium will need be determined and long enough to fix the OAO. He supported an ordinance to enact a moratorium under these conditions. Approved by consensus. Mr. Ardaman said he will develop the ordinance and follow the process required.

Commissioner Weaver commented on e-mails sent to members of the commission from a former commissioner which resulted in exchange of e-mails between commissioners that could lead to a violation of Sunshine Law. Attorney Ardaman opined that e-mail responses to everyone in an e-mail which can be shared with other members of the commission can potentially be violation of Sunshine Law. He said it is improper for anyone to send communications received from a member of the commission to another commissioner. He urged caution when responding to e-mails and to avoid giving substantive position on matters.

Mayor Leary stated this is an opportune time, with new commissioners, to discuss protocol and commission interaction, and communications with the public and requested a work session.

Commissioner Cooper said she would like to expand the discussion to include resolutions and policies on bringing items back for reconsideration and to look at governance overall. She said she would like the commission to consider moving regular commission meetings to Wednesdays to allow time to contact staff on workdays and to start meetings later in the evening to allow for people who work to participate.

In response to a question by Commissioner Sullivan, Mayor Leary stated there have previous discussions regarding individual and separate communications to the public, actions and procedures during commission meetings including commissioner presentations, comments made in commission meetings, and communication to the public and amongst the commission. He suggested using use a moderator who can bring policies and procedures from other agencies to consider. Discussion followed on using a moderator or facilitator, past practices during meetings, communications with the public and topics for discussion. Consensus was to schedule work session without a moderator.

Bronce Stephenson, Director of Planning, said he compiled a list of data and analysis requests initiated by Commissioner Cooper and revised with Commissioners DeCiccio and Weavers comments. He reviewed the scope and preliminary costs for an economic analysis through the creation of modeling by GAI Consultants at an approximate cost of $100,000. The city’s transportation consultant, Kimley Horn, expressed concerns with doing an analysis of one-mile limit around each intersection in a .7-mile corridor, which would cost between $150,000 to $400,000. The scope and detail could be narrowed in order to reduce costs.