Tuesday’s BOCC agenda is short, but far from sweet

 May is Civility Awareness Month (Source:CivilityExperts.com). County Attorney Mike Durham has asked the BOCC to adopt a resolution proclaiming May as “Civility Month” in Martin County in Agenda Item 4B3.



Renowned local attorney and civic activist Ginny Sherlock details the upcoming May 12 Board of County Commissioners meeting: The rest of the Fiscal 2016 Capital Improvement Plan will be presented at the May 12 BOCC meeting (continuing a presentation that was not concluded during the April 21, 2015, meeting) as Item 8A3 at the end of the agenda. Major spending decisions will be discussed when Commissioners consider the 2016 CIP and how taxpayer dollars will be allocated for capital projects.


Among the departments making CIP requests is Parks and Recreation, which has $1 million in “unfunded” projects proposed for FY 2016. Parks and Recreation has come under fire recently for proposing to generate revenues to pay for increased spending by charging fees for parking and access to County parks.


Some of the biggest spenders in local government also are presenting CIP plans – Coastal (which includes St. Lucie inlet management and beach renourishment costs with more than $4.5 million in “unfunded” proposals), Ecosystem Management (with nearly $10 million in “unfunded” projects), Roads (proposing nearly $138 million in “unfunded” projects including the Willoughby Boulevard Extension that the Commission approved last week and the six-laning of Kanner Highway), Utilities and Solid Waste (funded primarily by grants and fees generated from water and sewer customers as well as users of the County’s facilities at the old Palm City land fill).


Speaking of the landfill, Item 6A is a request for approval of a revised major final site plan for the County-owned recycling and transfer station. Neighbors from Stuart West turned out in force for the Local Planning Agency meeting but got little sympathy from the LPA, which recommended approval of the County Utilities Department’s request. Neighbors complain about noise, dust, and traffic as well as how property values are affected by expanding a garbage and trash dump next door. Staff promised to look into their concerns and to present proposed solutions to the BOCC. A new gopher tortoise survey is required. The BOCC ought to insist on protecting this threatened species and should also protect neighboring property owners by requiring generous landscape buffering as well as other measures to reduce the impact of the adjacent recycling and garbage transfer facility on nearby residents.


The Pitchford’s Landing update, Item 8A2, should have some activity to report this week, and at 10:00 a.m., the Supervisor of Elections will make a presentation announcing winners of the annual high school voter registration competition.


Last, but certainly not least, County Attorney Mike Durham has asked the BOCC to adopt a resolution proclaiming May as “Civility Month” in Martin County in Agenda Item 4B3. The proposed proclamation notes that in public discourse which is essential to our democratic system, civility can assist in reaching consensus on diverse issues and allow for mutually respectful relationships, while displays of anger, rudeness, ridicule, impatience, personal attacks and lack of respect detract from the open exchange of ideas, prevent fair discussion of the issues, and discourage citizen participation in government.


Attorney Durham asks Commissioners to adopt “a pledge of civility by all citizens of Florida” and to “call upon all citizens to exercise civility toward each other.”


I will if you will.


Don’t hesitate to let your commissioners know your views. Attend Tuesday’s meeting beginning at 9:00 a.m. or send an e-mail to sheard@martin.fl.us, efieldin@martin.fl.us, ascott@martin.fl.us, jhaddox@martin.fl.us, and dsmith@martin.fl.us, with copies to the County Administrator and County Attorney at tkryzda@martin.fl.us and mdurham@martin.fl.us.


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