Commission Meeting Recap (8/24/2021)

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 August 24th.

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.

Mayor’s Comments

D-1: A discussion on maintenance responsibilities in the Downtown Business District. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)

Mayor Vince Lago brought representatives from the Business Improvement District and Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce to discuss the cleanliness of downtown. In particular picking of weeds and cleaning of sidewalks stating this is a community effort where all need to play their part. The matter will come back to the Commission in September.

COVID-19: The Mayor has provided the City Manager two options of COVID-19 testing groups that function using federal funds. The request, as explained by the Mayor, has come from residents who are asking if they City would provide this information. Fire Chief Marcos de la Rosa, who is heading COVID-19 response for the City, informed the Commission that the City will be allocated a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccines for the individuals who were administered the vaccine by the City. He was asked by the Commission to prepare a plan for testing and vaccine distribution, while ensuring it comes at no cost to the City. “I want to see a plan to start this as quickly as possible,” said the Mayor.

Consent Agenda

E-1, E-2, E-10, E-11 and E-12: are appointments of residents to City Advisory Boards.

E-3: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing acceptance of a Florida Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, Specific Cultural Project Grant in the amount of $25,000 to be put toward an outdoor temporary public art exhibition; authorizing an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Annual Budget to recognize the $25,000 grant as revenue and to appropriate such funds to cover the grant expenditures.

“The City was awarded a competitive Florida Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, Specific Cultural Project Grant in the amount of $25,000 to be put toward a temporary public art exhibition. This grant requires at least one dollar in cash or in-kind (donated goods or services) for every dollar requested from the Division. Staff recommends use of Art Acquisition Fund monies to meet the requirement of matched dollars. An amendment to the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Annual Budget is required to recognize the $25,000 grant as revenue and to appropriate such funds to cover the grant expenditures.”

E-4: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the suspension of vehicular traffic on the 100 block of Giralda Avenue for an additional two-year period.

“Following the substantial completion of the streetscape project on Giralda Avenue, the City Commission authorized the suspension of vehicular traffic on the 100 block of Giralda Avenue for a period of two years in Resolution 2017-65 and again in Resolution 2019-263. The suspension of traffic on the 100 block of Giralda Avenue, also known as Giralda Plaza, has been a great success, as the City and local merchants have increased the number events and outdoor seating in the area. The area has been the host of immensely popular public art exhibits, and expanded outdoor dining. The City wants to suspend vehicular traffic on the 100 block of Giralda Avenue for an additional two-year period in order to continue to evaluate the effect of the suspension on the City, property owners, local merchants, and special events in the City.”

E-5: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the Globe Cafe to sell alcoholic beverages and to allow live music during The Globe Cuba Libre Block Party on Friday, October 15 2021, from 5:00 P.M. to 12:00 A.M. taking place using the North lanes of Alhambra Circle from LeJeune Road to Salzedo Street. Subject to Florida Department of Professional Regulation Requirements.

“Requesting a resolution authorizing the Globe Cafe to sell alcoholic beverages and to allow live music during the Globe Cuba Libre Block Party showcasing Cuban culture. The block party will be on Friday, October 15th, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. To 12:00 a.m. taking place using the north lanes of Alhambra Circle from Lejeune Road to Salzedo Street. Music played outside will end at 12:00 a.m. Subject to Florida Department of Professional Regulation requirements.”

E-6: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing entering into a Second Amendment to Lease with Patio & Things, Inc. with regard to the City-owned retail premises at 240 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, Florida 33134 granting an extension of lease terms for a period of one (1) year.

“Pursuant to Resolution 2005-102, on May 23, 2005, Patio & Things, Inc, (the “Tenant”) entered into a retail Lease (the “Lease”) with the City of Coral Gables (the “Landlord”) whereby the Landlord agreed to lease to the Tenant the City-owned premises at 240 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, Florida 33134 (the “Premises”). The original ten (10)-year Lease term began September 15, 2005. In 2012, Landlord and Tenant adjusted the Lease Commencement Date to September 1, 2006 and agreed that the ten (10)-year term would expire August 31, 2015. In 2015, the Tenant exercised its renewal option term that began September 1, 2015 and expired on August 31, 2020. On July 14, 2020, pursuant to Resolution No. 2020-152, Landlord and Tenant entered into a First Amendment to Lease extending the Lease term for one (1) year until August 31, 2021. Extension Term: A one (1) year Lease extension term that will begin on September 1, 2021 and expire on August 31, 2022. Both Landlord and Tenant shall have the right to terminate the lease extension during the extension term by delivering a written notice to the other party of its election to terminate no less than ninety (90) days in advance of the early termination date. Base Rent for the Premises: Base Rent will be at a rate of $30.00 per rentable square feet (2,987) in the amount of $89,610.00 per year, charged in monthly installments with all applicable taxes, fees, and common area expenses.”

E-7: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing entering into a Third Amendment to Lease with Robert Maguire dba Granada Snack Shop (Burger Bob’s), with regard to the City-owned premises at 2001 Granada Blvd., Coral Gables, Florida, 33134 granting an extension of lease term from September 1, 2021 until December 31, 2021 and providing that the Lease may be further extended on a month-to-month basis thereafter, at the discretion of the City Manager.

As previously reported on Gables Insider, this matter was first taken up at the City Commission meeting on July 13th, following community outcry over staff’s handling of the termination of lease and receipt and negotiation of terms over an unsolicited bid it received. This item formalizes the terms for an extension of lease for Burger Bob’s through December 31st.

E-8: A Resolution of the City Commission of Coral Gables, Florida, opposing proposed amendments to the Miami-Dade County Code regarding public works construction and permitting in the incorporated and unincorporated areas and urging the Board of County Commissioners of Miami-Dade County not to move forward with the amendments as drafted. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)

“On July 8, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners of Miami-Dade County (“BCC”) passed an ordinance on first reading that would provide exclusive permitting jurisdiction to MiamiDade County (“County”) for certain public works construction projects regardless of ownership over the facility, and prohibit municipalities from charging fees, imposing requirements, or requiring permits for work on certain rights-of-way or easements within municipalities (“the ordinance”). The ordinance is scheduled for second reading on September 1, 2021. The City Commission believes the ordinance is counter-productive to municipal operations and services and will force County and City departments to work in silos rather than foster collaboration for the public benefit. As a steadfast advocate for the City’s home rule authority, the City opposes unwarranted County and State preemptions, particularly on local matters that concern the City’s regulatory authority over City-owned or maintained facilities. Currently, the City requires a public works permit for all right of way work within its geographic boundaries. This universal permit requirement ensures that City staff is aware of work taking place within the City and can effectively coordinate concurrent right of way projects to avoid construction or maintenance of traffic conflicts during construction. The City Commission believes the City is best able to communicate information about roadway work and public works projects to the community and is uniquely qualified to handle the hyper-local aspects of public works, because City staff is knowledgeable about the issues,
utilities, and stakeholders affected by a given project. The ordinance at issue gives the County the broad authority, but not the obligation, to do any construction work or maintenance, on any roadway or facility situated partially or entirely within the incorporated areas of the County, and have the exclusive permitting jurisdiction over any such work regardless of who owns or maintains the facility. It also prohibits municipalities from charging any fees, imposing any requirements, or permitting any construction work on: (i) any County-owned rights-of-way or easements within the municipality; and (ii) any roads or facilities regardless of ownership, that the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works deems necessary for appropriate traffic movement on the County’s roadway network. The ordinance represents a radical departure from today’s practice and cities should be aware of, and in agreement with, any improvements that are proposed by the County within City rights of way and any resulting maintenance obligations. Therefore, the City of Coral Gables urges the BCC not to move forward with the amendments as drafted and instead work with cities to incorporate common sense revisions to improve the legislation.”

