1 CITY OF
2 LAND USE AND ZONING
6 Proceedings held on Tuesday, April 20,
7 2010, commencing at 5:05 p.m., City Hall, Council
8 Chambers, 1st Floor,
9 Diane M. Tropia, a Notary Public in and for the State
13 RAY HOLT, Chair.
WARREN JONES, Vice Chair.
14 REGINALD BROWN, Committee Member.
DANIEL DAVIS, Committee Member.
15 JOHNNY GAFFNEY, Committee Member.
STEPHEN JOOST, Committee Member.
16 DON REDMAN, Committee Member.
JOHN CROFTS, Deputy Director, Planning Dept.
19 SEAN KELLY, Chief, Current Planning.
FOLKS HUXFORD, Zoning Administrator.
20 KEN AVERY, Planning and Development Dept.
JASON GABRIEL, Office of General Counsel.
21 DYLAN REINGOLD, Office of General Counsel.
RICK CAMPBELL, Research Assistant.
22 MERRIANE LAHMEUR, Legislative Assistant.
JESSICA STEPHENS, Legislative Assistant.
- - -
1 P R O C E E D I N G S
2 April 20, 2010 5:05 p.m.
3 - - -
4 THE CHAIRMAN: Good evening, everybody.
5 We are here for the April 20 Land Use and
6 Zoning meeting and it's going to be a short
7 one. Let's go ahead and start by going around
8 the horn and everybody introduce themselves.
9 MR. CROFTS: Good evening.
10 My name is John Crofts, Planning and
11 Development Department.
12 MR. KELLY: Sean Kelly, Planning and
14 MR. HUXFORD: Folks Huxford, Planning and
16 MR. REINGOLD: Dylan Reingold with the
17 Office of General Counsel.
18 MR. GABRIEL: Jason Gabriel with the Office
19 of General Counsel.
20 MR. DAVIS: Daniel Davis.
21 MR. BROWN: Reginald Brown, City Council.
22 DR. GAFFNEY: Dr. Gaffney, District 7.
23 THE CHAIRMAN: Ray Holt, District 11.
24 MR. JONES: Warren Jones, District 9.
25 MR. JOOST: Stephen Joost, Group 3,
1 at large.
2 MR. REDMAN: Don Redman, District 4.
3 THE CHAIRMAN: All right, everybody. We
4 don't have any items that we're taking up early
5 for anybody.
6 Starting on page 2, items number 1 and 2
7 are deferred.
8 Item 3, 2010-186. This is a rezoning,
10 Mr. Crofts, before we go into the public
11 hearing, do you need to -- there's no
12 amendment. Do you need to give us any
13 information on this?
14 MR. CROFTS: Other than the fact,
15 Mr. Chairman and committee, that this is a
16 rezoning of a formerly-owned City piece of
17 property that's being converted to a commercial
18 use that previously was a fire station and it's
19 now going to be operating as a roofing company.
20 Staff recommends approval.
21 THE CHAIRMAN: Excellent.
22 All right. We will open the public
24 Seeing no speakers, we will close the
25 public hearing.
1 MR. JONES: Move to approve.
2 MR. BROWN: Second.
3 THE CHAIRMAN: Motion and a second on the
5 Please open the ballot.
6 (Committee ballot opened.)
7 MR. HOLT: (Votes yea.)
8 MR. JONES: (Votes yea.)
9 MR. BROWN: (Votes yea.)
10 MR. DAVIS: (Votes yea.)
11 DR. GAFFNEY: (Votes yea.)
12 MR. JOOST: (Votes yea.)
13 MR. REDMAN: (Votes yea.)
14 (Committee ballot closed.)
15 THE CHAIRMAN: Close the ballot, record the
17 MS. LAHMEUR: Seven yeas, zero nays.
18 THE CHAIRMAN: By your action, you have
19 approved 2010-186.
20 Item number 4, 2010-187, also
21 quasi-judicial if anybody has anything to -- to
22 note on that.
