City Commission Recap (11/9/2022)

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
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Below is a copy of the Commission Digest for this Commission meeting with the brief explanations of discussion taken and/or final votes cast by the Commission on November 9th.

Discussion/explanation can be found in blue. If opening on a smartphone, turn your phone horizontally to avoid having to scroll right to see how all members of the Commission voted on each item.

Non-credited quotes in this article are excerpts from the memos presented to the Commission explaining the items.

Leona Cooper

The Commission made a resolution instructing the City Manager to find a proper way to recognize longtime Coral Gables resident Leona Cooper who passed away earlier this month. Cooper was a leader in the Lola B. Walker Foundation and an integral member of her McFarlane District neighborhood.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

Cardboard Recycling Container

With the expected increase in cardboard boxes as the Holiday’s approach, the City will place a cardboard recycling container at the War Memorial Youth Center beginning on Black Friday. Boxes need to be flattened in order to be dropped of in the container.

Commissioner Jorge L. Fors, Jr.

The Commission thanked Commissioner Fors for his service to the City, as this is his final meeting on the City Commission. He was presented with a framed “Youth Zone” sign as a parting gift. Fors thanked his colleagues and pledged to continue helping the community in any way he can and said it has been an honor to serve.

Mayor’s Comments

D-1: Discussion regarding process for appointment of individual to fill the upcoming vacancy on the City Commission.

This issue was brought up at the October 25th City Commission meeting by resident Maria Cruz. For those interested in being considered, click here for information on how to be considered.

Anyone interested in serving should submit a statement on why they wish to serve and why they believe they are qualified, proof of residence and their resume to the City Clerk by 5:00PM on November 29th. The Mayor explained that the City Commission reserves the right to appoint someone who has not submitted documents.

Consent Agenda

E-1: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing Make-A-Wish Southern Florida to sell alcoholic beverages at the parking lot located on 1559 Sunset Drive and on San Ignacio Avenue from Red Road to Yumuri Street on Saturday March 4th, 2023 beginning at 11:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. during the “Wings for Wishes” event, to benefit the Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, subject to Florida department of professional regulation requirements; and authorizing the waiver of special event fees, parking fees, and barricade fees for the event.

“The City Commission wishes to grant permission to Make-a-Wish Southern Florida, to serve alcoholic beverages during the “Wings for Wishes” event, subject to adherence to the laws of the State of Florida, at the date and time detailed in the Resolution. The City Commission also wishes to waive the City’s special event fees, parking fees, and barricade fees for the ‘Wings for Wishes” event on March 4, 2023. This request has been reviewed by the City’s Special Events Committee.”

E-2: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing Festival and Event Inc. to sell alcoholic beverages on Alhambra from Ponce de Leon Boulevard to Le Jeune Road on Saturday, January 28th, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday January 29th, 2023, from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the Coral Gables Arts and Mega Festival. Subject to Florida Department of Professional Regulation Requirements. (This request has been reviewed by the City’s Special Events Committee.)

E-3: A Resolution of the City Commission appointing Sadia Raja (Nominated by Commissioner Menendez) to serve as a member of the International Affairs Coordinating Council, for remainder of a two (2) year term which began on June 1, 2021 and continues through May 31, 2023.

E-4: A Resolution of the City Commission adopting a public information program under the Community Rating System (CRS) Program to inform the community about flood risks and reduce flood insurance premiums associated with this program.

“The City of Coral Gables is a participant in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) program and is rated as a Classification 5 which provides for a 25% reduction in insurance premiums annually for all flood insurance policies. The city has prepared a Program for Public Information (PPI) to better inform the public about the hazards and risks associated with flooding and to better prepare the public to take responsibility for protecting their property. The creation of such a program, will benefit the City by Increasing Credit under CRS Activity 330.”

E-5: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the waiver of parking fees in the City ’s public garages from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on November 26, 2022 for the 2022 Small Business Saturday event.