E-9: A Resolution of the City Commission approving a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Coral Gables and Special Olympics Florida; to allow use of City Parks and Facilities for the purpose of providing services and programming to the community that will enhance the City’s accessible recreation program.

“In 2019 the City Commission approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Special Olympics Florida and facilitated basketball and soccer programming at City facilities pursuant to that Memorandum. The City would like to execute a new Memorandum of Understanding with Special Olympics Florida for a twenty-four month period in order to provide better and more fulfilling experiences for the community.”

Vote for Items: E-1 through E-9:

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

2.-1: A Resolution of the Coral Gables Transportation Advisory Board requesting that the City Commission oppose any proposal by any outside agency that would allow golf carts and/or other motorized vehicles on any shared use path that is designated for the use of pedestrians and cyclists.

This item was first discussed at the July 13th City Commission meeting. Commissioners asked for additional information and data before making a decision on this matter.

“At the April 20, 2021 Transportation Advisory Board meeting, Ms. Sue Kawalerski informed the Board that the Village of Palmetto Bay has adopted a resolution requesting approval from Miami-Dade County for the use of golf carts on Old Cutler Road and the shared use path. Deborah Swain presented a motion of the TAB requesting for the City of Coral Gables Commission to oppose any proposal by any outside agency that would allow golf carts and /or other motorized vehicles on any shared use path that is designated for the use of pedestrians and cyclists. The motion was seconded by Sue Kawalerski, voted upon, and adopted unanimously by the board.”

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

2.-2: A Resolution of the Coral Gables Transportation Advisory Board requesting that the City Commission reconsider the original sidewalk funding made by the Public Works Department for the upcoming Fiscal Year and restore it to the 1.2 million dollars originally requested.

“At the July 13th City Commission Meeting the Transportation Advisory Board presented a resolution to the City Commission requesting for the construction of sidewalks at various locations where gaps were identified. The funding for the project is restricted due to limited funding allocated by the City Commission for the construction of new and repairs of existing sidewalks in the draft 2021-2022 FY Budget. The Transportation Advisory Board objective is to identify and recommend improvements to develop transportation connectivity of all modes to provide a variety of transportation alternatives.”

The City Manager informed the Commission that the City would be using the CARES Act funds to fully fund the $1.2 million project as originally requested. No Commission action was necessary.

Ordinances on Second Reading

F-1: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the City of Coral Gables Ethics Code to add Section 2-307, “Prohibition on Campaign/Political Consultants Lobbying” providing for a severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago) (TIME CERTAIN 11:30AM)

“In the City’s consistent stride toward serving as an example of ethical and transparent government, this Ordinance prohibits campaign/political consultants from lobbying the City Commission, as a whole, or the elected official for whom the consultant provided services, for 24 months following the last election cycle/swearing in of that particular elected official. In addition, the ordinance prohibits campaign/political consultants from doing business with the City for 24 months following the election of an elected official on whose campaign he/she worked. The ordinance applies to all election cycles held after April 1, 2021, thereby applying both prohibitions to campaign/political consultants that worked on campaigns during that cycle. Changes from first to second reading (denoted in redline in the attached ordinance): 1) Changed period of time from 12 to 24 months; 2) Added a prohibition on campaign/political consultant doing business with the City for 24 months; 3) Added an express prohibition on passthroughs; and 4) Changed exemption from employees of campaign/political consultants whose duties are “primarily” clerical, to those whose duties are “solely” clerical.”

The item passed with the removal of retroactivity. In other words, from the date of this meeting forward political consultants cannot lobby the Commission while consulting a current Commissioner or two years after a client is elected to the Commission.

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

F-2: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Section 2-305, “Lobbying,” of the City of Coral Gables Ethics Code to make it consistent with amendments to the Miami-Dade County Lobbying Ordinance, adding a “Duty to Announce” requirement, a “Duty to List” requirement, and establishing a mandatory training requirement, providing for a severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago) (TIME CERTAIN 11:30AM)

“This Ordinance amends the City’s lobbying regulations to be consistent with the amendments to the Miami-Dade lobbying regulations and to ensure that all City regulations that differ, are more stringent than those imposed by Miami-Dade County. Specifically, this Ordinance makes the following changes: 1) Amends the definition of city personnel; 2) Adds a definition for encourage; 3) Amends the definition of expenditure; 4) Amends the definition of lobbyist; 5) Adds a definition for lobbying activity; 6) Amends the definition of principal; 7) Adds a definition for procurement matter; 8) Amends the registration requirement section, to wit: that a principal must acknowledge that a particular lobbyist is authorized to represent the principal, adds time frames for certain requirements, amends the fee waiver provision, and strikes the procurement provision (as it is addressed later); 9) Amends the contingency fee section to read consistently with the new definitions; 10) Amends the exceptions to registration section to be consistent with the County’s and adds a subsection relating to procurement matters, specifically; 11) Adds a “duty to announce” requirement; 12) Amends the reporting requirements section, to wit: changes the deadline for expenditure statements to be consistent with the County’s, specifies requirements for expenditure statements, and adds particular requirements that must be complied with by the City Clerk to be consistent with the County’s; and 12) Adds a “diligence requirement” that must be complied with by elected officials, appointed officials, and city employees. The following changes have been made between first and second reading: 1) Addition of a “duty to list” requirement which establishes that the City Clerk must list, on the City Commission agenda, the name of each registered lobbyist and the principal which the lobbyist represents, under each City Commission item that relates to a development project or procurement item. 2) Addition of a training requirement for lobbyists that follows Miami-Dade County’s training requirement.”

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 amending Chapter 46 of the “Code of the City of Coral Gables,” entitled “Pensions,” Implementing Provisions of the 2020-2023 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City and the Fraternal Order of Police (“FOP”); amending Section 46-26, Compulsory Participation; amending Section 46-27, purchase of credited service for period of military service and/or employment with other public employers; amending Section 46-253, Normal Retirement Income; amending Section 46-262, Limitation On Payment of Retirement Income; amending Section 46-269, Deferred Retirement Option Plan; and providing for a severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date.

