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Currently Browsing: Palm Bay

The Timing Seems Odd Or At Least A Coincidence.

Seldom in life are there true coincidences, and we believe that is especially true when it comes to governments and government actions.

A few weeks ago the City of Palm Bay closed off four sets of play equipment after it was determined the sets were dangerous. According to the FloridaToday:

Palm Bay recreation workers have closed four aging park playgrounds, and they want opinions on installing new slides, step climbers, swings and other equipment.

The affected playgrounds:

• Liberty Park, 895 Carlyle Ave. SE

• Oakwood Park, 490 Koutnik Road SE

• Riviera Park, 550 Riviera Drive NE

• Veterans Memorial Park, 2201 Port Malabar Blvd. NE

“In November, city of Palm Bay parks and recreation staff determined that the playgrounds at these four parks were beyond their useful lifespan, and recommended the removal of these playgrounds to avoid potentially unsafe conditions for users,” said Christina Born, city spokeswoman.
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Palm Bay: City Council Meeting And Signs.

The City of Palm Bay will host a regular City Council meeting on January 2, 2020 starting at 7:00 PM. The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

Several things have been pulled from the agenda including the odious ordinance on installing and removing hurricane shutters as well as the ordinance concerning the parking of operable cars on unimproved lots by the property owner. Both items will come back at a later date, however.

One item that is still on the agenda deals with signs on private property. From pages 80-81 of the agenda:

(2) SIGNS includes the following defined classes of signs:
* * *
(b) TEMPORARY SIGN. Any sign that is not a permanent sign.
>>(i) Temporary signs shall only be installed or placed with the express consent of the occupant or owner of the premises.

(ii) Temporary signs may only be placed on privately owned property.
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Symbolic Vs. Actual.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We shudder at writing this post as we are sure some will take it as an attack on some well meaning, involved, and energetic kids in Palm Bay. Nothing – and we mean nothing – should be seen as a commentary against the efforts of the kids.

Last week people in Palm Bay started to notice bags that were attached to street and traffic signs in the area.

The bags contained toiletries, a woolen hat, a card, and a candy or two and were designed to assist the homeless in the area.

The effort appears to have been led by Thomas Rebman, a self described “expert” on the homeless who has a history of not getting along other organizations and who has made statements on issues including the homeless that in our opinion do not match reality.

Many people have applauded the effort and while we applaud the actual effort and work from the kids, we question many things about this.

First, attaching anything to city or county signs and their support structure is against code. The reasons for this restriction are many and justified. The bottom line is that we shouldn’t be having well meaning kids running around breaking the law. That’s irresponsible on the people who organized this effort.
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Palm Bay: Living The Shuttered Life.

With all the problems in the City of Palm Bay now solved, the City is taking on the pressing issue of hurricane shutters being left on homes.

(That’s sarcasm for those who didn’t catch it.)

On the agenda for the January 2, 2020 meeting on pages 78 – 79 there is this little gem to be approved as part of the City Code:

STORM SHUTTERS.
Any material whether solid (metal, wood, plastic, etc.) or flexible (screening, fabric or mesh, etc.) utilized with the express purpose of protecting glass doors and windows from damage from wind and debris during storms or hurricanes. Storm Shutters can either be permanently attached to a structure such as accordion shutters, closeable awnings and flaps, roll-up gates or they can be removable.

[….]

(3) Storm Shutters are not permitted to cover any window or door on any structure for more than seven (7) days prior to or fourteen (14) days after, the National Hurricane Center declares a storm watch or warning for a named storm to potentially occur within the City, County or adjoining Counties.
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Palm Bay: Our Comments Last Night On JLAC Hearing.

Last night we sent one of our guys up to the Palm Bay City Council to comment on the JLAC hearing.

Here are the comments and the graphics that were used:

I wanted to take some time to address the JLAC Committee hearing last week, which for those who missed it can be found on the Florida Channel dot org site.
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Palm Bay: Council Meeting Tonight.

