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Cocoa Beach: From The Comments (Which We Always Read.)

A reader by the name of “Francis” left this comment on our post entitled “Cocoa Beach / Palm Bay / Satellite Beach: Petitions! Online And In Person” from May 17, 2018.

To AAfterit

An individual resident or business owner that is trying to retrofit or build a new structure in the City of Cocoa Beach is faced with various city building site issues. Some residents felt that Commissioner Williams had a good idea with his ‘proposal request’ but his attempt to discuss and add his ballot proposal was not successful at the commissioners’ previous meeting. On 5/17 the Cocoa Beach City Commissioners decided to postpone their response to another request from a local citizen’s group to also add that proposed amendment to the November ballot.

Current Florida Statues’ with regard to municipal charter amendment changes that occur after the baseline year 2011 could put our current city charter requirements in legal jeopardy.

Note: Florida Statute 163.3167, paragraph 8, indicates that any initiative or referendum pertaining to a development order might be prohibited if we try to change anything in our City Charter related to development orders; updates might be considered a conflict with the Florida Statute if legally challenged.

What would a judge decide…, throw out everything in our city charter or revert back to the existing charter terminology??? No one knows.
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Cocoa Beach: Tim Tumulty And Attention To Details.

So former Mayor Tim Tumulty is running for the City Commission seat now held by Skip Williams.

Back in 2016, Tumulty ran for the Florida House of Representatives only to lose to Tom Goodson in the primary.

This year, Tumulty was going to run for County Commissioner from District 2, replacing Jim Barfield who had announced that he would be leaving and not seeking re-election. Tumulty pulled out of that election in January of this year in a politically orchestrated move with other candidates. (After Tumulty dropped out, Robyn Hattaway, the person who he thought was the best person to win the job of County Commissioner, left the County race and moved to the Canaveral Port Authority race instead. (Ah yes, the convictions of politicians and those who support them.)

So as we said, Tumulty decided he would run for Williams seat in Cocoa Beach.

Someone forgot to tell his graphics people. In a Facebook post, Tumulty posted this:
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Cocoa Beach / Palm Bay / Satellite Beach: Petitions! Online And In Person.

The Cocoa Beach group gathering signatures for a ballot initiative on building heights in the City has to take the day off today because of other things in their lives. They are reporting good results in finding people to sign the petition, but obviously they need more people to help. If you are concerned about this issue and want to help, drop us a line and we’ll forward it to the right people who will then contact you. Even if you can help them collect signatures or talk to people for an hour would be a huge help.

The folks in Palm Bay will be back at the (called the South Mainland Service Complex) at 450 Cogan Drive SE, today from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM.

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They too are facing a monumental task and if you want to help, you can contact them or drop us a line and we’ll forward that to them for you.

There is a new group in the petition drive arena as well.

A group called “Satellite Beach Sustainable Outreach” has an online petition for a moratorium on certain types of development until the issues with water / sewage infrastructure in the area have been addressed.

Their petition reads (in part):
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Cocoa Beach / Palm Bay: Signature Collection Locations. Get Involved!

We’ve discussed the two citizens groups in Palm Bay and in Cocoa Beach that are gathering signatures to get amendments onto the ballot in November. Whether you agree or disagree with them is not really the issue. These are people who are willing to put their time and effort into getting things done in their respective city. They aren’t getting paid. They take some abuse from passers by and it is hot out there.

We applaud and support their involvement. Let the issues be decided in November, but all legally registered voters should all get out there and sign their petitions. We need more citizens being involved rather than fewer.

We got notice from the folks in Cocoa Beach that they will be gathering signatures on their petition concerning building heights.

Today the group will be located at the Cocoa Beach Public Library, 550 North Brevard Avenue from 9 AM to 2 PM.

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The Palm Bay Citizen’s Group is still at the DMV / Tax Collector’s Office (called the South Mainland Service Complex) at 450 Cogan Drive SE through Thursday, from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM.
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Cocoa Beach / Palm Bay: Making A Difference, One Signature At A Time.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We screwed up.