“This Ordinance implements the following pension changes contained in the recently ratified 2020-2023 collective bargaining agreement between the City and Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 7. 1) The maximum participation in the DROP is extended to 96 months. If employees remain employed by the City during their 8th year in the DROP, they will be assigned to road patrol unless otherwise directed by the Police Chief in his sole discretion. 2) Effective October 1, 2022, the maximum amount of the annual normal retirement benefit based on the normal annuity form (life with 10 year certain) payable at retirement shall be the lesser of $98,838 or 75% of the employee’s average final compensation. 3) Employees hired after the ratification date of this agreement who retired from other police agencies and are hired by the City as full-time police officers will have the option to participate in the Retirement System or a Defined Contribution Plan. Employees retired from the City’s police department who are hired as full-time police officers will only have the option to participate in the Defined Contribution Plan. If the employee participates in a Defined Contribution Plan established by the City, the City will contribute 7% of the employee’s base pay. 4) The pension buy back formula for those employees hired prior to October 1, 2019, who had prior military or other public employer service, but were not eligible to purchase their prior service as of October 1, 2019 because they had not completed the requisite five (5) years of service with the City to be eligible to do so, shall be 18% of the employee’s pensionable earning during their 1st year of service multiplied by the number of years being purchased.”

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

F-4: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Chapter 46 of the “Code of the City of Coral Gables,” entitled “Pensions,” Implementing Provisions of the 2020-2023 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City and the Fraternal Order of Police (“FOP”); amending Section 46-26, Compulsory Participation; amending Section 46-27, purchase of credited service for period of military service and/or employment with other public employers; amending Section 46-253, Normal Retirement Income; amending Section 46-262, Limitation On Payment of Retirement Income; amending Section 46-269, Deferred Retirement Option Plan; and providing for a severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date.

“City Code Sec. 101-143(3) provides that the City Attorney or his or her designee may enter into settlement and fine reduction agreements on behalf of the city. Sec. 101-143(3) includes certain factors to be considered in mitigating, reducing, or eliminating the fine. Even though it is not one of the express factors listed in Sec. 101-143(3), historically, the City Attorney’s Office, in attempting to settle matters involving outstanding code enforcement fines, has taken into account any delays in achieving compliance that are attributable to the time taken by the City to review submissions for permits or other developmental approvals. The proposed ordinance would expressly include such time for review by the City as a factor to be considered by the City Attorney or his or her designee in entering into settlement or fine reduction agreements involve outstanding code enforcement fines.”

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-5: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Chapter 2 “Administration”, Article VII “Finance”, Section 2-349 “Fees for Copies of Ordinances and other Records” providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, providing for an effective date. (RELATED TO K-1)

“Section 2-349 of the City Code sets forth a definition of extraordinary expenditure of times and extensive research fees for responding to public record requests. Currently the code provides that 20 minutes or more is an extraordinary expenditure of time and associated fees are triggered. This proposed ordinance increases that time to 30 minutes of staff work. There is an associated item, adopting a new Public Record and Information Request Policy.”

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

F-6: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the Future Land Use Map of the City of Coral Gables Comprehensive Plan pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process”, Section 14-213, and Comprehensive Plan amendment procedures (ss. 163.3187, Florida Statutes), changing the land use designation for property legally described as Lots 6 and 19, and the west 25 feet of lots 7 and 18, Block 219, Riviera Section #14, Coral Gables, Florida, from Religious/Institutional to Public Buildings and Grounds; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (Legal Description on file) (RELATED TO F-8)

“The City is planning to build the new Fire House 4 on Sunset Drive with other civic uses, between Nervia and Trionfo Streets. The Fire House will improve total response time for Fire Rescue services to existing areas of central Coral Gables. To accommodate the location of the new fire house, the City is proposing to change the Future Land Use Map from its current ‘Religious/Institutional’ land use to ‘Public Buildings and Grounds’ land use in anticipation of the new Fire House 4 on Sunset Drive. The Zoning will not be changed and will remain as Special Use District.”

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

Resolutions

F-7: A Resolution of the City Commission of Coral Gables, Florida authorizing an extension through September 28, 2021 of a Zoning in Progress related to the incentives and/or bonuses provided in Section 5-200 of the Zoning Code “Mediterranean Standards,” for new commercial, mixed-use, and multi-family projects; and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)

“On July 13, 2021, pursuant to Resolution No. 2021-194, the Commission adopted a Zoning in Progress Resolution through August 24, 2021, in accordance with Section 14-209 of the Zoning Code, for consideration of Zoning Code text amendments to Section 5-200 “Mediterranean Standards” for new commercial, mixed-use, and multi-family projects. The Commission also established a Blue Ribbon Committee which has met on several occasions to discuss possible amendments to Section 5-200, but additional time is needed for preparation of Zoning Code text amendments and for their consideration by the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Commission. The proposed resolution would extend the Zoning in Progress through September 28, 2021.”

Blue Ribbon Committee was asked to complete its work and come back with its final recommendations on September 14th and a time certain will be provided at that meeting.

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

F-8: (This Resolution is not for consideration at this time and will be included with the above ordinance on Second Reading if approved on First Reading.) A Resolution of the City Commission pursuant to Zoning Code Article 1, “General Provisions,” Section 1-104 “Jurisdiction and applicability,” granting Site Plan approval of a city-owned firehouse, known as Fire House No. 4, legally described as Lots 6 and 19, and the west 25 feet of lots 7 and 18, Block 219, Riviera Section #14, Coral Gables, Florida; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (RELATED TO F-6)

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 of the City of Coral Gables, Florida amending Resolution No. 2018-148 approving the mixed-use site plan for the project on the property legally described as Lots 11 through 25, Block 203, Coral Gables Riviera Section 14 (1500 Venera Avenue, 1515 San Remo Avenue, and 1537 San Remo Avenue), Coral Gables, Florida to allow for certain off-site improvements at the intersection of Red Road, Madruga, and Venera to be completed before the final certificate of occupancy instead of before the first certificate of occupancy or temporary certificate of occupancy.

“Pursuant to Resolution No. 2018-148, the City Commission approved a mixed-use project located at 1500 Venera Avenue. Resolution No. 2018-148 contains a number of conditions, including that certain right-of-way and public realm improvements must be completed prior to the issuance of a temporary certificate of occupancy (“TCO”). The property owner submitted a written request to amend Resolution No. 2018-148 to allow for the right-of-way improvements at the intersection of Red Road, Madruga, and Venera to be completed prior to the issuance of the final certificate of occupancy instead of prior to the TCO due to certain design challenges associated with the geometry of the three-way intersection and the use by delivery trucks to Whole Foods that need to maneuver through there. The proposed resolution would amend Resolution No. 2018-148 to move the requirement that the rightof-way improvements at Red Road, Madruga, and Venera be completed prior to the issuance of the final certificate of occupancy, instead of prior to TCO.”