23 Mr. Crofts, there's no amendment. Do you
24 have anything?
25 MR. CROFTS: No, sir, other than the fact
1 that staff recommends approval of this.
2 This is the conversion of some park and
3 recreation land to be actually purchased by the
4 sheriff's department to be used as a marine
5 facility to be constructed there by the
6 sheriff's office, and staff recommends approval.
7 THE CHAIRMAN: Excellent. Thank you, sir.
8 Open the public hearing.
9 Seeing no speakers, no one needs to declare
10 ex-parte, we'll close the public hearing and
11 we'll --
12 MR. JOOST: Move the bill.
13 DR. GAFFNEY: Second.
14 THE CHAIRMAN: Motion and a second on the
16 Please open the ballot.
17 (Committee ballot opened.)
18 MR. HOLT: (Votes yea.)
19 MR. JONES: (Votes yea.)
20 MR. BROWN: (Votes yea.)
21 MR. DAVIS: (Votes yea.)
22 DR. GAFFNEY: (Votes yea.)
23 MR. JOOST: (Votes yea.)
24 MR. REDMAN: (Votes yea.)
25 (Committee ballot closed.)
1 THE CHAIRMAN: Close the ballot, record the
3 MS. LAHMEUR: Seven yeas, zero nay.
4 THE CHAIRMAN: By your action, you have
5 approved 2010-187.
7 MR. JOOST: Move to withdraw.
8 DR. GAFFNEY: Second.
9 THE CHAIRMAN: Motion and second to
11 Do we have anybody here on this bill
13 AUDIENCE MEMBERS: (No response.)
14 THE CHAIRMAN: This is a bill that was, I
15 believe, withdrawn or denied last time and then
16 it came back, rereferred to us, because
17 supposedly someone was going to get back in
18 contact with us.
19 Okay. Mr. Jones.
20 MR. JONES: You answered the question,
21 Mr. Chairman.
22 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. I don't understand
23 why it was brought back to us if nobody has
24 contacted us. I haven't had any contact from
25 anybody on this, but we have a motion and second
1 to withdraw, so please open the ballot.
2 (Committee ballot opened.)
3 MR. HOLT: (Votes yea.)
4 MR. JONES: (Votes yea.)
5 MR. BROWN: (Votes yea.)
6 MR. DAVIS: (Votes yea.)
7 DR. GAFFNEY: (Votes yea.)
8 MR. JOOST: (Votes yea.)
9 MR. REDMAN: (Votes yea.)
10 (Committee ballot closed.)
11 THE CHAIRMAN: Close the ballot, record the
13 MS. LAHMEUR: Seven yeas, zero nay.
14 THE CHAIRMAN: By your action, you have
15 again withdrawn 2010-202. We'll give it another
17 Numbers 6 and 7 are deferred.
18 Number 8, our fee bill, 2010-216. We will
19 open the public hearing.
20 Seeing no speakers, we will close the
21 public hearing.
22 MR. JOOST: Move the amendment.
23 MR. JONES: Second.
24 THE CHAIRMAN: Motion and second on the
25 amendment. And --
1 MR. DAVIS: If I could go to the amendment,
3 THE CHAIRMAN: -- this is the amendment
4 from Finance, correct?
5 DR. GAFFNEY: Yes.
6 THE CHAIRMAN: The Finance amendment.
7 Mr. Reingold.
8 MR. REINGOLD: Yes. It would be the
9 Finance amendment.
10 Additionally, I just wanted to let the LUZ
11 Committee know that the Planning Commission had
12 a special meeting today at noon and out of the
13 Planning Commission recommended approval,
14 subject to one condition. They had recommended
15 this afternoon that essentially the chief
16 financial officer have the ability to decrease
17 the fee in the event that the chief financial
18 officer found that the costs or the revenue
19 gained exceeded the cost of the -- of doing the
20 projects or what they were reviewing. That was
21 the only amendment that came out of the Planning
23 THE CHAIRMAN: Which is a statutory
24 requirement anyway?
