On May 21 we held a 3:00 Work Session meeting jointly along with the Charter Ad Hoc Review Committee so that they could present their recommendations for updating our City Charter. A city's "Charter" is its constitution.
Our Charter Review Committee is made up of seven members, each one appointed by the seven City Council members. The group was chaired by Steve Guch and vice-chaired by Paula Tucker. The other members are Doug Bryant (my appointee), Glenna Burch, Cathy Hoechst, Kate Ondrasik and Mark Slaby. This group has been working along with our city attorney over the past several months to comb through the City Charter and ultimately to recommend changes which if approved by City Council will be voted upon by Mount Dora residents.
The Charter Review Committee did an admirable job and reached near unanimous consensus on several proposed changes ranging from some minor "clean-up" or clarification items to some substantive changes. We owe these volunteers a debt of gratitude for their time and effort.
City Council members were impressed with the Charter Review Committee's work and will soon be considering ordinances to adopt those proposals and get them on the ballot, some this November and some next fall. I will give you more details in the next few weeks as the process continues.
The second half of the meeting double feature was the 5:30 Regular Meeting and wrapped up shortly after 10:00. I've picked out a few of the most important items to share with you. You already know that I'm only one of seven council members and this report is just from me as I don't represent City Council in any capacity. I speak for myself here.
We passed a Resolution to authorize negotiations to eventually select an architectural firm to design our three new fire stations. Three firms are on our short list. We also passed a Resolution to select a construction management company to serve as our representative during the construction projects. Four companies are under consideration.
Related to these two items we also passed a Resolution to purchase 8.15 acres of property adjoining our water well field on Limit Ave. The purchase is $645,000. The parcels are large enough to accommodate both a new fire station and our public works facility. I'm excited.
The W. T. Bland Library will once again host a summer lunch program this year for kids. They averaged serving 35 lunches per day last year and anticipate higher participation this summer. By the way our library will be providing 120 summer learning programs this year. Amazing!
In my last report to you I mentioned that we were considering amending an existing Ordinance to change the "Qualifying Period" for City Council Candidates. Qualifying will now be between noon on the Monday of the second full week in August and noon on Friday of that week. This makes for a shorter campaign window but still provides for 80+ days for candidates to conduct their campaigns.
Our progress always seems to me to be in fits and starts (one of my grandmother's favorite phrases) meaning two steps forward then one step backward but things are moving ahead which will make our town even better, safer and more special. Thanks for allowing me to be a small part of this process!
Hollow Horn Bear was a Lakota Sioux who lived between 1850-1913. He once said; "Someday the earth will weep, she will beg for her life, she will cry with tears of blood. You will make a choice, if you will help her or let her die, and when she dies you too will die." Let's take his words to heart before it's too late.
By Dr. Marc Crail District 4 City Council Member
Sign up for the free Mount Dora Buzz' monthly updates here.For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, visit the area's websiteand download the area's free mobile app.