Delray Beach –

May 9, 2019: Senator Berman gave a legislative post-session update, including environmental legislation that passed, texting becoming a primary offense, a ban on plastic straw prohibition (with possible grandfathering). Also discussed was the importance of the census, including mention that Delray has been working on the census for 3 months.

 

May 21, 2019: A Delray Beach Cluster Strategies Study Discussion was presented, including the study’s recommendations to advance strategies to grow Delray’s leading industries, provide greater economic opportunities and increase the Delray’s nonresidential tax base.

 

June 4, 2019: Items covered included: granting of a temporary-use parking lot permit,  Nominations to the Education Board, Green Implementation Advancement Board, and Chair of the Downtown Development Authority Board.  June 4, 2019: Meeting included granting of a temporary-use parking lot permit and nominations to the Education Board, the Green Implementation Advancement Board, and the Chair of the Downtown Development Authority Board.

 

June 18, 2019: In a major move, Delray will spend increased tax revenues on school security, the tennis tournament contract, the addition of four firefighters.

 

Other important issues were discussed-

 

May 9, 2019

  • Legislative Post Session Update – The Florida State legislative post-session update with State Senator Lori Berman included:
    • Environmental legislation:
      • Increased budget for schools, mental health, and environmental concerns. Of particular note, the State will be making grant money available for wastewater treatment upgrades
      • Local governments must provide additional benefits for cancer among firefighters
      • Texting while driving will become a primary offense. If in school or construction area cannot hold a phone
      • Local governments may not ban plastic straws but some municipal bans may be grandfathered
      • Local governments may not ban front-yard vegetable gardens
      • City and county governments must post budgets on their websites within certain timeframes and will be subject to new reporting requirements
    • Census:
      • The Mayor is “on it”
      • Delray has been working on it for the last three months
      • Michael Coleman (Director of Neighborhood and Community Services) has a group working on it. However, unclear where this stands because he has since resigned due to  grant money probe (see June 18, 2019, meeting notes below)
      • Haitian Day Festival – had a table re: Census jobs and importance of responding to Census

 

May 21, 2019

  • Delray Beach Cluster Strategies Study Discussion: Delray Beach Office of Economic Development and Kevin Greiner of the Florida International University Metropolitan Center reviewed and discussed the study’s recommendations in order to advance strategies designed to grow Delray Beach leading industries, provide greater economic opportunities for all and to increase the City’s nonresidential tax base. Some of these recommendations included:
    • Sustaining Growth in Concert with the Delray Brand
    • Expand the vision for the City’s hospitality sector
    • Complete a detailed local Census of non-employer establishments
    • Better network the City’s small business community
    • Develop incentives and programs that aggressively reward innovation
    • Pool resources to acquire healthcare benefits for small businesses
    • Invest in an ultra-high-speed internet backbone
    • Expand the City’s supply of alternative workspace
    • Affordable housing: prepare now
    • Implement active workshifting strategies
    • Leverage hospital and medical cluster spending to benefit local businesses and workers
    • Leverage hospital and  medical cluster hiring to benefit local businesses and workers
    • Coordinate bold strategies to improve the local public schools
    • Double-sown on the SeT (an area between Interstate 95 and Swinton Avenue)
    • Benchmark performance over time

 

June 4, 2019

  • The meeting was very brief.  Items covered included:
    •  Granting of a temporary-use parking lot permit
    •  Nominations to the Education Board, the Green Implementation Advancement Board, and the Chair of the Downtown Development Authority Board.

 

June 18, 2019

  • The Commission approved a mid-year budget amendment to spend increased tax revenues on school security, the tennis tournament contract, and the addition of four firefighters.  The Commission also directed the City Manager to explore funding sources for a disparity study.
  • Representative Mike Caruso spoke about the accomplishments of the legislative session, highlighting increased spending on education and the environment, as well as his own role in sponsoring a bill to counteract anti-Semitism.
  • Several members of the public spoke in support of two city government officials, Michael Coleman and Jamael Stewart, recently resigned as a result of grant money probe.  Mayor Petrolia also expressed her regret at losing these individuals while the City Manager remarked that the City must follow all employment rules and regulations and that he was unable to comment further due to ongoing litigation.