25 MR. REINGOLD: That is absolutely correct,
2 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brown.
3 MR. BROWN: Through the Chair, I actually
4 have a couple of concerns. My first one is the
5 current posture, does it give the CFO the
6 authority or that's what we're trying to do?
7 And, if so, why? And why we, as a body, no
8 longer want to have authority over the
9 adjustment of the fees.
10 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Reingold, you had
11 answered it in the agenda meeting really well,
12 that we do ultimately have that control. You
13 want to answer Mr. Brown's question?
14 MR. BROWN: And are we relinquishing
15 control; is that what we're doing?
16 MR. JOOST: Not in the Finance amendment.
17 MR. REINGOLD: It was my understanding that
18 essentially these items come back to the Finance
19 Committee -- with a report to the Finance
20 Committee before they're done.
21 THE CHAIRMAN: Do you want to explain it,
22 Mr. Joost?
23 MR. JOOST: I believe it was
24 Mr. Yarborough's amendment, is -- he didn't want
25 to relinquish that control just arbitrarily to
1 the CFO of the City, so he made an amendment,
2 and we approved it, that said these have to come
3 back at least before the Finance Committee to be
4 approved by the Finance Committee. And so
5 that -- that's -- that amendment is so -- the
6 CFO, right now the Finance Committee amendment,
7 cannot just arbitrarily change the fees without
8 input from the City Council.
9 MR. BROWN: Okay. I would feel more
10 comfortable -- I respect the Finance Committee,
11 but I believe that, since we represent the
12 entire city, I think it should come before full
13 council. The Finance Committee is fine, but I
14 do believe that -- that would make me feel a
15 little more comfortable, if this was to come
16 before full council versus --
17 MR. JOOST: And I -- me, personally, I
18 just -- you know, I -- I'm comfortable either
19 way. I just think the gist of the argument
20 was -- is the CFO just shouldn't arbitrarily
21 change fees without input from the legislative
22 body. So whether you want it at the full
23 council or the Finance Committee is, I guess,
24 really just kind of semantics at that point and
25 the overall idea of the amendment doesn't
2 So, I mean, I'll vote for your amendment in
3 this committee if you want to make one as well,
4 and we'll just see what happens at the full
5 council because we'll have conflicting
6 amendments at that point.
7 MR. BROWN: Okay. Absolutely.
8 And the reason I would like to make this
9 amendment is because, as I stated, this is going
10 to impact the entire city and so it would be
11 good for every elected official to give their
12 yea or nay in terms of the adjustment of fees,
13 up or down, so I -- I can make that amendment --
14 MR. DAVIS: Second.
15 MR. BROWN: -- is what my understanding --
17 THE CHAIRMAN: So let me make sure I
18 understand, restate the amendment, that any
19 change in the fee would have to come back and go
20 through an entire cycle, go through the normal
21 legislative process, and be approved by the
23 MR. BROWN: Absolutely.
24 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. I have a motion. Did
25 I get a second?
1 MR. DAVIS: Yes.
2 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Davis seconded.
3 All in favor of that amendment signify by
4 saying aye.
5 COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Aye.
6 THE CHAIRMAN: Any opposed?
7 COMMITTEE MEMBERS: (No response.)
8 THE CHAIRMAN: All right. The amendment
10 And so we're wrapping all those up with the
11 Finance amendment?
12 MR. JOOST: There's another amendment as
14 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay.
15 MR. JOOST: I think that's why Mr. Reingold
16 has his hand up.
17 THE CHAIRMAN: So do we need to approve all
18 of those amendments together or did we just vote
19 to approve all the amendments at once?