“Small Business Saturday, to be held on November 26, 2022, encourages shoppers to “buy local” from independently-owned merchants. For the past nine years, the City Commission has supported Small Business Saturday in Coral Gables to garner support for its small businesses and reinforce the value that small businesses bring to our community. To further support small businesses, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce has requested that the City waive parking fees for public garages from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The approximate cost of the parking garage waiver is $3,500. The total cost to the City is approximately $3,500.”

Resident Maria Cruz asked the Commission to pull this item for discussion. She explained that flooding during storms on Biltmore Way should be considered. Moving parking from those buildings to City parking garages. Staff informed the Commission that garages are opened once a Hurricane Warning is issued. It is open for 48 hours following the passing of the storm.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

E-6: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing Saint Theresa Catholic School to sell alcoholic beverages as part of the Annual Parish School Fair on the school ’s grounds at 2701 Indian Mound Trail on Friday, December 2, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; on Saturday, December 3, 2022, from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; and on Sunday, December 4, 2022 from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., subject to Florida Department of Professional Regulation Requirements.

“The annual school fair is a fundraising event for Saint Theresa Catholic School. The event is held on the school’s grounds at 2701 Indian Mound Trail on Friday, December 2, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; on Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; and on Sunday, December 4, 2022 from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This request is to serve alcoholic beverages during the fair, subject to compliance with the laws of the State of Florida. This request has been reviewed by the City’s Special Events Committee.”

E-7: A Resolution of the City Commission appointing Alfredo Sarria (Nominated by Mayor Lago) to serve as a member of the Library Advisory Board, for remainder of the current term, which began on June 1, 2021 and continues through May 31, 2023.

The following is a vote to approve items E-1 to E-4 and E-6 and E-7.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

Ordinances On Second Reading

F-1: An Ordinance of the City Commission providing for a text amendment to the City of Coral Gables official Zoning Code by amending Article 14, “Process,” Section 14-204.9, “Expiration of Approvals; to eliminate the expiration of Certificates of TDR; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date.

“No changes since First Reading. Section 14-204 of the City’s Zoning Code sets forth the process for transfer, receipt, and use of Transfer Development Rights (“TDRs”). Specifically, Section 14-204.4 sets forth the process for sending development rights and for the issuance of a certificate of TDR. Separately, Sections 14-204.5 through 14-204.7 set forth the process for use of TDRs at receiver sites. While there are valid reasons for having approvals on receiver sites expire after a certain period of time, if the City Commission wishes for certificates of TDR to be transferrable in the open market, they should not have an expiration date, as the conditions for their sending do not change. According, this ordinance amends Section 14-204.9 to eliminate the two (2) year expiration date for certificates of TDR while keeping the expiration date for approvals on the use of TDRs on a particular receiving site.”

The item was changed from first reading to be made retroactive to currently approved TDRs.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

F-2: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the City of Coral Gables Zoning Code Article 15 “Notices”, Section 15-104 “Quasi-Judicial Procedures” and amending Section 2-79 of Chapter 2, Article III of the City Code, titled “Order of Business” to clarify definitions of documentary evidence, and amend the Order of Presentation for Quasi-Judicial Hearings, providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date.