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 and review of City website. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors)

G-2: A presentation by the 2021 Page Interns. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago) (TIME CERTAIN 3:30PM)

G-3: Discussion of feasibility of automated location-based electronic notice of certain matters. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors)

G-4: Discussion regarding the Passion/Passiflora Incarnation installation on Segovia. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors)

G-5: Discussion regarding City entryways and related improvements. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)

Mayor explained he wanted the historic markers cleaned, pressure washed and maintained. He also wants Commission to consider the purchase of properties near the City entrances to make entrance features, “nothing crazy, something small with ‘Welcome to Coral Gables’ and a light on it.”

G-6: An update from staff regarding Ordinance 2016-30 that was passed on May 24, 2016 to provide a Buy American Preference in contracts for goods and general services. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)

The Mayor instructed staff he wants to continue to expand the City’s buy American policy. He explained he has not handed out any keys to the City as the ones the City purchased are made in China.

G-7: Discussion regarding Public Safety Aides Courtesy Notification Program re: parking over sidewalks, scooters blocking sidewalks, cardboard in trash pits, and unsafe /deep trash pits. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson) (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)

Public Safety Aides will be placing flyers at homes in patrolled areas. They will be informing residents by walking up to doors and informing residents of issues. They are already informing and asking illegally parked vehicles to move.

G-8: Discussion regarding notice for Parking Advisory Board meetings to residents impacted by proposed changes to public parking spaces, residential parking permits and the reservation of public parking spaces for commercial businesses in front of residential properties. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)

This item refers to issue previously reported on Gables Insider, about the no-notification changes planned by the City to remove residential parking spaces on Biltmore Way and Ponce de Leon Boulevard to benefit a friend of former Mayor Raul Valdes-Fauli and a developer (respectively).

Parking Director Kevin Kinney informed the Commission that the Parking Advisory Board requested notification be made to residents near the Biltmore Way property to ensure they are aware of the proposed permit sales before the Parking Advisory Board takes action. Kinney implied he has the authority to issue the permits without the Board or resident input. He assured the Commission that there will be no changes until after a neighborhood meeting and Parking Advisory Board meets and discusses the issue.

G-9: Discussion item to include report from Public Works regarding missing sidewalk segments between Rivera Drive and Granada Boulevard, south of Hardee Road, and regarding missing sidewalks and crosswalks near Ponce Middle School and also providing a schedule to address. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)

The Commission voted to request that staff begin designing the sidewalks in order to ensure this is a priority and work begin as soon as possible.

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

G-10: Discussion regarding institution of a pilot program on Ponce for removal of dual signage for residential parking permit signage where metered/pay-by-phone parking is also permitted. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)

Parking Director Kinney demonstrated a new sign which would allow for residential permit parking and metered parking in the same area.

G-11: Discussion regarding leaf blowers in the City of Coral Gables. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez) (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson) (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)

The Commission instructed staff to being a pilot program of using lower noise creating electric leaf blowers with one of the City’s landscaping teams for now and get back to the Commission on how effective the change has been.

G-12: Preliminary presentation regarding “Youth Zone” traffic initiative for areas that experience high youth activity. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors)

Commissioner Jorge L. Fors, Jr. explained his idea for having Youth Zones near areas of large concentration of children. These zones would have lower speed limits to increase child safety. With the Commission’s vote in favor, Fors will continue to work with staff on the program, targeting the September 28th meeting for a formal proposal the Commission can consider.

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

G-13: Briefing on County proposals implicating minimum zoning standards in certain areas, from discussions had at recent meeting of the Miami Dade County League of Cities. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors)

Smart Zone Corridors are being considered by the County, which would remove the City’s ability control zoning standards near the transportation corridor. On September 8th, there will be a meeting between the Miami-Dade County League of Cities with Commissioner Gilbert.

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

G-14: Discussion regarding a second Farmer’s Market event. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)

Community Recreation Department Director Fred Couceyro explained that the City is considering holding a secondary Farmers Market in the North Gables. Currently the consideration is in the area of Minorca and Galiano off of Ponce de Leon Boulevard next to Coral Gables Prep. The target is to begin September and hold them through Holidays. Unlike the current farmers market, these would Include artisan vendors.

G-15: Discussion regarding the future direction and projects for the Blue Ribbon Committee of architects. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)

Commission instructed the Blue Ribbon Committee to continue with its work on Mediterranean Bonuses and showed interest in possible other Architectural issues being discussed after the Mediterranean Bonuses discussion is finalized.

G-16: A Resolution of the City Commission condemning antisemitism, discrimination and bigotry against all minorities and acknowledging the ongoing contributions made by Coral Gables’ Jewish Community. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago) (TIME CERTAIN 11:00AM)

“The City of Coral Gables is home to many Jewish people and Jewish houses of worship and the City has, in previous resolutions, adopted legislation condemning antisemitism and officially adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of Antisemitism. The City wants to reiterate its strong condemnation of antisemitism, discrimination and bigotry against all minorities, while also acknowledging the ongoing contributions made by the Coral Gables Jewish Community and highlighting specifically the community service and good works of Temple Judea.”

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

G-17: A Resolution of the City Commission of the City of Coral Gables, Florida approving the request by 305 Pink Pack, Inc. that the City join METAvivor Research & Support, Inc. and Moore Fight More Strong’s #LightUpMBC 2021 Campaign and directing staff to take all necessary steps to join the campaign and illuminate City Hall on October 13, 2021 in the MBC symbolic colors of green, teal, and pink. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors)

“The Coral Gables-based non-profit organization “305 Pink Pack” requests that the City of Coral Gables participate in #LightUpMBC 2021, a Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) awareness campaign, put forth by METAvivor Research & Support, Inc. and Moore Fight Moore Strong. The city participated in the #LightUpMBC 2020 campaign last year. It would, again, illuminate City Hall in the symbolic colors of green, teal, and pink on October 13th, which is federally recognized as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Over 115 landmarks across the world participate, honoring the 115 lives lost daily to MBC. This campaign seeks to raise awareness on MBC, bring hope to those suffering from MBC, and promote and fund more MBC research. The proposed resolution approves the city’s participation with #LightUpMBC 2021 so that the City may proceed with taking all necessary steps to join the campaign.”

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

G-18: A Resolution of the City Commission directing the City Manager and City Clerk to coordinate with all City Boards and Committees to ensure that all meetings minutes are timely published. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago) (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson) (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez)

“The City of Coral Gables has over 30 quasi-judicial and advisory boards and committees comprised of resident volunteers. These boards each have an assigned staff liaison responsible for keeping accurate meeting minutes in accordance with applicable laws and policies. In an effort to more expeditiously make meeting minutes available to the general public, City employees who serve as liaisons for City boards or committees should use all efforts and coordinate with the City Clerk’s office in order to publish draft meeting minutes online within two weeks of the board or committee meeting. These will be draft meeting minutes subject to modifications and approval by the relevant board or committee.”