20 MR. REINGOLD: Well, what I've heard so far
21 is essentially the Finance amendment. I stated
22 the language about the chief financial officer
23 moving the rates down. I didn't know if the
24 committee wanted to incorporate that. And then
25 the additional amendment was that essentially it
1 will be full council review of any change, not
2 just to the Finance Committee, and we can wrap
3 that all up in one amendment if that's what the
4 committee so chooses.
5 THE CHAIRMAN: That's what we would like.
6 All right. So we have approved the
7 amendment. I need a motion on the bill.
8 Mr. Redman, did you want to say something
9 on that?
10 MR. REDMAN: I would like to try to bring
11 up the Yarborough amendment on -- again, on
12 bringing the solid waste fee from this.
13 THE CHAIRMAN: To eliminate the solid waste
15 MR. REDMAN: Eliminate the solid waste fee.
16 THE CHAIRMAN: Go ahead and propose your
17 amendment, then.
18 MR. REDMAN: I'm proposing that as an
20 THE CHAIRMAN: That we eliminate the solid
21 waste fee from this bill.
22 Do we have a second?
23 MR. JOOST: (Inaudible.)
24 MR. REDMAN: Yeah. I'm sorry, the increase
25 to the solid waste fee.
1 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Do we have a second?
2 MR. JONES: I second for discussion.
3 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Mr. Jones, go ahead
4 and speak.
5 MR. JONES: Is the Yarborough amendment to
6 reduce the garbage fee and put it on the regular
7 schedule that we had it originally or is it to
8 eliminate or freeze it? What is the amendment?
9 MR. JOOST: Put it back to the original
10 schedule was my understanding and not have
11 (inaudible) --
12 MR. REDMAN: (Inaudible.)
13 (Inaudible discussion.)
14 MR. REINGOLD: To the council, if I may, I
15 know Diane Tropia is trying to record this and
16 there seems to be a discussion off the
17 microphones. That just really helps in terms of
18 our ability to keep a transcript.
19 MR. JONES: Let me -- I guess to Mr. Joost.
20 MR. JOOST: (Inaudible.)
21 MR. JONES: So you don't know what the
22 amendment was?
23 MR. JOOST: (Inaudible.)
24 MR. JONES: Well, that's what I'm asking,
25 to --
1 THE CHAIRMAN: Go ahead, Mr. Joost.
2 MR. JONES: -- explain the amendment.
3 MR. JOOST: What the -- at least my
4 recollection of the Yarborough amendment was not
5 to have any increase right now, and I think his
6 intent was to keep it as is, to keep the status
7 quo, which would mean eventually, according to
8 the original schedule, it would go up -- I
9 believe it was a dollar a year over so many
10 years --
11 MR. JONES: (Inaudible.)
12 MR. JOOST: -- and it would eventually get
13 there anyway, but not just this year. It was
14 not the -- an increase of another five dollars
15 or whatever it is. It's to keep -- maintain the
16 status quo.
17 MR. JONES: All right. And I know we have
18 a tough budget year coming up, and I'm working
19 with the administration on the -- on the garbage
20 fee issue. That's the concern I have, but --
21 and I'll vote to get it out of committee today
22 and reserve the right to vote differently come
23 Tuesday night.
24 Thank you.
25 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. So the amendment --
Diane M. Tropia,
1 Mr. Redman's amendment would be to eliminate the
2 change of the solid waste fee, keep the solid
3 waste fee the same and on the track that it
4 previously was.
5 All in favor of that amendment signify --
6 I'm sorry.
7 Mr. Joost.
8 MR. JOOST: I'm against the amendment.
9 Number one, this is an
10 so what the City -- you know, what's happened is
11 the current budget situation has kind of
12 exacerbated the situation we're in and it's
13 brought to light -- I mean, you have certain
15 themselves regardless of the economic situation
16 we're in. So you've got to kind of separate the
17 issues. And over the years, the general fund
18 has been subsidizing the garbage, if you will.
19 And, by the way, this
20 we're talking about is only on the collection.