“No changes have been made to either proposed text amendment since First Reading. Planning and Zoning Board vote requirement The City’s Planning and Zoning Board is tasked with providing recommendations to the City Commission relating to items within their purview and serves as the City’s “local planning agency” as set forth in Florida Statutes § 163.174. Section 14-102.3 of the City’s Zoning Code requires four (4) affirmative votes for the adoption of any motion. Section 14-102.3 also provides that in the event that four (4) votes are not obtained, an applicant may request a continuance or allow the application to proceed to the City Commission without a recommendation. This Zoning Code provision is at odds with Section 163.3174, F.S., which requires that all Local Planning Agency make recommendations to the City Commission regarding the adoption of Comprehensive Plan amendments. In order to avoid potential issues in the future, to preserve the resources of the City, and to be respectful of the time volunteer board members dedicate to serving on the City’s Planning and Zoning Board, it is recommended that the four (4) affirmative vote requirement for recommendations relating to Comprehensive Plan amendments be amended. At their October 12, 2022, meeting, the Planning & Zoning Board discussed at length the proposed text amendment that deems a recommendation of denial if the Board can not obtain 4 affirmative votes. Board members were concerned that a hypothetical vote could be majority in favor of an application (eg. 3-2 for approval), but would move to the City Commission as a recommendation of denial. A motion was made for a recommendation of approval of the proposed text amendment, but resulted in a tie vote or no recommendation (vote: 3-3-). Order of Business The Zoning Code contains provisions which govern submission deadlines for quasi-judicial hearing and often times City staff or applicants wish to present demonstrative or visual aids, including PowerPoint presentations which repackage, or duplicate information already timely submitted to the City.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

F-3: An Ordinance of the City Commission providing for a text amendment to the City of Coral Gables Official Zoning Code by amending Article 14, “Process,” Section 14-102.3, “Meetings; Quorum; Required Vote” to amend the requirement of four (4) affirmative votes for recommendations relating to Comprehensive Plan amendments; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date.

“No changes have been made to either proposed text amendment since First Reading. Planning and Zoning Board vote requirement The City’s Planning and Zoning Board is tasked with providing recommendations to the City Commission relating to items within their purview and serves as the City’s “local planning agency” as set forth in Florida Statutes § 163.174. Section 14-102.3 of the City’s Zoning Code requires four (4) affirmative votes for the adoption of any motion. Section 14-102.3 also provides that in the event that four (4) votes are not obtained, an applicant may request a continuance or allow the application to proceed to the City Commission without a recommendation. This Zoning Code provision is at odds with Section 163.3174, F.S., which requires that all Local Planning Agency make recommendations to the City Commission regarding the adoption of Comprehensive Plan amendments. In order to avoid potential issues in the future, to preserve the resources of the City, and to be respectful of the time volunteer board members dedicate to serving on the City’s Planning and Zoning Board, it is recommended that the four (4) affirmative vote requirement for recommendations relating to Comprehensive Plan amendments be amended. At their October 12, 2022, meeting, the Planning & Zoning Board discussed at length the proposed text amendment that deems a recommendation of denial if the Board can not obtain 4 affirmative votes. Board members were concerned that a hypothetical vote could be majority in favor of an application (eg. 3-2 for approval), but would move to the City Commission as a recommendation of denial. A motion was made for a recommendation of approval of the proposed text amendment, but resulted in a tie vote or no recommendation (vote: 3-3-). Order of Business The Zoning Code contains provisions which govern submission deadlines for quasi-judicial hearing and often times City staff or applicants wish to present demonstrative or visual aids, including PowerPoint presentations which repackage, or duplicate information already timely submitted to the City.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

Ordinances on First Reading

F-4: An Ordinance of the City Commission creating SEction 42-41 “Smoking in Parks” prohibiting smoking in all parks operated by the City, providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

“In 2022, the State Legislature amended Florida Statue 386.209, “Regulation of smoking preempted to state,” to allow a municipality to restrict smoking within the boundaries of any public beaches and public parks that they own, except that municipalities may not further restrict the smoking of unfiltered cigars. Given the well-documented public health concerns regarding tobacco use, and the effect of smoking debris on the beauty and safety of the City parks, the City is recommending the prohibition on smoking and vaping in City parks in accordance with state law.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

F-5: An Ordinance of the City Commission authorizing the City to enter into a Second Amendment to the Second Amended and Restated Master Lease Agreement for the property commonly known as the Village of Merrick Park, with Merrick Park, LLC, f /k/a Rouse Coral Gables, LLC, amending Section 3.1 relating to parking and approving the general terms of a corresponding License Agreement for certain parking uses; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago). Lobbyist: N/A.