The Commission voted to require that draft minutes be posted within 30 days and videos of meetings, which are recorded, be posted within 20 days.

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

G-19: A Resolution of the City Commission directing staff to implement a process to allow the public to provide written input on projects during an established comment period prior to Development Review Committee and Board of Architects meetings. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)

“Pursuant to Section 14-108 of the Zoning Code, certain development projects must be reviewed by the Development Review Committee (“DRC”), a single administrative staff committee at which applicants can be provided input, advice, and comments regarding all applicable provisions and regulations applicable to the development applications, projects, or similar reviews before the projects are presented to the City Commission and/or the various development review boards of the City. While DRC meetings are open to the public, no decision is made at the meeting and public comment is not intended to be solicited. As set forth in Sec. 14-103 of the Zoning Code, the Board of Architects (“BOA”) “is a design administrative review board created to ensure that the City’s architecture meets the design review standards of the Zoning Code, is consistent with the City’s regulations and to preserve the traditional aesthetic character of the community.” The proposed resolution would direct staff to implement a process so the public can provide its written input, via a dedicated email address and by a cut-off of close-of-business the day prior to the meeting, on proposed projects reviewed by the DRC and those projects reviewed by the BOA that required review by DRC. Such written public input would be made available to the public on the website for the respective board and would be provided to the board members.”

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

G-20: A Resolution of the City Commission directing the City Clerk and City Manager to set all regularly scheduled City Commission Meetings to begin at 1:00 P.M., when the City will be holding more than one Regular City Commission Meeting that month, directing that certain agenda items be heard no earlier than 4:00 P.M., and outlining additional procedures for public comment. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez) (ITEMS G-21, G-22, G-23 & G-24 ARE RELATED)

“The City of Coral Gables has historically held its regular City Commission meetings on Tuesdays, at approximately 9:00 A.M. The City has an established open public comment section at the beginning of each meeting as well as the public comments that occurs with particular agenda items. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the City Commission had established an avenue by which the public may comment virtually or by email. However, even with those avenues available many members of the public who may wish to speak on certain agenda items may be unable to attend the City Commission meetings in person or virtually as they are held during regular working hours. This Resolution directs the City Manager and City clerk that every regular City Commission meeting should begin at 1:00 P.M. However, in months where the City has only one scheduled regular City Commission meeting, that meeting shall begin at 9:00 A.M. Regardless of the meeting start time certain items should be heard no earlier than 4:00 P.M. at least once before final action of the City Commission. Those items include ordinances amending the City’s Zoning Code, Amendments to the City’s Comprehensive Plan or Land Use Map, Mixed-Use projects requiring City Commission approval and Planned Area Development applications. In addition, any other items as directed by a majority of the City Commission may be heard no earlier than 4:00 P.M. For example, should this resolution have been in place previously, items like the entire Zoning Code update, the Miracle Mile Zoning Code update, the Gables Station mixed-use site plan, the ordinance approving the Mediterranean Village/Plaza Coral Gables PAD, and the Paseo de la Riviera PAD ordinance would have been set to be heard no earlier than 4:00 P.M. at least once before final action of the Commission. The City Commission would endeavor to end the meetings by 7 P.M. and can go no later than 9:00 P.M. without a vote of the City Commission.”

G-21: A Resolution of the City Commission directing the City Clerk and City Manager to set certain times, of great public importance, to be heard no earlier than 5:00P.M.. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson) (Sponsored by Mayor Lago) (ITEMS G-21, G-22, G-23 & G-24 ARE RELATED)

“The City Commission wishes to adopt objective guidelines for which items before the City Commission should be heard no earlier than 5:00 P.M. at least once before final action of this Commission. Adoption of these guidelines confers no additional jurisdiction to the City Commission and does not add additional requirements for items that do not regularly come before the City Commission. If adopted the following items before the City Commission would be heard no earlier than 5:00 P.M. at least once prior to final action: 1) Ordinances amending the City Code deemed a matter of great public importance by a majority vote of the City Commission during first reading of the proposed Ordinance; 2) Ordinances amending the City’s Zoning Code; 3) Amendments to the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Map; 4) Legislation changing the land use or zoning of a particular parcel; 5) Any item related to the Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs); 6) Any item where an applicant is utilizing the Mediterranean Bonus structure outlined in the City’s Zoning Code; 7) Mixed-use projects requiring City Commission approval, Planned Area Development (PAD)
applications, or any project requiring Conditional Use approval, for projects located in the following areas of the City:
a. The Central Business District (CBD); b. The Crafts Section; c. The Biltmore Section; d. Projects fronting U.S. 1, LeJeune Road, Douglas Road, Ponce DeLeon Boulevard, Salzedo Street, Galiano Street, Bird Road, Red Road, or S.W. 8th Street; e. Projects within 1,000 feet of a historically designated property or a property with a pending application for designation review by City staff or the Historic Preservation Board; 8) Mixed-use projects requiring City Commission approval, PAD applications, or any project requiring Conditional Use approval, for projects whose proposed plans require the removal of specimen trees as defined in the City Code; 9) Amendments to developments, site plans, or PADs previously approved by the City Commission that seek variances, shared parking, decreased set-backs, step-backs or parking, or increased density, intensity or height; 10) Amendments to developments, site plans, or PADs previously approved by the City Commission that decrease or alter conditions of approval, decrease impact fees, decrease public benefits, or decrease financial or in-kind contributions; 11) Appeals of actions of the Historic Preservation Board; 12) Increases to City fees where not already required by Florida State Statutes.”

G-22: A Resolution of the City Commission directing the City Clerk and City Manager to set alternating regularly scheduled City Commission Meetings to begin at 4:00p.m. (ITEMS G-21, G-22, G-23 & G-24 ARE RELATED)

“This resolution directs the City Clerk and City Manager to schedule every other regular City Commission meeting to begin no earlier than 4:00 P.M. and continue to schedule the alternating meetings to begin at 9:00 A.M. All efforts should be made to schedule presentations, protocol items, and other individual appearances for the 9:00 A.M. meetings.”

G-23: A Resolution of the City Commission directing that certain City Commission agenda items be heard no earlier than 5:00p.m. (ITEMS G-21, G-22, G-23 & G-24 ARE RELATED)

“This resolution directs the City Manager and City Clerk to set particular items to be heard no earlier than 5:00 P.M. regardless of the start time of the regularly scheduled City Commission meeting. Those items include: 1) Planning and Zoning Items as listed below; a. Ordinances amending the City’s Zoning Code; b. Amendments to the City’s Comprehensive Plan or Land Use Map; c. Mixed-Use projects requiring City Commission approval, Planned Area Development (PAD) applications, any project requiring Conditional Use Approval, Amendments to developments, site plans, or PAD’s previously approved by the City Commission that require Commission approval; 2) Procurement Awards for contracted goods and services over $5 million.”

