SEBASTIAN — While the Sebastian City Council seems to be happy with work of its manager, attorney and clerk, more needs to be done, members said at their meeting last week.
City council members asked that City Manager Al Minner continue working on crafting a balanced budget and keeping the city on course regarding numerous projects currently underway. They also asked City Attorney Robert Ginsburg to keep the council updated with regards to lawsuits in which the city is involved.
As for City Clerk Sally Maio, “everything’s hunky dory,” Mayor Richard Gillmor said.
The praise came during a goal-setting session – one of two each year the council holds.
“It’s important that we do it,” Councilman Don Wright said of establishing goals and objectives. However, he said he disagrees with the city’s current policy of hold personnel evaluations in public, calling it an “evaluation-slash-humiliation” process.
Other council members agreed that they would rather hold evaluations in private. Such evaluations are a matter of public record and residents could request copies of those evaluations to review for themselves.
“I find that whole process humiliating,” Councilwoman Andrea Coy said. “It’s been a bee in my bonnet for years.”
Councilman Eugene Wolff disagreed with his fellow council members, telling them that airing out grievances between the council and staff in public might make for a healthier atmosphere.
He said that he does not believe holding the evaluations in public would be a matter of humiliation.
“I think the public looks for transparency,” Wolff said, reminding the council that the evaluations are public record. “Our obligation is bringing government to the people,” later adding, “It’s how everything is handled.”
As for setting goals and objectives for the city, City Manager Al Minner presented a list of goals he had in mind pertaining to roads and drainage, the city’s redevelopment area, recreation, economic development, and budget, finance and personnel.
Coy told Minner one goal she would like for him to add to his list is for him to balance the budget without raising taxes, without cutting services, and without cutting personnel.
“You better give him a bigger plate,” Mayor Gillmor quipped as Coy said that while she wants her goal to happen, she understands the financial reality the city is in.
Minner recommended to the council that they plan future workshops or discussions to address strategic long term planning for such ongoing goals as stormwater, roads, and recreation.
“Everything comes down to budget,” Minner said, and explained that half the city’s budget goes to the Sebastian Police Department.
Councilman Wright recommended during the discussion that the council determine what level of service it wants to provide to the city’s residents, figure out how much that level would cost. Doing so would help the council and staff prioritize needs and funds during the budget process.
Proposed goals and objectives as presented by City Manager Al Minner:
Continuation of 1/4 Round Swale
Continuation of Ditch/Swale Mowing Program
Barber Street Renovation Project
Powerline Round Extension
Refinance of 1998 – Street Improvement Bond
Start Potomac Crossing
Finish George Street Ditch
CR 512 Beautification
Stan Mayfield Working Waterfront Grant
CavCorp/US 1 Beautification
Continuation of Parks Maintenance
Splash Pad Improvements
Airport Park Construction
Consider – Skate Park Office Improvement
Tax Abatement Program Advertisement (Web site)
Tax Abatement Program Application Establishment
Economic Development Element – Comprehensive Plan
Establishment of Economic Development Office
Airport Drive East – Industrial Opportunities
Review Existing Leaseholds at Airport
Community Business Plan
More Active Budget Advisory Committee
1/4 Financial Reporting Modifications
FY 2011 Preparation
PEA Collective Bargaining
PBA Collective Bargaining
Finish Collier Creek
EAR Report – Growth Management
Green Energy – AP
Airport Grants – Building Funds
Airport Runway Improvements – Close Out
Golf Course – Cart RFP
Golf Course – Range Improvements
Continuation – General Police Department Services
Continuation – MIS Programming
Continuation – General Building Department Services
Continuation – General Growth Management Services
Various Council Project Considerations
Respond and Manage Citizen Inquiries