“The Second Amended and Restated Master Lease Agreement (the “Lease”) between the City of Coral Gables (the “Landlord”) and Merrick Park LLC, f/k/a Rouse Coral Gables, LLC (the “Tenant”) for the property commonly known as the Village of Merrick Park (the “Village”) provides for 400 parking spaces in the Village’s parking garages to be made available to the Landlord, charged at City rates, and utilized pursuant to a parking plan. The Lease further provides that 220 spaces will be located in one or both of the North Garages and 180 spaces will be located in the East Garage and that the spaces will be made available from 7:00 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Finally, the Lease provides that revenues received from the use of such spaces will become part of Project Revenue for purposes of calculating percentage rent. Landlord and Tenant now wish to amend the Lease to provide more flexible use of the 400 parking spaces which will continue to include the permit parking spaces and may include long-term parking spaces, governed by a license agreement, with neighboring developments. Proposed Terms of Lease Amendment: Up to 400 spaces will be made available for use by Landlord for permit parking and use by tenants, residents, guests, invitees, or other occupants of one or more developments designated by the Landlord; Removes day/time restrictions, making the spaces available to the Landlord 24 hours per day/7 days per week; Use of said development designated spaces will be governed by a License Agreement (in substantially the form attached to the Second Amendment to the Lease); Request for the use of said spaces by a development must be initiated by Landlord; Tenant agrees that if a request is made for exclusive spaces Tenant will, in good faith, seek the approval of the anchor tenants under the COREA; Fee per space capped at the greater of 150 percent of the City’s parking rate today, or 150 percent of the City’s parking rate at the time the License Agreement is entered into, with provisions for CPI increases.”

This is an amendment to the lease regarding parking. In particular 400 parking spaces the City holds at Merrick Park garages. It would change the requirement to have them available from 7AM to 7PM Monday to Friday to no requirement and to allow Merrick Park to reach agreements with nearby developments for use of the spaces at a rate not to exceed 150% of the current City parking rate or the parking rate at the time of the agreement.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

Resolutions

F-6: A Resolution of the City Commission amending Resolution Number 2022-175, to establish a revised peafowl mitigation policy pursuant to the Code of Miami -Dade County, Chapter 5 “Animals and Fowl”, Section 5-16 “Taking of peafowl prohibited; municipal opt out.” (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

“Peafowl are a non-native and invasive species and compete with indigenous bird species throughout South Florida. They can cause property damage, transmit parasites, create substantial noise pollution, and block traffic in the City. The City has consistently received complaints from residents regarding nuisance peafowl but has not had the ability to address such complaints due to a Miami-Dade County ordinance that made it unlawful to take, attempt to take, hunt, molest, capture, or kill any peafowl, their nests or eggs, by any means. However, the County Code was recently amended to provide a municipal carve-out that allows a municipality to opt out of the general prohibition by adopting a peafowl mitigation plan that provides for the humane removal of peafowl, if approved by the Board of County Commissioners (“BCC”). Additionally, the City Code of Coral Gables Chapter 10 “Animals”, Article I “In General”, Section 10-7 “Peafowl” grants the City the authority to take any remedial action deemed appropriate to address the proliferation of peafowl within the City. Finding that the proliferation of peafowl within the City was harmful to the public welfare, the City Commission adopted Resolution Number 2022-175, to provide residents and the City with options to humanely remove peafowl from private property and public rights-of-way. The City’s resolution and Peafowl Mitigation Policy were transmitted to the BCC for approval. On October 18, 2022, the BCC conditionally approved the City’s policy, contingent on the City clarifying certain language within the policy and exploring a peafowl neutering program. This resolution amends Resolution No. 2022-175 by establishing a revised Peafowl Mitigation Policy that satisfies the BCC’s conditions.”