The Commission asked staff to work on a streamlined list of items which should be heard after 5:00PM and bring this proposal back to the Commission at the September 13th meeting. That meeting will begin at 9:00AM.

G-24: A Resolution of the City Commission directing the City Manager to explore the purchase of the property located at 142 SW 37 Avenue (Folio No. 03-4105-050-0200) by the City. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)

“The property located at 142 SW 37 Avenue is on a corner bordering the City of Miami and serves as a focal point as individuals enter the City of Coral Gables. Due to its size and location, the property could be of value, as a park or similar amenity, to City residents and visitors. Therefore, City Commission wishes to explore the potential purchase of the property, including obtaining two real estate appraisals.”

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

G-25: A Resolution of the City Commission co-designating that portion of Grand Avenue from Lincoln Road to Jefferson Street “Cheryl E. Johnson Way”. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson) (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez) (TIME CERTAIN 2:00PM)

“Cheryl E. Johnson, Ed.D was born January 28, 1962, in Sarasota, Florida and was an integral part of the educational community in Miami-Dade County and the City of Coral Gables. During her 11 years as an elementary school teacher, Dr. Johnson was twice recognized as a teacher of the year and would go on to serve as an Assistant Principal at Buena Vista Elementary School, Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School, and Sunset Elementary School. Dr. Johnson also served as the beloved principal of G.W. Carver Elementary School for 14 years before her retirement in 2017. During her tenure as principal of G.W. Carver Elementary School, Dr. Johnson supported many initiatives in partnership with the City of Coral Gables, including the Bigs in Blue Program, Coral Gables History Tours, school supply drives, and school beautification events. In 2013, Dr. Johnson was the Miami-Dade County Parent Teacher Association Principal of the Year runner-up, and in 2017, Dr. Johnson received the YMCA Principal Recognition Award. After a lifetime dedicated to the development of young people and the betterment of those around her, Dr. Johnson passed away on September 30, 2020. On July 8, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners of Miami Dade County unanimously passed Resolution R-624-21, codesignating that portion of Grand Avenue from Lincoln Drive to Jefferson Street as “Cheryl E. Johnson Way” and urging the City of Coral Gables to join in the codesignation. The resolution to honor Dr. Johnson came at the request of her colleagues from G.W. Carver Elementary School and was sponsored by Miami-Dade County Commissioner Raquel Regalado. G.W. Carver Elementary, where Dr. Johnson spent so many years as a dedicated principal, is located on Grand Avenue. Grand Avenue is a County-maintained road located in the City of Coral Gables. The codesignation of Grand Avenue will not require the changing of any addresses, licenses, or official documents and shall only result in the installation of street signage by Miami-Dade County. The codesignation of Grand Avenue is not contingent upon the City of Coral Gables taking action.”

Boards/Committees Items

H-1: A Resolution of the City Commission approving Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Cultural Grant recipients and setting in place a funding mechanism contingent on the City ’s approved budget. (Unanimously recommended by the Cultural Development Board approval/denial vote: 7 to 0). (TIME CERTAIN 12:00PM)

See related article.

“One of the responsibilities of the City’s Cultural Development Board is to recommend to the City Commission the annual allocation of cultural grant funding. On June 2, 2021, the Cultural Development Board reviewed and scored 34 applications for the allocation of City of Coral Gables Cultural Grants funding. One (1) application was required by the Coral Gables Museum, funded separately. Proposed funding of 33 applicants and their scores (including the Coral Gables Museum) are shown on Exhibit A attached to the proposed Resolution.”

Following a lengthy discussion, the Commission voted unanimously to approve the addition of $1,500 in funding for Carver PTSA and reducing the rest of the projects prorated funding. The Mayor asked for there to be a review of the process to ensure we don’t have the money for sidewalks or parks or other services because we don’t have the money. Commissioner Menendez had offered to give the Carver PTSA the money from his office budget, in the end the Commission’s action meant it was unnecessary.

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

H-2: A Resolution of the City Commission approving artists for public art proposal submittals associated with the new public Parking Garage 7, Minorca Garage. (Unanimously recommended by the Cultural Development Board approval/denial vote: 5 to 0).

“A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was announced nationally inviting artists to submit qualifications and interest in developing a public art design proposal for the new public Parking Garage 7. Artists were advised that artwork is sought that is light-based and functions as a beacon to identify the public safety building location, welcoming people to the site as a place of safety, help, and refuge. The Arts Advisory Panel met and reviewed seventy-nine (79) applications from artists who responded to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The Panel, along with department staff, Police Chief Hudak, Fire Chief de la Rosa, and parking director Kevin Kinney interviewed seven (7) artists and made a motion to invite four (4) artists to submit proposals: Grimanesa Amoros, Brookhart Jonquil, Monika Bravo, and Ivan Toth Depena. The Cultural Development Board met and reviewed the artist recommendations of the Arts Advisory Panel, reviewed the artist list of respondents to the Request for Qualification (RFQ) and viewed their submissions. After thorough discussion, the Board voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Arts Advisory Panel. Funds for the public art proposal process are being proposed through use of the art acquisition fund.”

The Commission asked for more time to review the list of artists and to meet with staff to discuss them, as this is a $400,000 project.

H-3: A Resolution appointing BOB MARTINEZ (Nominated by the Commission-As-A-Whole) for a one (1) year term beginning August 24, 2021, through August 31, 2022 to serve as a member of the Coral Gables Trial Board.

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

City Manager Items

I-1: A Resolution of the City Commission amending the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 amended annual budget to recognize as revenue 50% of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Award, proceeds from the expected sale of the Doctors’ Hospital and the Greco Street parking lots, and to appropriate such funds to put toward the Minorca Garage Construction Project, the Public Safety Building Construction Project, the future purchase of land, and the enhancement of parks; and providing an effective date.

“Sale of Doctors’ Hospital Lot: The sale of the Doctors Hospital parking lot is expected to bring in proceeds of $3,500,000 of which resolution 2020-199 dictates 50% ($1,750,000) be allocated to the construction of the Public Safety Building, 25% ($875,000) be allocated to the park land purchase, and 25% ($875,000) be allocated to the park enhancements. Staff will allocate the proceeds in compliance with the resolution requirements.

Sale of Greco Street Lot: The sale of the Greco Street parking lot is expected to bring in proceeds of $3,525,000 which staff recommends putting toward the Minorca Garage construction.

Coral Gables Mobility Impact Fees: Staff has identified impact fee collections for Mobility improvements that are available for appropriation in the amount of $50,687 and is recommending that these funds be applied to the Minorca Garage construction project. An amendment to the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 amended budget is required to recognize the aforementioned items as revenue and appropriate such funds to put toward the cost of the specified capital projects.”

