Councilmember Ribble brought a resident’s suggestion forward regarding public financing vs private financing of campaigns for future Council elections. Village Attorney Burt Saunders stated this method could not be controlled and that it could be considered as restricting a candidate’s freedom of speech.
Vice-Mayor Levitan is working on a resolution to be presented to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners addressing the Council’s concerns about the impacts on Estero’s traffic and roads if the proposed developments on East Corkscrew Road in unincorporated Lee County are approved.
A discussion was held regarding the acceptance of gifts and meals by Councilmembers and land use board members. The state regulations allow for a maximum value of $100, which is what other local communities adhere to.
Village Attorney Saunders was asked to develop a set of rules of order, agenda and meeting protocols and procedures that could be used for meetings and workshops conducted by both the Village Council and the land use boards.
Interim Village Manager Peter Lombardi advised Council they should contract with a professional search firm to recruit a permanent Village Manager. Village Attorney Saunders will provide a sample job description and Interim Village Manager Lombardi will prepare an RFP prior to the Council’s June 3, 2015, meeting. The Council was informed that once the search firm is hired, they would conduct the background checks and initial interviews. The process could take 90 – 120 days following the signing of contract with the search firm.
Vice-Mayor Levitan reported on the meeting conducted between Village Attorney Saunders, Interim Village Manager Lombardi and himself with Lee County Commissioner Larry Kiker, Assistant County Manager Pete Winton, Acting Director of the Department of Community Development David Loveland regarding interlocal agreements and local option gasoline tax. Since the County does not allow elected officials to speak directly with staff, Commissioner Kiker will continue to facilitate these types of meetings.
Mayor Nick Batos pointed out that the Village Council does not currently have community advisory committees. There are some committees which are being formed but they are not associated with the Village Council.
The meeting started with a brief review of the FEMA Community Rating System Program by Josh Overmyer, Florida Division of Emergency Management. The Council approved two resolutions to expedite participation in the national flood program and to attempt to prevent any lapse in the current rating discount the community currently has experienced.
There was a first reading of two ordinances regarding travel policies and purchasing procedures and a second reading and approval of Ordinance 15-04, changing the membership of the Design Review Board membership from two state-registered architects to one state registered architect.
The Council approved the interlocal agreement with Lee County regarding distribution of local option gas tax revenues. This will result in about $750,000 starting in FY 2015/2016. These funds can only be used for road maintenance and sidewalks or to offset the costs associated with the transportation services Lee County will be providing Estero.
Councilmember Katy Errington read a proclamation in recognition of Memorial Day.
Additional details are included in the minutes of this meeting.