Debate boathouse location
The Maitland City Council met Monday to hear updates on several projects the city is working on in the coming months.
From a heated debate amongst the public over where to put the proposed police boathouse and who will head the effort to secure National Historic Landmark status for the Maitland Art Center to deciding which citizens will head talks in upcoming Police & Fire Pension Trust Fund Board meetings, Council members set the stage to move forward.
Boathouse debate continues
Police Chief Doug Ball insists the Maitland Police Department doesn’t care where its proposed police boathouse goes, just that it goes somewhere. The same can’t be said for some Maitland residents who showed up to the June 25 meeting ready to fight for their lake views and shoreline access.
At the previous City Council meeting, Public Works Director Rick Lemke presented an alternative site to the original one signed off on for the boathouse. This one, at the end of Live Oak Street, took a sliver of city property currently used for stormwater run off to use for the site, instead of the shoreline at Ft. Maitland Park.
“Neither site is perfect by a long shot… we’re just trying to see how well we can fit this in,” Lemke said.
Paddle boarders and kayakers who utilize the shore of Ft. Maitland Park were pleased with the Live Oak solution, but residents from the Moorings on Lake Maitland condominiums — located in between the park and Live Oak — came out to fight for the preservation of their lake views that they said would be blocked by an enclosed boathouse at Live Oak.
Muriel Owens, president of the Moorings Masters Association, said the boathouse would impact views from at least 40 units of the building, and urged the city to look for other options.
Councilman Phil Bonus said in the end the city will need to make its decision trying to balance the greatest amount of good and least amount of harm to all Maitland residents.
“I’m in favor of a boathouse,” Bonus said. “I start with that premise, then start to balance the harm.”
Councilwoman Linda Frosch said the biggest factor in the discussion, which will continue in upcoming meetings as both locations are further vetted by the city, is that of public safety. She said the response time of the police department would drastically improve with boathouse storage.
Landmarking the MAC
Frosch nominated herself to serve as a liaison from the City Council to aid those from the city’s Leisure Services Department and Art & History Museums – Maitland as they research the process of securing National Historic Landmark status for the Maitland Art Center.
“I’d like to take this on to do what I can to help,” Frosch said. “This is a very big deal.”
Leisure Services Director Chuck Jordan, along with the leadership of A&H and representatives from the Friends of the Maitland Art Center, are researching costs and time commitments necessary to apply for the distinction.
“We need to continue to go forward with this,” Mayor Howard Schieferdecker said. He asked for an update period on the process to be included at all upcoming Council meetings.
Change in ordinance, not citizens on Police & Fire Pension Board
After concerns arose over a possible conflict of interest of having an elected official serve on both the City Council and the Police & Fire Pension Trust Fund Board, the Council decided to draft a change of ordinance to replace the elected official on the board with an unelected city staffer.
The mayor, who currently serves as chairman of the board, saw his term on the board expire on April 24. He will remain on the board until a replacement is found.
The two citizen seats on the board were also up for reappointment, as David O’Connor and Phillip Senderowitz’s terms expire June 28. While Councilman Ivan Valdes and Schieferdecker both called for new blood to join the board, votes by the three remaining Council members to reinstate O’Connor and Senderowitz secured their seats for another four years.