Sebastian council considering changes to 3 downtown committees

SEBASTIAN – Sebastian’s city leaders are considering making some changes to possibly three of its downtown- and waterfront-related committees.

The groups up for discussion include the temporary Working Waterfront Committee, the Facade, Signage and Landscaping Committee, and the Community Redevelopment Agency. The Community Redevelopment Agency currently consists of the five Sebastian City Council members. The council, however, has mentioned a potential interest for creating an advisory committee to report to the CRA.

The council briefly discussed the possibilities at last week’s council meeting but decided to hold off on a full discussion until a later meeting.

Mayor Jim Hill asked that the agenda item pertaining to the Community Redevelopment Agency’s makeup be pulled for a later date.

“It needs more work,” he said.

Vice Mayor Don Wright mentioned that there are currently the three committees operating in the city’s waterfront district and posed the question whether there might be some ability to consolidate.

Wright explained that the Working Waterfront Committee – of which three members sat in the audience – is only temporary and had been tasked with reviewing the Fisherman’s Landing Sebastian lease and the Archie Smith Fish House property – but not much else.

He said the committee’s scope could be broadened to look at the city’s docks and piers, the boat ramps and other such issues.

“A lot could be accomplished,” Wright added.

Councilman Richard Gillmor, who agreed that the council should examine the committees, questioned the effectiveness one large committee would have if the three groups were merged.

“I think it’s great that people are willing to invest their time” in the city, Gillmor said, though he added that a “one-size-fits-all” approach might not work.

Council members agreed that just because one committee member is interested in facade, signage and landscaping issues does not mean that same member would be interested in reviewing leases and contracts for the working waterfront project.

Councilman Eugene Wolff said that the Working Waterfront Committee’s temporary status “begs for review” but he does not see a connection between that group and the FSL Committee.

“It’s worth having the discussion,” Mayor Hill said.

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