WINTER GARDEN — It’s rare that the Winter Garden city commissioners disagree publicly. It’s even rarer when a majority votes against a proposed ordinance.
But that’s what happened July 9, when commissioners defeated a proposed ordinance by a vote of 3-2. The ordinance would have allowed the commission an option to waive term limits for members of the Community Redevelopment Agency.
City Manager Mike Bollhoefer said the resolution’s goal was to “maintain experience and institutional knowledge” on the CRA that could be lost if term limits required several experienced board members to leave at the same time.
Mayor John Rees and Commissioner Bob Buchanan supported the ordinance.
“It gives the commission an option (to retain experienced people on the CRA),” Buchanan said.
Because the ordinance proposed a waiver, not an elimination of term limits, commissioners would have discretion over whose terms could be extended.
Commissioners Colin Sharman, Bobby Olszewski and Kent Makin voted against the measure. After the meeting, Sharman said the current ordinance requires term limits, but members can reapply for the board just one year after they leave.
“(Keeping the current rules) diminishes the appearance of special favors that can result from keeping certain people on public boards,” Olszewski said.
Commissioners passed the second reading of ordinances to regulate distribution of handbills and leaflets on private and public property.
The ordinance requires a homeowner or resident to contact the person or company distributing leaflets on their property first to say they don’t want any leaflets. After that, the resident can notify the city if distribution continues. City staff will issue a warning, and if littering continues, the city can pursue other remedies, including fines up to $500 or 60 days in jail. City staff can issue warnings for violations on public property without waiting for complaints.
Resident Sharon Lambert thanked the commission.
“I appreciate the commission addressing these concerns,” she said.
IN OTHER NEWS
• Commissioners agreed to review a resolution drafted by City Manager Mike Bollhoefer to place a moratorium on any further development on East Plant Street while the city completes a master planning study for the State Road 429 corridor and develops design standards for the area. Bollhoefer said he’d like to bring the ordinance up for a vote at the July 23 meeting. The proposed moratorium would end on Jan. 14, 2016.
• The commission unanimously approved the site plan for 640 Garden Commerce Parkway to build a 12,000-square-foot office and warehouse building.
• Commissioners unanimously approved the Final Plat for Black Lake Preserve. The development will have 91 single-family units.
• The commission approved the Final Plat for Hickory Hammock Phase 1C to build 50 town homes.
• During the comments section of the meeting, former city commissioner and pastor Charlie Mae Wilder asked the commission to support a youth employment project the East Winter Garden Improvement Association is developing. The project’s goal is to teach young people job-search skills and match them with after-school and summer jobs in the area. She would also like the commission’s help encouraging local businesses to employ program participants.
Olszewski said he would like the commission to “serve as a conduit to help the youth of East Winter Garden.”
Bollhoefer asked Wilder to meet with him and Recreation Director Jay Conn to discuss details.
• The next commission meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. July 23, in City Hall Commission Chambers, 300 W. Plant St.