Council Ratifies Manager Contract;
Hears Updates on Mound House,
Monday's Town Council meeting was a short one, with the council quickly ratifying the temporary employment agreement with Interim Town Manager Don Stilwell followed by updates on the elevated pools issue and the Mound House.
After singing Happy Birthday to Mayor Alan Mandel, Council took Public Comment, where Garr Reynolds said council should stop using the statement, 'I don't understand' in regards to how the Town's code applied to elevated pools, as he believes the Land Development Code is straightforward in its prohibition of them.
"This council got the issue after the pools were permitted and built," Mayor Alan Mandel replied. "We will resolve it."
Community Resources Advisory Board Chairman Miffie Greer then announced that the committee is passing full responsibility for the Commotion by the Ocean event to the Chamber of Commerce to resolve any perceived conflict of interest.
Mandel then introduced Interim Town Manager Don Stilwell, who thanked the Town for the opportunity to serve.
"It looks very likely that we will have the dumpster issue at Bay Oaks resolved within the next 10 days, and I plan to have something before you at the next council meeting," he said.
Council then ratified Stilwell's employment agreement, which pays him a salary of $10,000 per month, a $500 per month vehicle allowance, health insurance, cell phone and laptop.
They also passed the annual Interlocal Agreement with the county regarding animal control services, with Councilman Dan Andre reporting that the cost has been negotiated down from around $70,000 to $20,629.
Public Works Director Cathie Lewis reported that the all the infrastructure has been completed on Mango, and work continues on Fairweather, Del Mar and Pearl streets for the stormwater infrastructure. An issue with Century Link's utility on Del Mar is being resolved.
"We will bringing back to council another guaranteed maximum price allocation for the remainder of the basin neighborhood area at the first meeting in March, and have the 60% design plans completed for Laguna Shores and Bay Beach in March, with public workshops being held shortly thereafter,” she said.
Lewis reported that 90% of the meters are located on private property, and staff is working on options to address that issue such as moving them onto the Town's Right Of Way.
"As far as the Mound House, Fowler (Construction) is working on all the structural aspects now, and will likely be bringing in the subcontractors for electric, etc, in the next week and a half," she concluded.
During Councilmember’s Items, Andre said he saw in an ad where developer James Jamieson is attempting to sell his land by promising Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) that have not been approved by the Town. The Jamieson property - some 6+ acres of mangrove covered land between Mango and Chapel Streets - has been an ongoing issue since Council has repeatedly denied Jamieson permits to build due the area being designated as wetlands. Late in 2012, Jamieson's attorney and Town staff began working on language that may allow him to do that, but nothing has been finalized and the issue is scheduled to come before the Land Planning Agency (LPA) sometime in the near future
"They have been pushing the Town for this," said Town Attorney Marilyn Miller. "But there is absolutely no agreement, and only you - as council - can approve this."
Council agreed to send a letter demanding that Jamieson cease and desist with the ads.
Mandel then read a report from George Knott, who is handling the lawsuit filed by developer Joe Orlandini on the moratorium preventing him from building any more elevated pools.
"They are preparing a response to the pleading from Orlandini's attorney, they are doing due diligence regarding any counterclaims, and they will be holding a special meeting with us soon to advise us," he said.
The Mayor also reported on a meeting he had last week with Stilwell, Lee County Commission Chairman Larry Kiker, County Manager Roger Desjarlais and Town Environmental Science Coordinator Keith Laakkonen, where a discussion ensued about the need to dredge Big Carlos Pass.
"On tomorrow's County Commission agenda, county staff will be presenting options to the commissioners,” he said. "At the meeting we had, everyone liked Option 2 - which is to create a separate stand-alone county Capital Improvements Project (CIP) for that dredging and it's ongoing maintenance so that staff can continue working on the beach renourishment projects on Lovers Key."
Council reached consensus to send a letter of support for Option 2.
"Also, as far as the airplane issue, we do have a confirmed meeting with the airport folks on March 7th at 11am, and we learned that the final FAA recommendations will likely be out by the middle of March," Mandel continued. "I also ask anyone that has received any substantial increase in their flood insurance to provide me with a copy of their invoice because we are going to Washington next month. The Senate has passed a delay and at the moment they feel it covers all classifications, but I haven't seen it yet."
Keri Hendry Weeg