21 It doesn't even address the cost of disposal.
22 Okay? So if you added them all up together, the
23 amount we're subsidizing, the total garbage
24 amount, is way more than what the administration
25 is even telling us because they're only
1 addressing half of the equation. They're
2 addressing the pickup. Well, there's -- every
3 time you take a truck to the dump, you've got to
4 pay, you know, the disposal fees as well.
5 So, you know, year after year the general
7 cost of picking up the garbage should stand on
8 itself. The beaches had it for years, many
9 other communities have had it for years, and
10 therefore I wouldn't support it because at some
11 point this -- these fees should support
13 I mean, if you don't -- and the logic here,
14 if you follow the logic -- well, you're going to
15 gut the garbage fee, then why wouldn't you just
16 vote against all these fees? You know, because
17 the idea is many of these fees haven't been
18 increased in almost 20 years, you know, since
19 the 19- -- some of them haven't been increased
20 since 1990 and the cost of doing business has
21 gone up. And, you know, we're saying we can't
22 subsidize, you know, all these fees and
23 applications and whatnot.
24 So if you follow the same logic, you
25 wouldn't vote for any of this. And, therefore,
Diane M. Tropia,
1 I wouldn't support taking out just the
2 collection of the garbage fee because,
3 obviously, I mean, it's the lion's share of the
4 increase and it's the hot topic of the day, if
5 you will, but logically it doesn't make sense to
6 support some of the fees and not the garbage fee
7 and have the general fund continue to subsidize
9 Thank you.
10 (Mr. Jones assumes the Chair.)
11 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. Joost.
12 MR. HOLT: Thank you, Mr. Jones.
13 I just wanted to say one of the things that
14 I had said in Finance.
15 And I think the watch word on this is
16 "consistency." We're going to be bringing these
17 fees up to the point where they pay for the
18 service that we provide. And if we're going to
19 do that to commercial properties and some of the
20 services that we provide to them, we need to do
21 that to the garbage fee as well.
22 We're really essentially doing some of our
23 budget work in advance on this because, mark my
24 words, if we do not raise this fee, then we will
25 end up raising the millage an equal amount down
1 the road. We all know that our next budget,
2 we're going to come in with drastically lower
3 values and we're going to have a drastically
4 lower amount of funds, so I think we need to be
5 consistent across the board on these.
6 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Davis.
7 MR. DAVIS: Thank you.
8 I was just going to say, you know, I
9 appreciate Mr. Redman's proposed amendment.
10 And, truthfully, none of us want to vote or even
11 talk about this. I mean, it is just a subject
12 that we've been plagued with probably for the
13 last six years and uncomfortable.
14 Currently, we're in a global recession that
15 is causing every municipality to have to figure
16 out how to basically cover millions of dollars
17 in gaps.
18 So the truth is this: If you pass this
19 amendment, you would have to figure out a way
20 with probably a 60- or an $80 million gap when
21 the budget comes around to subsidize this, and
22 it's not any fun. It's very uncomfortable to
23 talk about, but there is not a logical way to
24 cover this gap without talking about having to
25 increase the millage at some point. And then
1 you get into the problem of dollars going to the
2 general fund, and who knows what happens to them
3 at that point.
4 The truth is, this way I feel about as
5 comfortable as you could in a situation like
6 this, to make sure that we're covering the cost
7 of a service and it's protected, so I really
8 can't support the amendment.
9 I'm -- I believe in what you -- your
10 premise of the amendment, but I think that we
11 have to be realistic. And I think there's only
12 one way that we can handle the situation that
13 we're dealing with today, and that is to cover
14 the cost of our service that we're providing.
15 (Mr. Holt resumes the Chair.)