This post was not supposed to be out in the wild until today. Some of you may have seen it on the blog yesterday. Eghads! We had been shifting posts around, waiting for locations and dates and we forgot to change the date this would hit the blog. Our apologies. Look at it this way, if you read this post yesterday and liked it, think how much nicer it will be reading it a second time.


We noted the other day that Cocoa Beach has started a petition drive to get an issue onto the ballot this fall. Although we haven’t covered it, Palm Bay has a citizen’s group having a petition drive as well to get a different issue on the local ballot in November.

In 2016, Palm Bay voters voted to amend the City Charter to allow the City Council to pass special assessments on real property in the area in order to help with the infrastructure of roads, drainage, sewage, water, etc that affects those specific properties. Prior to the vote, citizens that were going to be affected had a voice in the levying of the special assessments. We believe that most people thought that the rates the Council would impose would be in line with other rates and fees that had been previously passed. Instead, the Council (Councilmen Santiago, Holton and Anderson) voted to increase the special assessment rates by 400%. In a packed meeting with the residents who would be actually paying the fees, the Council basically said “we can do it and so we are going to do it. If you don’t like it, get out.”

People in the area thought that the vote was a betrayal of promises made by all of the Councilmen of limited taxes and fees and that the amendment was nothing more than Trojan horse that stated one purpose of helping people and the city, while in actuality it harmed people extensively.

In light of this, a group formed to have placed on the ballot an amendment that would return the Charter to the pre-2016 language.


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Cocoa Beach: When Promises Become Reality.

We talked the other day about the Cocoa Beach City Commission and the proposed ballot initiative to raise the height limits.

Part of the discussion that occurred during last week’s meeting was a proposed amendment by Commissioner Skip Williams. Amazingly, the Commission did not want to consider the amendment – not even talk about it – and some people in the audience stood up and said that the people in Cocoa Beach wouldn’t understand the proposal. How nice of them to say that the residents of Cocoa Beach do not understand the written word and English.

It was suggested that if the amendment were important, someone should start a petition drive to get the Williams amendment on the ballot.

Someone has.

We were contacted by someone who is helping organize a petition drive. Details are sketchy right now and the group appears to be organizing as to where and when they will have representatives out in public to collect signatures, but the drive itself is real.

They were kind enough to send us a copy of the petition:

As we learn more, we will post it. We know the group is continuing to look for volunteers to help with the collection of signatures, and as soon as we get permission to post contact information, we will do that as well. (Or you can send an email to us expressing your interest and we will forward that to the person who contacted us.)



Cocoa Beach: Turkeys At The Trough.

Tonight at the Cocoa Beach City Commission meeting, the Charter Review Committee will make its presentation and recommendations on proposed changes to the City Charter.

One of the changes being proposed is this:

The height issue of buildings within the City is a contentious issue. Citizens seem to want to keep the level at the current height of 45 feet. Developers and real estate people – including those who are outside the city – want higher buildings in order to make more money.

As we have discussed many times, these folks won’t have to deal with the added congestion on city streets, increases in crime and accompanying law enforcement requirements, increased City staffing within departments, etc. They won’t have to deal with the increase demands on the water and sewage infrastructure. You would think that would be an issue to many people considering Cocoa Beach is sandwiched between two bodies of water – one of which the residents of the City and County are spending millions and millions of dollars to try and save.
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Cocoa Beach: Charter Review Meeting Tonight.

The Cocoa Beach Charter Review Committee will be meeting tonight at 6:30 PM.

This is a strange meeting in that the Committee canceled a “Townhall” meeting in January and combined it with this one.

Most people will be there to speak on building height restrictions. Interestingly enough, the agenda description for this item is:

Section 6.08 Building height limit accommodations

While everything else is always described as “limits” or “restrictions,” this item is being called “accommodations.” After all, who doesn’t want to be accommodating?

This is a difficult issue and seems to us to be one where there is little compromise with the “we want to build as high as we can” crowd.

We should also say that we find merit in making the measuring point for building heights to be consistent with surrounding communities to be a good thing. Right now Cocoa Beach is one of the few communities we know that measure a building height from the crown of the road rather than the road base itself. Even though Cocoa Beach has the right to set the standards, when it comes to builders and contractors, it makes sense to have the same standards as surrounding communities for the measuring point.
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