February 22, 2020
The Titusville City Council met in special session on Saturday, February 22, 2020 in the Council Chamber of City Hall, 555 South Washington Avenue, Titusville, Florida. The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. Those present included the citizens, Mayor Walt Johnson, Vice-Mayor Dan Diesel, and City Council Members JoLynn Nelson and Sarah Stoeckel. Council Member Robert Jordan was absent. Also present were City Manager Scott Larese, Assistant City Manager Tom Abbate, Executive Assistant Virginia Blaylock, Community Development Director Peggy Busacca, and Assistant City Clerk Jolynn Donhoff, who completed the minutes of the meeting.
Mayor Johnson and City Manager Larese welcomed and thanked the citizens that came to give their input on the preparation of the City’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget and strategic planning process. City Manager Larese gave a presentation on the following information:
Ms. Kristen Bakke, facilitator of the special City Council meeting, reiterated that the purpose of the meeting was to have a community conversation with the citizens and collect their feedback, as the City launched into the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Strategic Planning and budget preparation process. To this, she organized the approximately 32 citizens that were present into seven or eight groups. A citizen from each group was also selected to record the group’s feedback. The groups used large flip charts, paper, and markers to record and capture their ideas. Then, Ms. Bakke invited the citizens to discuss the City Council’s overarching strategic goals for FY 2020 and the following questions:
Ms. Bakke summarized that the results of the community would be tied to the financial resources that were available in the pending FY 2021 budget, which would not become effective until October 1, 2020. After approximately 1.5 hours of inter-group discussions, Ms. Bakke facilitated receiving feedback from all of the groups on each of the aforementioned questions. The groups were also asked to rank and identify their top priorities for each question, by placing an asterisk next to the ideas and information the groups had recorded on their flip charts. Ms. Bakke would prepare an executive report following the meeting that would summarize the citizens’ feedback. This would be provided to the City Manager, who would present the report to City Council on an upcoming agenda.
Toni Shifalo liked the City’s current quality life, its beauty, and natural environment, which she felt was a theme discussed during the group discussions. She was also part of a tree rules protection team that was working to influence or improve the City’s tree protection Code.
Saundra Ozan was affiliated with Keep Brevard Beautiful. She explained the purpose of the organization, its meeting schedule, volunteer opportunities, etc.
Kurt Davis was a concerned citizen and part of a neighborhood revitalization program. He recommended planning for the next five years, beautification improvements, etc.
Nadav Jerushalmy felt there were good and caring good people in the community. He praised the Police and Fire Departments on their response times and the Public Works and Street Maintenance Departments.
A man (name not clear) talked about an overall broken athletic program at the high schools. To this, he advised that at one time in history to play sports, families did not have to pay the related costs, whereas now, you had to pay to play. His fear was a loss of fewer high school students that could participate in sports, fewer sports scholarships, loss of bonding and building relationships, etc.
Stan Johnston distributed information. His felt the City should maintain floodways outside the city per a stormwater master plan. His concern was for flooding in the Hickory Hills and other areas, and fraud.
Rick Warner commented on the City’s relationship with space center and huge efforts with human space flight. His concern was nature and infrastructure.
Ed Rodriguez with Harvest of Hope International explained the purpose of his organization. He felt that Titusville was unique and that it was important to brand or market the City according to how the City wanted to be known. Mr. Rodrigues also felt the community needed confidence, training, and to pave the way for a successful future. He also desired more opportunities for youth and impressing on youth that they can have a bright or positive future.
Al Griffin hoped the City received the citizens’ feedback as constructive criticism. He knew nothing was perfect and he was grateful the City was listening and would do all they could.
Mayor Johnson and the other City Council members individually expressed their thoughts and gratitude to the citizens for providing feedback to the City Council.
With no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 12:00 p.m.
Walt Johnson, Mayor
Wanda F. Wells, City Clerk