16 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
17 Mr. Brown.
18 MR. BROWN: Yes. Through the Chair, I --
19 as I was looking at this -- I know that the
20 proposed amendment objective is to attempt to
21 pass all the savings as we can to the
22 taxpayers. I stated, you know, this is a
23 recession, if you want to consider that. A lot
24 of people, frankly, are just having difficult
25 times. I do believe that, as stated, the fees
1 should support the service, I do, it's just bad
3 But I have a concern and I wanted to see
4 can I get an answer -- maybe Planning will have
5 it or General Counsel, someone may have this
7 I understand the difference between pickup
8 services, the cost, which is what we're
9 discussing. But the disposal fee, I wanted to
10 see if we could get a list of how many counties
11 outside of Duval that use the landfill that do
12 not pay disposal fees, if we have any.
13 THE CHAIRMAN: We have some folks here from
14 the administration tonight if -- if you guys
15 wanted to take a shot at that.
16 (Ms. Hall approaches the podium.)
17 MR. BROWN: Okay. If the answer is none,
18 that would be great. I'm just -- I just want to
19 make sure for the record that no one is bringing
20 trash to any of our landfills without paying for
21 it, to have it disposed.
22 MS. HALL: Sherry Hall with the mayor's
24 Through the Chair to Councilmember Brown,
25 my understanding is that anyone else using the
1 landfill does pay disposal fees. If I find that
2 to be inaccurate, I will clarify that with you,
3 but that is my understanding as I stand here
4 right now.
5 MR. BROWN: Okay. So you're going to do
6 the research on that and then follow up, yea,
8 MS. HALL: Yes. I'm fairly certain that is
9 the case, but I will double-check that with our
10 Solid Waste folks.
11 MR. BROWN: Okay.
12 (Audience member approaches the podium.)
13 MR. BROWN: We have someone coming down.
14 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Mr. Redman.
15 MR. REDMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
16 And I understand Mr. Davis is right and I
17 understand where everybody is coming from.
18 Nobody wants to -- this fee increased.
19 The thing that gets -- the thing that
20 bothers me about increasing this fee is that we
21 just put a garbage fee into action with the
22 statement that it would be increased -- you
23 know, this is what we told people. It would be
24 increased on a regular basis until it reaches
25 the point of covering the entire cost of the
1 pickup. And that's what we told people we were
2 going to do, so -- and now we're coming back to
3 the point, we're saying, "Well, we've changed
4 our mind. We're going to go ahead and bill you
5 for the whole thing now" instead of increasing
6 it at -- gradually, as we promised people we
7 would do.
8 Through the Chair to Mr. Davis.
9 THE CHAIRMAN: Go ahead.
10 MR. DAVIS: Let me put this in perspective,
11 just the way I look at it.
12 We're also looking at pay cuts because we
13 are in a critical situation. In my business, my
14 employees haven't had a raise. They're happy
15 they have jobs. In many cases, they're going
16 part-time. And that's not the promise -- the
17 implicit promise that I've made them as I hired
18 them, but I'm in a tough situation. All I want
19 to do is try to keep them employed. Okay?
20 This is very tough. And I know the point
21 that you're making, but you're also going to be
22 considering pay cuts too for -- across the
23 board. And to be honest with you, that's not
24 what we have told our employees either. Okay?
25 But you -- we have to be able to survive by
1 rolling with the circumstances. And I've got to
2 tell you, I'm in full support of reducing pay.
3 Okay? Because it's more important for me to
4 keep someone employed than it is to try to
5 maintain the status quo.
6 So I think there's all sorts of things that
7 we talked about, not knowing where we would be
8 right now, that are -- they're not sustainable.
9 And you're going to have to ask yourself that
10 question a bunch coming up, what we're willing
11 to do.
12 So I'm with you, Councilman. I understand
13 what you're saying. And I've had so many
14 uncomfortable conversations, and I'm sure you
15 guys have in your own businesses with your
16 employees about how we can try to survive, and
17 it puts a lot of things in perspective. And
18 when your back is against the wall, you're going
19 to do things that you wouldn't normally do to
20 survive, and so -- I don't know if that rambling
21 mess made any sense, but that's kind of my
22 perspective on this whole situation.
23 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Jones.