Staff informed the Commission that they are still working on a plan to remove the peafowl, but have been waiting for this measure to pass.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

F-7: A Resolution of the City Commission approving Remote Parking and Conditional Use review pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process” Section 14-203, “Conditional Uses,” for proposed Remote Parking associated with the Mixed-Use project referred to as “4311 Ponce” on the property legally described as Lots 36 through 43, Block 5, “Industrial Section” (4311 and 4225 Ponce de Leon Boulevard), Coral Gables, Florida; including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. Agenda Items F-7 and F-8 are related. Lobbyist: Jorge Navarro. Lobbyist: Devon Vickers.

Click here to see staff’s memo.

Click here to see staff’s presentation.

Jorge Navarro explained to the Commission that: the project will take advantage of the offsite parking option and will lease 125 spaces offsite while providing 81 spaces onsite. They will repave the intersection of San Lorenzo and Ponce and add landscaping and pavers on Ponce. The rooftop is designed to have the ability to house a restaurant, if there is interest in the future. However, the project would require additional leased parking spaces. The change would also require a Commission vote to waive the mixed-use requirement of 15% residential, which is currently planned for the rooftop floor. The Mayor asked the developer to explore this option.

The Commission asked staff to look into the projects such as tree replacement, trolley stop canopy and sidewalks to ensure the City best uses the funds developers are contributing.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

F-8: A Resolution of the City Commission approving Mixed-Use Site Plan and Conditional Use review pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process” Section 14-203, “Conditional Uses,” for a proposed Mixed-Use project referred to as “4311 Ponce” on the property legally described as Lots 36 through 43, Block 5, “Industrial Section” (4311 and 4225 Ponce de Leon Boulevard), Coral Gables, Florida; including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. Agenda Items F-7 and F-8 are related. Lobbyist: Jorge Navarro. Lobbyist: Devon Vickers.

Click here to see staff’s memo.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
SecondedMotioned

F-9: A Resolution of the City Commission approving the Tentative Plat entitled “Belmont Residences at Coral Gables” pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, Section 14-210, “Platting/Subdivision,” being a re-plat of 61,569 square feet on the property legally as lots 12 to 31, Block 3, and the south 7.5 feet of lots 11 and 32, Block 3, Coral Gables “Industrial Section,” together with that portion of 30 foot platted alley lying south of the north line of the south 7.5 feet of said lot 11 projected westerly and north of the south line of said Block 3 (4111 Salzedo Street) Coral Gables, Florida; including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE). Lobbyist: Mario Garcia-Serra.

“On May 26, 2020, the City Commission approved an Assisted Living Facility (ALF) project known as “Belmont Village,” a 10-story building with 232 Assisted Living Units, ground floor commercial uses of approximately 18,000 square feet, and a parking structure with 208 parking spaces. The approved project is located south of Bird Road at 4111 Salzedo Street. Per Section 14-210 of the Zoning Code, the Planning & Zoning Board provides a recommendation on Tentative Plats to the City Commission. At their February 12, 2020, meeting, the Planning and Zoning Board recommended approval of the Tentative Plat (vote: 6 yes – 0 no). The Final Plat was prepared from the Tentative Plat, and has been reviewed for form by the Miami-Dade County Subdivision Department and the City’s Public Works Department. The Final Plat requires a final review and approval in Resolution form by the City Commission. If approved by the City Commission, the Applicant will have to file the Final Plat with Miami-Dade County.”

Click here to watch staff presentation.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

F-10: A Resolution of the City Commission approving the Final Plat entitled “Alta Strategic Gables” pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, Section 14-210, “Platting/Subdivision,” being a re-plat of 61,548 square feet (1.41 acres) into two (2) tracts of land on the property legally described as lots 1 through 11, inclusive, less the south 7.5 feet thereof, and lots 32 through 42, inclusive, less the south 7.5 feet thereof, Block 3, “Coral Gables Industrial Section,” together with that portion of the 30 foot platted alley lying north of the north line of the south 7.5 feet of said lot 11 projected westerly and south of the north line of said block 3 (250 Bird Road) Coral Gables, Florida; including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. ( LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE). Lobbyist: Mario Garcia-Serra.

