St. Cloud City Council Meeting Recap for 4/8/21


Meeting begins with pledge of allegiance and roll call. All council members are present for this meeting.

There are no presentations at this meeting so we head straight into the Citizen’s Forum.

The first citizen to address the council is James Moore.

Mr. Moore is addressing the council because he has been cited by code enforcement for his fence, which had been approved by the city 3 years earlier.

City Manager Bill Sturgeon assured Mr. Moore that the situation would be taken care of.

At that time, City Council Member Chuck Cooper questioned both the City Attorney Dan Mantzaris and Mr. Sturgeon about how they could approve the fence at the time of it being built and then come back at a later date and fine the resident.

Mr. Mantzaris explained that the fence had changed and exceeded what is permissable.

Mr. Moore told the Council that when the builder for the change in the fence submitted the paperwork, it was signed off by the City.

Mr. Sturgeon once again assured Mr. Moore the situation would be resolved.

The next resident to address the council was Dolly Clements. Miss Clements wanted to ask the council about a historic tax exemption for a historic building that she purchased in the 2006.

The historic tax exemption waves 100% of her ad valorem taxes on her building. She wanted to know after the last few years of submitting paperwork if she’s going to be approved or not.

City Attorney Dan Mantzaris told the Council that this ordinance was never enacted by the City.

Miss Clements argued that it says it very clearly on the website.

Council Member Chuck Cooper then asked if somebody could take a look at that. Mr. Mantzaris then said that he could get all that information for him.

Mr. Sturgeon assured Miss Clements that he will get an answer for her.

Next to the podium was Donnie Martinez, who is the President of the Osceola County Association of Realtors.

He is at the meeting tonight to thank the Council for a proclamation tonight in recognition of Fair Housing month.

For the Consent Agenda, Council Member Chuck Cooper asked that Items C and D be pulled for a separate vote. (Approval of the final plat of Old Hickory (C) and approval of final plat for Tohoqua phase 4A (D))

Council Member Linette Matheny ask to pull Item C for discussion.

Ms. Matheny had a question about one of the plat notes about the storm water tract.

Mayor Blackwell asked for a motion on Item C and Deputy Mayor Trace made a motion to approve.

The vote came down 4- 1, with Mr. Cooper voting “no”.

The same thing happened with item D, the vote was 4- 1, with Mr. Cooper once again voting “no”.

The rest of the Consent Agenda ( a resolution authorizing certain City Personnel the right to sign banking documents with SunTrust Bank, a resolution amending the official staffing table, and approval of the minutes from the January 28 meeting) were approved by the council 5-0.

For Public Hearings, the only item to be heard was Resolution no. 2021-063R, a resolution granting a conditional use to operate gasoline sales in conjunction with a convenience store inside the Anthem Park subdivision on Lexington Blvd.

The developer came before the council to say that they agree with Staff’s Recommendation to approve this item, dispite the Planning Committee denying this item 5- 0.

Council Member Dave Askew pointed out that this road is a road that is used to stack cars for Neptune Elementary School. He then asked the developer if he has ever seen that twice a day, at which time the developer said he has not and Mr. Askew told him he really should.

At least 8 City residents came before the council to speak against this gas station, including the owners of a school which would be across the street from it.

After the citizens were done airing their grievances, Council Member Chuck Cooper made a motion to deny the resolution and was seconded by Council Member Matheny.

Mayor Blackwell told the council that he wanted to have discussion first before they vote.

Mr. Mantzaris then reviewed the six essential factors and to decide which ones are not met by this item in case the denial is challenged.

In the end, the Council voted to deny this resolution, at which time the audience cheered.

For the Council Action portion of the meeting, the council need to fill a vacancy on the Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Committee.

The council first dealt with the vacancy on the Planning Commission alternate 2, with Council Member Matheny requesting to reappoint Jeffrey Rivera, with Deputy Mayor Trace seconding the motion. Mr.  Rivera was successfully appointed by the Council 5-0.

Next was the Historic Preservation committee appointment for seat #2.

Council Member Chuck Cooper made a motion to appoint Thomas Lord, and Council Member Matheny made a motion to appoint Mikayla Goetz.

Deputy Mayor Trace suggested moving one of the alternate members into a permanent spot.

The council then decided to move the alternate into seat 2 and instead appoint someone else to the alternate seat.
The Mayor then asked if he could get a second on the motion to appoint Thomas Lord.

Silence. At this point someone giggled, and The mayor then stated the motion failed for lack of a second.

The mayor decided to second Council Member Matheny’s motion to appoint Mikayla Goetz.

She was successfully appointed 4-1, with Chuck Cooper voting “no”.

The meeting finished with Council Member comments.

The next City Council Meeting will be on Thursday,  April 22nd at 6:30pm at City Hall in Council Chambers.


About Author

Former writer for Osceola News Gazette, current Admin of Save Saint Cloud, Keep Osceola Beautiful, and moderator for Osceola Politics Facebook pages, current Saint Cloud Economic Development Advisory Committee member, current member of the Osceola School Board School Safety Advisory Group, and current candidate for St. Cloud City Council Seat 4.

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