24 MR. REDMAN: Could I -- wait a minute. Can
25 I finish?
1 THE CHAIRMAN: I'm sorry. Go ahead.
2 MR. REDMAN: And I understand all that.
3 And it's tough in my business, it's tough in
4 everybody's business, but we're talking -- the
5 difference is -- I mean, I -- we're talking
6 about pay cuts, yes. We're going to have to
7 have pay cuts for City employees across the
8 board, if we can, and work that out, but we're
9 talking about the taxpayers' money out here now
10 with the garbage and something that we committed
11 to the taxpayer, not something that we committed
12 to our employees here.
13 This is something that our constituents,
14 our taxpayers, that we committed to, that we
15 were going to do something, we were going to set
16 a fee, which we did, and we were going to
17 increase that fee at such and such amount over a
18 period of time. They would eventually be paying
19 full price for getting their garbage picked up.
20 So, you know, it -- it's tough any way you
21 look at, and I -- I understand. I understand.
22 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Jones.
23 MR. JONES: Thank you.
24 I seconded the amendment, but I -- like
25 Mr. Davis, it's a tough time. I mean, we were
1 joking today that it used to be a time where the
2 LUZ meeting lasted two or three hours. I mean,
3 that's a sign of the times right there. You
4 know, we are in a recession, it's a global one,
5 and my only concern would be -- the garbage
6 fee -- is the regressive nature of it. And
7 that's why I voted against it originally, but
8 we're faced with a situation today, if we don't
9 include the garbage fee, then we have two
10 options, to either cut an equal amount out of
11 the budget, which I think hits hardest at the
12 people who need the services the most, or
13 increase the millage rate. I don't think -- and
14 as Mr. Davis pointed out, either option we take
15 is not a good option. It's a dilemma.
16 And so, with that, I will not support the
17 amendment and hopefully can get some comfort
18 between now and Tuesday on the regressive nature
19 of the garbage fees because unless we get ten
20 votes to -- because if Mr. Redman or anybody
21 else can assure us that we're not going to cut
22 library hours, we're not going to cut
23 recreational services if we eliminate the
24 increase in the garbage fee, then maybe I could
25 support it, but I don't think we could do both,
1 not in this environment.
2 And I think the mayor has done a very good
3 job of balancing the cuts with some increases in
4 the three percent across-the-board salary cuts
5 to balance this year's budget. The next mayor
6 or the next council is going to be another
7 difficult year unless things turn around
8 drastically, and I don't -- I hope it happens,
9 but I don't think it will.
10 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brown.
11 MR. BROWN: Yes. Through the Chair to
12 Mr. Redman, I'm definitely very understanding to
13 your request tonight because we're actually
14 dealing with even a deeper issue, do we have a
15 government that you can trust?
16 And if we stated -- and I understand no one
17 could really foresee five years ago that we
18 would be in this posture, but if we made a
19 promise to the taxpayers, and they all agree
20 that we'll -- we'll take this hike or this fee,
21 but with the understanding that it will
22 increase -- the goal is to get it to the $13,
23 but it will be a gradual increase. If that's
24 the promise that was made to the taxpayers and
25 we're struggling with whether or not we have a
1 government that we can trust, I really would
2 like to get clarity, you know, was that an
3 actual comment made to the taxpayers? Because
4 it really puts another spin on the situation.
5 Mr. Redman.
6 MR. REDMAN: Yes, that was a -- that was
7 how we voted when we voted on the fees and
8 promised the -- and, you know, that's the thing,
9 you know. I hate to tell people something and
10 go back on my word and say, "Hey, you know, I
11 meant it at the time, but times are tough, so I
12 don't mean it anymore." So I -- that's just the
13 way I feel personally, so -- thank you.
14 THE CHAIRMAN: Dr. Gaffney.
15 DR. GAFFNEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
16 As I listen to the debate here, which is
17 very good, I'm somewhat perplexed because this
18 is really tough. It's almost a no-win
20 I know I'm not one who likes to go against
21 what we've already promised the public.