“On October 13, 2020, the City Commission approved a mixed-use project referred to as Merrick 250, a 12-story building with 215 residential units, ground floor commercial uses of approximately 18,500 square feet, and a parking structure with 362 parking spaces. The approved project is located on the north-half of Block 3, approximately 1.41 acres in size. Per Section 14-210 of the Zoning Code, the Planning & Zoning Board provides a recommendation on Tentative Plats to the City Commission. At their August 12, 2020, meeting, the Planning and Zoning Board recommended approval of the Tentative Plat (vote: 6 yes – 0 no). The Final Plat was prepared from the Tentative Plat, and has been reviewed for form by the Miami-Dade County Subdivision Department and the City’s Public Works Department. The Final Plat requires a final review and approval in Resolution form by the City Commission. If approved by the City Commission, the Applicant will have to file the Final Plat with Miami-Dade County.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

City Commission Items

G-1: Discussion regarding solar panels for The Granada Clubhouse. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago) (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

The Commission asked staff to move forward with applying for a grant for $25,000 to offset the projected cost of $50,000 to $75,000 for this project. Staff will report back to the Commission with detailed numbers at the December Commission meeting.

Resident Marlin Ebbert explained that The Villagers have a grant the City could apply for in the Spring to help fund this project.

G-2: Update regarding Dover Kohl’s bicycle infrastructure plan on Biltmore Way, Andalusia Avenue and possibly Valencia Avenue. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

Staff will report back to the Commission at the next Commission meeting.

G-3: Discussion regarding green matter in trash pits. (Sponsored my Mayor Lago).

Mayor Vince Lago is proposing diverting trash from trash pits. He wants to explore looking into a partnership with a company Leon County is using, which uses green matter to create a product that can be used to make sidewalks. He is proposing only allowing green matter in the trash pits during the week and placing other trash out on the day of trash pick up. The plan would be to use the City’s 26-acre lot on SW 72nd Avenue to collect green matter for processing by this company. The measure was presented to Lago by former State Senator Oscar Braynan. The Commission will discuss this option at the January Commission meeting.

G-4: A Resolution of the City Commission directing that, under certain circumstances, the City Manager submit a separate memorandum to the City Commission, during the budget process, highlighting increases to the salary of a certain class of employees. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez) (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

This would only apply to increases of over 10%. Anderson and Menendez explained they wanted to increase transparency to residents. The City Manager, Peter Iglesias, stated that he has issues with this. A visibly agitated Iglesias argued that there are merit based reasons for raises and that several things can coincide to issue a large pay increase. He explained, “that is how government works. That is how City of Miami worked.”

Menendez praised the Manager and stated that the Manager is following all rules and that the Commission has the full trust in the City Manager.

Vice Mayor Mena stated that the entire Commission is ok with the raises issued. He referred to private meetings with the Manager that satisfied any concerns they had. These meetings were closed to residents.

Iglesias has been asked to provide a memo to the Commission on compensation.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
SecondedMotioned

City Manager Items

I-1: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Information Technology Director to increase the spending authority on the NASPO (SVAR) Contract # 43230000A-SHI INTERNATIONAL CORP. in the estimated amount of $1,200,000.

“The City of Coral Gables Information Technology Department uses this contract as a tool to purchase hardware equipment, technology peripherals, software licenses and products. SHI INTERNATIONAL CORP. has a vast catalog of hardware, software and technology service products that can be acquired using this single source.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

I-2: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Information Technology Director to increase the spending authority on the Omia Public Partners Contract # 4400006644-Insight Public Sector in the estimated amount of $2,500,000.

“The City of Coral Gables Information Technology Department uses this contract as a tool to purchase hardware equipment, technology peripherals, software licenses, technology services, and products. Insight Public Sector has a vast catalog of hardware, software and technology service products that can be acquired using this single source.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

City Attorney Items

J-1: Update regarding the BID and discussion seeking direction from the City Commission.

