VENICE — The new members of the City Council were exposed to a wide variety of issues Tuesday in their first meeting, which took place just minutes after they were sworn in.
And it was a relatively long one, ending shortly before 3 p.m.
“What a marathon,” Rick Howard said.
The first item of business was to recognize former Mayor Ron Feinsod, who hadn’t sought a second term in office.
After presenting his predecessor a plaque, Mayor Nick Pachota said Feinsod had taught him a lot, and Feinsod said the experience had been educational for him, and rewarding as well.
He thanked the staff as the people “who really run the city,” while City Manager Ed Lavallee said that Feinsod had made staff’s job easier during his tenure.
Also on Tuesday the Council:
• Heard a report from City Attorney Kelly Fernandez on the implementation of charter amendments approved by city residents in the Nov. 8 election.
• Heard Finance Director Linda Senne’s quarterly financial report.
• Authorized the mayor to send ceremonial and congratulatory letters to newly elected officials on behalf of City Council, and directed staff to draft a resolution to implement a process for it.
• Approved the city’s 2023 federal legislative priorities.
• Approved a 2023 meeting schedule.
• Approved rent credits and reductions for tenants of hangars at the Venice Municipal Airport damaged by Hurricane Ian.
• Approved an easement agreement with Gregory J. Kaplan for public beach access and to restrict parking on Alhambra Road and Castile Street adjacent to his residential properties.
• Approve pre-annexation agreements with 2001 Laurel LLC for Laurel Road Assemblage.
• Approved a resolution authorizing the city clerk’s office to accept service of process.
• Heard first reading of an ordinance for the annual update of the Five-Year Capital Improvement Schedule for Fiscal Years 2023-2027, including a long-range schedule of capital improvements for 2028-2032.
• Heard first reading of an ordinance modifying the membership of the Public Art Advisory Board.
• Heard first reading of an ordinance eliminating the one-year “sunset” provision from the ordinance allowing the possession of alcohol on city beaches.
• Heard first reading of an ordinance prohibiting smoking in city parks and at city beaches.
• Approved pay increases of 5% for Lavallee and 7% for City Clerk Kelly Michaels.
• Deferred approval of an ordinance amending the 2017-2027 Comprehensive Plan to changing the allocation of residential and nonresidential uses within the Laurel Road Neighborhood.
• Heard first reading of an ordinance regarding staff-proposed amendments to the land development regulations.
• Elected Jim Boldt vice mayor.
• Approved an amendment to the agreement with the Southwest Florida Water Management District for the cooperative funding of the first phase of the new reclaimed water aquifer storage and recovery well system at the Eastside Water Reclamation Facility.
• Approved an amendment to a Florida Department of Environmental Protection loan agreement to meet increased construction costs for the Utilities Booster Pump Station Project.
• Approved memorandums of understanding with the Fraternal Order of Police Sergeants and Lieutenants, Fraternal Order of Police Officers, Local 1718 American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees and International Association of Firefighters Local Chapter 2546 to extend the deadline for the use of 2022 vacation accruals to March 31, 2023.
• Approved a Florida Department of Environmental Protection grant agreement to update the city’s vulnerability assessment and develop an adaptation plan.
• Accepted the developer’s completion and payment bonds and approved the Cassata Lakes Phase 1 Final Plat.
• Reappointed Student Member Om Patel to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Student Member Olivia Whittaker to the Public Art Advisory Board.
The video and audio recordings of the meeting are at VeniceGov.com at the “Meetings” button.