Special City Council Meeting - March 12, 2020 at 5:00 PM

  1. Minutes

City Council

Special Meeting

 March 12, 2020


The Titusville City Council met in special session on Thursday, March 12, 2020 in the Council Chamber of City Hall, 555 South Washington Avenue, Titusville, Florida. The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m. Those present included Mayor Walt Johnson, Vice-Mayor Dan Diesel, and City Council Members Robert Jordan, JoLynn Nelson, and Sarah Stoeckel. Council Member JoLynn Nelson was absent (correction made by Member Nelson at the April 28, 2020 meeting at 6:30 p.m.). Also present were City Manager Richard Broome, City Manager Scott Larese, and the City’s Executive Leadership Team and/or designees. Assistant City Clerk Jolynn Donhoff completed the minutes of the meeting. 


Mayor Johnson led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. 

Ms. Kristen Bakke, facilitator of the special City Council meeting, described the purpose of the meeting, which was for the City Council to hold a strategic planning and budget preparation workshop with the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), to prepare for the FY 2021 budget. Ms. Bakke then led the Council and ELT through a “blue sky” exercise that asked the meeting participants to write down and enclose into envelopes items they desired to be completed by the end of FY 2021. 


Second, Ms. Bakke asked the Council to provide feedback on what they felt was working, to which the Council and staff discussed and reviewed, as followed:


  • The Council worked well together and the community seemed mostly pleased how things were going in the City. Relations with staff were good, too. 
  • Economic development and growth in the City’s various areas.
  • Improved perception by non-citizens and visitors.
  • Improved perception by the community, developers, etc. that processes were smooth and streamline and staff were cooperative.
  • Communication to the community via various media tools had significantly improved, such as through the Titusville Talking Points Magazine, social media, etc. 
  • Perception of the community was a safe place to raise children (public safety was good). The implementation of school resource officers in the schools, prior to this becoming a State legal requirement.  
  • 5-year budget planning by each department---a helpful and flexible tool that seemed to be useful by departments and Council.
  • Department cohesiveness and teamwork was good due to a better economic environment versus times when resources were scarce.

Next, Ms. Bakke asked the Council and staff to discuss and provide feedback on what they desired for the community in the future, to which was summarized, as followed:


  • Having activities, restaurants, and businesses that had extended hours into the evenings and weekends.
  •  Attracting more persons that came to the downtown, similar to Cocoa.
  • Issues with blighted and empty buildings still needed attention and had improved. Keep positive continuum going.. 
  • Recruiting and maintaining employees in a competitive employment market.

Ms. Bakke redirected the discussion to the City’s five, FY 2020, Strategic Plan Goals and subsequent objectives underlying each of the five goals, which staff distributed at the meeting. Following this meeting with the Council and the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), Ms. Bakke would prepare an executive summary that provided and ranked the items that were important to the City Council to prepare for the FY 2021 budget. Below, is a summary of information discussed at the meeting for the purpose of transcribing the meeting’s minutes. 


Goal 1. Quality of Life


  • Increase school sponsored sports and activities
  • Parking garage (whether this was more important or not)
  • Indian River Lagoon (continued restoration) 
  • Smart growth and balancing environmental concerns
  • Some citizens did not want growth for fear that perhaps the quality of life would change
  • Not as many citizens came to voice their opinion on these matters as other times in the City’s past
  • Continue focus on after 5PM activities and offering various amenities 
  • Improve appearance or replace City Hall and Public Works buildings to indicate the City was progressive and was moving toward a strong future
  • Preservation of green space and natural beauty

Goal 2. Efficient & Effective Services


  • The indication was the present objectives for FY 2020 would continue in FY 2021


Goal 3. Financial Stability


  • Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) was the City’s largest long-term liability paid through the Annual Required Contribution (ARC). Possible policy change in future
  • 60-days of operating reserves were budgeted for catastrophic circumstances; it was recommended by staff to increase this amount

Goal 4. Economic Development


  • Review and “reimagine” the City’s Codes on redevelopment and make sure the City was flexible and ready to assist and easily guide redevelopment (the Publix and St. Johns Plaza on Garden Street was used as an example)
  • Marketing the trails and amenities; a new game-changer was the trail system extending out to the beach (be prepared to accommodate tourists and visitors)

Goal 5. Effective Governance


  • Modify items on list to indicate their continuance. Each was important, to which was expanded on at the meeting.


On the matter of 2-way communication, Ms. Bakke asked Council to consider visiting various groups and going to where they congregated. She also advised that since the Council only slightly modified the FY 2020 goals and objectives, she would consolidate some of the information when she prepared an executive summary for the City.  

Vice-Mayor Diesel felt the work completed on the goals last year, assisted the Council to begin with a strong foundation when preparing for FY 2021.

 Vice-Mayor Diesel called for a 5-minute recess at 6:20 p.m. The meeting resumed at 6:25 p.m.



Stan Johnston distributed information. He requested the City obtain easements for unmaintained canals that he described that were outside City limits, for which he explained the rationale why the City should want to obtain the easements, in order to maintain these canals and assist with stormwater management. Additionally, Mr. Johnston briefly highlighted other details on the information that he distributed at the meeting. 

With no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 6:31 p.m. 


Walt Johnson, Mayor


Wanda F. Wells, City Clerk