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

Following a public comment from resident, Maria Cruz, who questioned the need for additional funding for Garage 7 as she explains it had been appropriated for when the bonds were secured for the Public Safety Building, the Commission took a vote to request that staff present the Commission with a written explanation of the funding prior to the September 13th Commission meeting.

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

I-2: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Chief Procurement Officer to award the Mobility HUB Preconstruction & Construction CRM Services contract RFQ 2021-010 to The Weitz Company, LLC., the highest ranked responsive-responsible proposer, pursuant to Section 2-763 of the Procurement Code entitled. “Contract Award”

“The purpose of this RFQ is to select a qualified Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) firm for the successful completion of the State-Of-The-Art Mobility Hub Project, (the “Project”) who will provide preconstruction services during the design phase and subsequently an agreement to serve as the general contractor during the construction of the Project. The Mobility Hub will be a mixed-use building that will host multiple transportation and mobility activities for people visiting, living, and working in Coral Gables. The ground level of the Mobility Hub will most likely host the mobility related program components, including an internal drive-thru lane for ride sharing services to pick-up and drop-off users and have accessibility to other mobility uses at grade, as well as retail/flex-use space, bicycle storage, dockless vehicle parking, bike share docking stations, a wi-fi lounge, e-Commerce Logistics for drone package deliveries and pop-up coffee shops. Initially, the first supported level will be reserved for Electric Vehicles (EV), with charging stations on all spaces. The intermediate levels between the ground level and the rooftop will serve as self-parking levels when the building is opened. These levels have been designed to accommodate self-driving vehicles in the future since the garage consists of long span construction. The top level of the mixed-use building will be an active rooftop with open air uses for the public: potentially including landscaped areas, venue space, café/restaurant(s), lounging areas and/or areas to practice sports. On April 2, 2021, the Procurement Division of Finance formally advertised, issued, and distributed Mobility HUB Pre-Construction & Construction CMR Services, RFQ 2021-010. Seventeen (17) prospective proposers downloaded the RFQ package from Public Purchase, the City’s web-based e-Procurement service. On May 10, 2021, seven (7) firms submitted proposals in response to the RFQ: Florida Lemark Corporation, Kaufman Lynn Construction, Inc., KCV Constructors, Inc., Link Construction Group, Inc., NV2A Group, LLC., PCL Construction Services, Inc., and The Weitz Company, LLC. A responsiveness review determined that PCL Construction Services, Inc. would be deemed non-responsive and would receive no further consideration for award: (proposer failed to provide final statements prior to the opening of the RFQ). On June 9, 2021, the Evaluation Committee convened to evaluate the six (6) responsive and responsible proposals and ranked the firms in the following order of preference: The Weitz Company, LLC., (top-ranked), Kaufman Lynn Construction, Inc., (second ranked), KCV Constructors, Inc., (third ranked), NV2A Group, LLC., (fourth ranked), Florida Lemark Corporation, (fifth ranked), and Link Construction Group, Inc. (sixth ranked). The Evaluation Committee determined that the top three ranked firms, The Weitz Company, LLC.,(top-ranked) Kaufman Lynn Construction, Inc., (second ranked) and KCV Constructors, Inc. (third ranked) would continue to Oral Presentations. On June 17, 2021, the Evaluation Committee convened to hear Oral Presentations from the top three ranked firms. After listening to the Oral Presentations, the Evaluation Committee determined that The Weitz Company, LLC., was the highest ranked responsive-responsible proposer. The Public Works Director, upon consultation with the Chief Procurement Officer, concurs with the recommendation of the Evaluation/Selection Committee to award and negotiate a Pre-Construction Services Agreement with The Weitz Company, LLC., the top-ranked proposer, pursuant to Section 2-763 of the Procurement Code.”

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

I-3: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the execution of Amendment No. 1. to the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Agreement for financial assistance, entered under FDEM Project No. 4337-330-R, and approved under Resolution 2020-02, for the purpose of extending the term of the agreement for Phase 1 from January 31, 2021 to January 31, 2022.

“Funds issued under this Phase 1 agreement were requested for the design of the City 2 Basin Sanitary Sewer Improvement project proposed in the area of Alcazar Avenue between Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Galiano Street and Galiano Street between Alhambra Plaza and Majorca Avenue. The scope for Phase 1 includes surveying, engineering, design, plans preparation, permitting, and bidding for the sewer collection system improvements. The Phase 1 design is substantially complete and is currently under the permitting process. Due to unforeseen delays, this extension to the agreement was requested and granted from January 31, 2021, to January 31, 2022. FDEM is requesting execution of Amendment No. 1 in acceptance of the January 31, 2022 extension date. The approved cost for Phase 1 is $60,000 of which 75% will come from the State and the City will match with the remaining 25%. Once Phase 1 is completed and approved by the FDEM, the City would then enter into a separate agreement for Phase 2 grant funding with the FDEM, which includes construction of the improvements designed as part of Phase 1 estimated at $1,490,000 (75% State / 25% City).”

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

I-4: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Chief Procurement Officer to award the Parking Garage 7 Construction Project to Thornton Construction Company, Inc., the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, pursuant to Section 2-763 of the Procurement Code entitled “Contract Award” and Invitation for Bids (IFB) 2021-007.

“The purpose of this IFB is to contract with a qualified and experienced bidder for the construction of Parking Garage 7, located at 240 Minorca Ave. On May 25, 2021, the Procurement Division of Finance formally advertised, issued, and distributed IFB 2021-007. Forty-two (42) prospective bidders downloaded the IFB package from Public Purchase, the
City’s web-based e-Procurement service. On June 2, 2021, a non-mandatory pre-bid conference was held with thirteen (13) prospective bidders in attendance of the forty-two (42) prospective bidders who downloaded the IFB package from Public Purchase, the City’s web-based e-Procurement service. On July 12, 2021, seven (7) firms submitted bids in response to the IFB: Burke Construction Group, Inc., Florida Lemark Corporation, KVC Constructors, Inc., Magnum Construction Company, LLC., OHL Building, Inc., Thornton Construction Company, Inc., and Wharton Smith, Inc. The responses were reviewed by the Procurement Division in order to determine responsiveness to the requirements of the IFB and to identify the lowest responsive responsible bidder. The procurement Division finalized its due diligence process and confirmed that Thornton Construction Company, Inc., is both responsive to the requirements of the IFB and responsible bidder. The Public Works Department concurs with the Chief Procurement Officer’s recommendation to award the Parking Garage 7 Construction Project to Thornton Construction Company, Inc., in the amount of $18,323.945.00 plus a contingency amount of $1,832,394.50 for a total of $20,156,339.50. It should be noted that the contingency amount will not be part of the original purchase order. Rather it is a set aside of funds in the project meant to cover unanticipated change orders that might be deemed necessary to properly complete the project.”