The BID is requesting credit for the money they claim to have placed into events with the City they are required to do prior to the 31st of December. The BID is requesting reimbursement for the Pumpkin Arch, although the Executive Director had said before the Commission the BID was responsible for it. The City Attorney explained that the requests being made are outside of the agreement with the City. The Manager stated that the BID did not hold the Halloween event, they were responsible for.

The Commission passed a motion that if the BID decides not to hold up its end of the bargain on upcoming events by Monday, the BID will be sunsetted Friday of next week.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded
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6 thoughts on “City Commission Recap (11/9/2022)

  1. Give parking spaces at Merrick Park to the developers?

    Why not? The developers have taken everything the City has, down to its socks.

  2. With Jorge Fors departure, (he lost the election in Dade County), a vacancy exists on the commission.

    The devious Mayor wants to name to the commission someone who has not applied for the position.

    The devious Mayor is dealing the cards to the public from the bottom of the deck. The fix is in.

  3. Governor Ron DeSantis’ salary is $130,000.00 per year.

    Yet, city manager Peter Iglesias’ salary is over $230,000.00 per year. City attorney Miriam Ramos’ salary is also over $230,000.00. Both of them get more than the Governor.

    Is their job more demanding and are they doing better job than Governor DeSantis? Answer is “NO” and “NO”.

    Frankly, both of them are crooks and don’t deserve a penny from the hard earned money paid by taxpayers to the City.

  4. Leona Cooper’s passing marks the end of era for the McFarlane section. Leona was right up there with the late Roxy Bolton when it came to advocacy and determinaton. She was named Coral Gables Rotary’s Citizen of the Year in 2013 in recognition of all that she has accomplished. Another Great Lady of Coral Gables.

  5. I get CG Insider founder has an agenda but ca you please make an article of the disappointing to say the least reopening of the CG Country club?

    From the get go there was a massive campaign against the previous tenants (I am not defending those if there were in breach of contract) but since the city took over we were told two things – prices will continue to be affordable and services will remain the same (or better). Here is the summary:

    – Gym, while the city said the pool will be reopen in Sept (that was the pitch for new members) we are in mid-Nov and still not opened. All while raising the rates compared to membership costs with the previous owners.

    – Le Park Cafe vs Liberty Cafe (previous name). To start with, even though it was said in Sept (Twitter) that opening times will be until 8pm or so, they still close at 5pm. And what about PRICES, let’s see how affordable are like the city said:

    Le Parc vs Liberty Cafe
    $2 vs $3.95 (coffe americano)
    $6 vs $15 (omelette)
    $3 vs $7 (fruit bowl)

    This are just some examples. Not to mention we are still with the soft launch menu two month after.

    Where are the affordable “resident prices”. Why a 100% price increase?

    No city accountability?

    Please report CG Insider!

  6. I get CG Insider founder has an agenda but ca you please make an article of the disappointing to say the least reopening of the CG Country club?

    From the get go there was a massive campaign against the previous tenants (I am not defending those if there were in breach of contract) but since the city took over we were told two things – prices will continue to be affordable and services will remain the same (or better). Here is the summary:

    – Gym, while the city said the pool will be reopen in Sept (that was the pitch for new members) we are in mid-Nov and still not opened. All while raising the rates compared to membership costs with the previous owners.

    – Le Park Cafe vs Liberty Cafe (previous name). To start with, even though it was said in Sept (Twitter) that opening times will be until 8pm or so, they still close at 5pm. And what about PRICES, let’s see how affordable are like the city said:

    Le Parc vs Liberty Cafe
    $2 vs $3.95 (coffe americano)
    $6 vs $15 (omelette)
    $3 vs $7 (fruit bowl)

    This are just some examples. Not to mention we are still with the soft launch menu two month after.

    Where are the affordable “resident prices”. Why a 100% price increase?

    No city accountability?

    Please report CG Insider!

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