Oct 25, 2014
The politics of Cocoa Beach has a long history of identity conflict. The city charter states the identity is to be “low-density residential and family-oriented resort community”.
It’s a matter of interpretation and that is the heart of the problem. One extreme believes Cocoa Beach has already violated its “low-density residential” pledge to the residents. The other extreme believes Cocoa Beach should do much more to attract more visitors.
In the late 1990’s following the construction of a number of eight story hotels, timeshares and condominiums, residents addressed the city commission at the time. Their concern was that the city was beginning to look like south Florida. Their concerns were disregarded. In response, a group of residents circulated a referendum petition to reduce the maximum height of new buildings from the existing 85 feet to 45 feet. The petition also sought to reduce the residential density (number of units per acre) on new construction.
The referendum passed resoundingly but a developer filed a lawsuit. The courts voided the referendum on a technicality. Another petition was circulated, another referendum on the ballot, another resounding affirmation, another lawsuit by a developer and once again, the people’s wishes were overturned on yet another technicality. Finally, on the third try it was passed and implemented.
The city commission could have addressed the concerns of the residents (and most of the community, based on the final voting) but they chose not to. As a result, the residential petitions also included a few additional controls on the commission. One resulted in the following being added to the city charter:
Sec. 6.10. – Transfer or relinquishment of interest in real property in which city has legal interest. Unanimous approval of all city commissioners shall be required for the transfer or relinquishment of any interest in any real property in which the city has a legal interest.
Another referendum passed that changed the city’s main planning document (Comprehensive Plan): Any increase in the building and structure height or development density and/or intensity requires an affirmative vote by five (5) City Commissioners. In other words, unanimous approval.
Why is this important now?
Oct 25, 2014
The mere mention of the computer game Myst brings smiles to many faces. The game was one of the first “first person immersive puzzlers” for the computer and to this day, many consider it the best. With graphics and sound that were amazing for the days of Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 systems, Myst not only was a game you played, it was a game you became a part of.
Just figuring out what the game was about was part of the fun. You took notes to solve puzzles, explored an island looking for clues to solve puzzles all the while wanting more.
It was and still remains an amazing game and one of the best computer games of all time.
And now the world of Myst is coming to the small screen.
According to Deadline.com:
Oct 24, 2014
This is painful to watch.
Oct 24, 2014
Another cartoon from A.F. Branco.
(image courtesy of A.F. Branco of Comically Incorrect.)
We have gotten a lot of chuckles and more than a few moments of pondering from Branco, which is why we are going to do something we don’t normally do – shamelessly plug a product.
Branco’s 2015 calendar is now available for a mere $14.95 plus shipping. You can order the calendar here.
We won’t make a penny off of your purchase so it is not like we are pumping the calendar to fill our coffers here are Raised on Hoecakes.
We just like Branco’s work and think the calendar would make a nice holiday gift.
Oct 24, 2014
Remember when the City Manager of Satellite Beach appeared before the City Council and the citizens to say that outsourcing payroll to a company would result in savings for the City?
That hasn’t exactly worked out.
The Florida Government Finance Officers Association (FGFOA) like many organizations uses a listserv for members to communicate with each other. Listserv software allows members to send one email to the group and that email is then distributed to all members individually.
Bridgette Clements, the Financial Officer for the City of Titusville, sent an email inquiring about outsourcing payroll functions:
From: FGFOA – Listserve – Financial Administration [mailto:FGFOA-FINANCIALADMINISTRATION@LISTSERV.FGFOA.ORG] On Behalf Of Clements, Bridgette
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2014 12:51 PM
Subject: Outsourcing Payroll
Does anyone outsource any of their payroll function? If so, who is the vendor and what parts are outsourced?
Director of Finance
Phone: (321) 567-3712
Fax: (321) 383-5811
Satellite Beach Assistant Finance Director Christine Fain responded to the inquiry:
Oct 23, 2014
Bet you always wondered, didn’t you?
Why did Americans drop the “u” from British words like “humour” and “behaviour”? What about “theater” vs. “theatre?” Siobhan Thompson explains the spelling divide between our nations.
Oct 22, 2014
EDITORS’S NOTE: We struggled with this post – even the idea of writing this post – because what we are about to say will be taken as an attack on the fine members of the Satellite Beach Women’s Club. That is not our intent, but we can see how some people may take it that way.
This past Monday night, the Satellite Beach Womens’ Club hosted a “Political Forum” at the Satellite Beach Civic Center. We’ve been to more than a few of these events, and it is always good to see, meet, greet, and compare candidates on issues. The forum serves as an invaluable tool in educating voters in and around Satellite Beach and we applaud the Satellite Beach Womens’ Club for their efforts in hosting these forums.
Unfortunately, the forum on Monday night was not a shining example of what a forum should and could be.
Let’s start with the basics of “what is a forum?”
A forum is defined as “an assembly, meeting place, television program, etc., for the discussion of questions of public interest.”
The element that was most lacking at the forum was candidates. A political forum without the candidates appearing is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the bread. You may enjoy the peanut butter and the jelly, but it is going to be messy eating it. The forum had a representative from Representative Posey’s campaign, a write-in candidate for Posey’s seat by the name of Chris Duncan Jr, County Commission District 4 candidate George Lebovitz (L) and some of the folks running for judgeships.
No candidates or representatives for the governor’s race, the Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer, or Commissioner of Agriculture were there. Of the 17 non judicial candidates on the ballot, only two were represented plus a write-in candidate.
Oct 22, 2014
It’s hump day, and we all need a laugh.