The Palm Bay City Council meets tonight in a regular session starting at 7:00 PM. Christmas music will be performed by the Heritage High School Show Choir prior to the meeting starting at 6:30 PM. The agenda and the agenda revision can be found here and here.

The item that is generating the biggest concern is New Business Item #1 described as:

Ordinance 2019-71, amending the Code of Ordinances, by creating Chapter 203, “Mandatory Connection to Potable Water and Sewer Utilities”.

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Palm Bay: JLAC And Justice Delayed.

As we reported, the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee (JLAC) held a hearing on the findings of an administrative audit into the City of Palm Bay. If you missed the hearing, you can watch it here.

On Friday, Representative Fine posted this:

As Fine was at the hearing, we have no idea what he was watching as it seems to us that no one was held accountable for anything.
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Palm Bay: JLAC Hearing Today.

Today the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee (JLAC) will host a hearing in Tallahassee concerning the initial findings of the JLAC administrative audit into the workings of the City of Palm Bay.

The City will have chance to respond to the allegations and what corrective measures have been taken, if any.

The City will be sending a delegation consisting of City Manager Morrell, City Clerk Jones, City Attorney Smith, and City Councilmen Santiago, Johnson, Bailey and Anderson. Noticeably absent from that delegation is the Mayor of the City of Palm Bay, William Capote.

As most of us will be working or tending to our families, we won’t be able to get up to the hearing, but through the wonders of the internet, the hearing is expected to be broadcast live sometime between 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM..

You can catch the hearing on the Florida Channel, and then click on the day’s schedule events and hearings to watch.

City Manager Lisa Morrell will be on the hot spot for a good portion of this which is somewhat of a shame as of the three charter officers, she was not in a position to do much of anything when the tomfoolery was going on. The same cannot be said for the City Clerk and the now City Attorney. Morrell was running the IT Department which is not mentioned in the JLAC findings. The Legal Department and the Office of the City Clerk are mentioned.
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BREAKING NEWS: Cocoa Beach Approves Variance While Palm Bay Mayor Proves A Lack Of Leadership.

Cocoa Beach approved the 70 foot height variance for the International Palms redevelopment.

In our opinion, the people who were opposed to the variance that spoke did so on factual basis of the project not meeting the required criteria for approval of the variance.

Citizens who spoke in favor of the variance, including the City Commissioners, voted in favor of the variance because the conceptual plans were “pretty” and the project would bring in money. Neither is a criteria for the variance, but facts were trampled by money.


In Palm Bay, the City agreed to send City Councilmen Santiago, Anderson, Bailey and Johnson, as well as the City Manager and City Attorney to the JLAC hearing next week in Tallahassee.

The noticeable absence from that list is City Mayor Capote, on whose watch many of the violations in the JLAC report occurred.

This is the same man who claimed that the staff were “like his family.”

To us, it is an incredible lack of leadership for a Mayor not be at a hearing on his city.

It is also gutless.

What a sad night for two cities here in Brevard.



Palm Bay: Can You Hear Us Now?

Good grief.

PALM BAY, Fla. – Details from a state audit of Palm Bay keep coming to light, and with each development, the frustration grows among critics of the city’s fiscal practices. This time, cellphones and international calls are the things raising eyebrows.

The City of Palm Bay continues to deal with the results of the scorching audit from Florida’s Auditor General. Questions are swirling about how local taxpayer dollars are being spent. FOX 35 News told you about the “ramp to nowhere” last month. State Rep. Randy Fine, who has an office in Palm Bay, was one of the most outspoken critics. Now, Fine is sounding the alarm on his social media pages about more than 700 cellphones the city gives to its employees.

The audit reveals $300,000 went to cellphone bills over a 17-month period. The audit found one employee was frequently calling Jamaica and taking the phone to the island, but city officials didn’t seem to mind or didn’t notice it. The cellphone issue is only Item 9 of 31. There are allegedly tens of millions of dollars that have been misspent.

We want to concentrate on the cell phone issue for a moment.

First, it is not unusual for companies to issue cell phones to their employees.
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