This item became quite lengthy, as the representative of one of the losing bidders explained that the winning bidder did not present all required documents and their bid should have been invalidated. This is yet another example of the glaring issues Gables Insider has reported on the procurement process in the City. The City Attorney stated that the window to protest had closed and therefore the concerns of the bidder were not valid at this time. However, the question posed by the bidder was not to protest, rather question the legality of the process. The City’s Procurement Officer, Celeste Walker, defended her actions and stated that the City reserves its right to waive requirements. The Commission seemed concerned with the allegations raised and Walker did not deny the fact that the required document had not been submitted.

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

I-5: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Chief Procurement Officer to award the contract for the Citywide Right of Way Improvements Project to JVA Engineering Contractor Inc.(Primary) and GPE Engineering & General Contractor Corp.,(Secondary) the lowest responsive-responsible bidders pursuant to Invitation for Bids (IFB) 2021-004 and Section 2-763 of the Procurement Code entitled “Contract Award”.

“The purpose of this Invitation for Bids is to contract with qualified and experienced contractors to provide Right of Way Improvements within the City on an as needed basis. The contract is structured to award a primary and secondary contractor for General Right of Way & Drainage Improvements that provides adequate coverage throughout the City. On April 13, 2021, the Procurement Division of Finance formally advertised, issued and distributed the IFB 2021-004 Citywide Right of Way Improvement Project for two separate groups. Group A General Right of Way Improvements and Group B Drainage Improvements. On April 20, 2021, a non-mandatory pre-bid conference was held and forty-four (44) prospective bidders downloaded the IFB package from Public Purchase, the City’s web-based e-Procurement service. On May 19, 2021, a total of eight (8) responses to the IFB was received by: Florida Construction & Engineering Inc., Florida Engineering and Development Corp. GPE Engineering & General Contractor Corp., JVA Engineering Contractor Inc., Metro Express Inc., Solution Construction, Inc., Superior Landscaping & Lawn Services Inc., and The Stout Group, LLC. The responses were reviewed by the Procurement Division to determine responsiveness to the requirements of the IFB. Once this step was completed, Public Works conducted an evaluation of the responses. During the review of Group B, the department determined that it would not be in the best interest of the City to move forward with the award of this group due to the excessive pricing. The Procurement Division finalized its due Diligence process and confirmed that Group A- General Right of Way Improvements JVA Engineering Contractor Inc, (primary) and GPE Engineering & General Contractor Corp.,(secondary),the lowest responsive-responsible bidders to the requirements of the IFB for
Group A. The Public Works Department concurs with the Chief Procurement Officer’s recommendation to award the Citywide Right of Way Improvement Project to Group A JVA Engineering Contractor Inc, GPE Engineering & General Contractor Corp., in an estimated annual amount of $1,200,000.00 not to exceed the available budget.”

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

I-6: A Resolution of the City Commission appointing individuals to the Wheel of Special Magistrates for certain Quasi-Judicial Hearings pursuant to Section 101-135 of the City Code.

“The City Manager has reappointed the following individuals as special magistrates and this Resolution will ratify the City Manager’s appointment of incumbents Ian Martinez, Oliver Langstadt, Michael Hacker, Myra Perez Damera, and Stuart Grossman as special magistrates pursuant to Section 101-135 of the City Code, for the two-year term which
began July 1, 2021.”

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

I-7: A Resolution of the City Commission returning previously allocated funds to the Art Acquisition Fund.

“In Resolution 2021-197 the City Commission approved partial funding for the Illuminate Coral Gables 2022 event and directed that $200,000 from the Art Acquisition Fund be used for that purpose. It is the City’s understanding that Illuminate Coral Gables 2022 will no longer be going forward, as such, in order to ensure that those funds are available to be used for other authorized purposes, the City Commission directs that the funds previously allocated for Illuminate Coral Gables 2022 be returned to the Art Acquisition Fund for use at a later date.”

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

I-8: A Resolution of the City Commission approving an Interlocal Agreement by and between the Miami-Dade County Clerk of the Courts and the City of Coral Gables.

“In 2006 the City executed an interlocal agreement with the Miami-Dade County Clerk of the Courts. Since that time, the City has used a centralized digital parking citation system operated and managed by the Miami-Dade Clerk’s Office for use by all municipalities within the county. The current system operates on a 3G platform that will no longer be supported by the telecommunications companies serving the county. The Miami-Dade Clerk’s Office is investing in a new digital parking citation system that operates with 5G technology and is requesting that participating jurisdictions provide some financial support for this capital investment. The options would be to issue handwritten citations for parking violations. Handwritten citations are a very inefficient means of parking enforcement. Thus, Staff recommends that the City execute the proposed interlocal agreement and switch to the 5G system being acquired by the Miami-Dade Clerk’s Office.”

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

I-9: Discussion regarding the purchase and deployment of larger recycling bins with lids.

The Commission asked staff to come back during the September 13th meeting with a presentation on costs of new recycle bins with lids. Staff showed the bins to the Commission.

I-10: Discussion regarding cardboard educational campaign and enforcement.

Director of Communications Martha Pantin presented the City’s educational campaign on cardboard box recycling, which will feature University of Miami mascot, Sebastian the Ibis.

City Attorney Items

J-1: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the City Attorney to take legal action In Re: Forfeiture of $65,000 in U.S. Currency, 1 Louis Vuitton black shoulder bag, bank straps, Halls cough drops, a key, and 200 Columbian pesos.

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

City Clerk Items

K-1: A Resolution of the City Commission adopting an updated Public Records and Information Request Policy. (RELATED TO ITEM F-5).

“On September 1st, the City will be transitioning to a new public records request portal and as part of that transition the City Clerk and City Attorney’s offices have worked to update the current policy and coordinate all relevant code provisions, policies, and procedures.”

At the request of the Mayor, provisions that had been added to exclude certain members of the media from receiving newsworthy public records were removed prior to the Commission meeting.

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

Pocket Item

Resolution 2019-55Commissioner Menendez Pocket Item : Amends the provision for use of the office funds by each Commissioner to allow for donations to a public school in Coral Gables or charitable donations in Coral Gables.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded
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3 thoughts on “Commission Meeting Recap (8/24/2021)

  1. Sorry, I am back! Forgot about art work, we have very talented local artists, why go thousands of miles to procure works of arts when we can keep it local and buy American first? It would also help the local economy and probably the city will save $$$$$ as well.

  2. I am happy to see a “working commission” on behalf of the residents of our City Beautiful.
    The Mediterranean “Bonus” should be revised/amended. I said it before, it is simple, Coral Gables was design by George Merrick as a Mediterranean city, we should not forget it, thus the names of our streets, avenues & the entrance gates to our city. You want to built in Coral Gables, you must built Mediterranean or you can go to another city. Coral Gables is Prime Real Estate, someone else will come to built.

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