22 However, my conscience too is the gap that we
23 have to fill with the budget. So that's
24 something that we've really got to take in
1 We have a lot of social services and basic
2 services, essential services that we want to
3 offer good service, good quality service. And
4 without the proper funding, it will be extremely
6 And I definitely -- it's already difficult
7 and it's a burden on people taking a three
8 percent cut across the board, so we -- I'm kind
9 of torn. I'm -- I haven't made my mind up yet,
10 but I do know, economically, I don't want to see
11 a lot of employees laid off neither because --
12 the money has to come from somewhere.
13 We were not elected to make the popular
14 decision but the best decision, and the best
15 decision -- what is best for the City, the
16 citizens of
18 to the debates. I haven't made my mind up yet,
19 but we've got to look at the big picture. So I
20 echo some of the sentiments of my colleagues up
22 Thank you.
23 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Joost.
24 MR. JOOST: Just a follow-up on what
25 Dr. Gaffney said. The big picture is right now
1 we're 60 million short. This only puts
2 20 million and some change into it. We're still
3 going to have to cut $40 million after tonight.
4 Two-thirds of the budget hole is coming from
5 cuts. So, I mean, even after tonight, we have a
6 lot more tough decisions to make. And so, you
7 know -- and I certainly understand what you're
8 saying and -- you know, we put the schedule out
9 there when we passed the fee. I mean, it's out
10 there, it's public record, but everything we're
11 doing tonight is -- it's public. You know,
12 we're not trying to hide the fact that, you
13 know, we're changing things, but I think people
14 understand this is the worst recession in
15 60 years. And given that fact, I guess I'm more
16 comfortable saying I have to -- you know, I have
17 to change more with the times and, you know, be
18 quick on my feet because, I mean, we're not in a
19 steady environment. We're in a very uncertain
20 environment today with the economy and,
21 therefore, we have to make decisions that I know
22 I normally wouldn't make and I don't think some
23 of the other council members normally would
25 And I share that uncomfort [sic] with you,
1 and I know -- normally, you know -- even with my
2 stance with the pension -- when I was first
3 running for the election, they asked me for the
4 police and fire, you know, for their help. And,
5 you know, now look at me. It's -- I mean, it's
6 real uncomfortable, but that's the situation
7 we're in. You know, it's just reality.
8 And we -- at the end of the day, we have to
9 come up with a balanced budget. And so, you
10 know, going back to the big picture, this --
11 what we're talking about tonight only takes care
12 of 20 million of the $60 million picture. So,
13 you know, if we -- I look at it as trying to be
14 even, across the board to everybody. You know,
15 the taxpayers are going to have to help with
16 some of the burden and we're going to have to do
17 a lot of the burden, but I don't think right now
18 it's fair -- you know, the three percent tax --
19 or not -- the three percent pay cut is only
20 20 million. So if we don't do this 20 million,
21 are we going to ask our employees for a six
22 percent cut? You know, it's got to come from
23 somewhere. And, unfortunately, that's just the
24 plain, hard facts.
25 So, you know, given what I know, I'm not
1 going to support this amendment. And I think,
2 you know, at the end of the day, we just have to
3 try to do the best we can in the most evenhanded
4 manner, you know, and everybody has to share in
5 this burden. It's got to be, you know, City
6 employees, it's got to be some of the programs.
7 And, yes, at the end of the day, the taxpayers
8 are going to have to help us pay for some of the
9 services, and that's -- I think that's just the
10 best approach at the end of the day, at least
11 for myself.
12 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brown again.
13 MR. BROWN: Yes. Through the Chair to --
14 this is to General Counsel. What was the
15 purpose of grouping all of these fees together?
16 Like why wasn't it separate? Is it -- I'm just
17 curious because it's -- it seems like it's just
18 one issue that's holding up this bill. And so I
19 think if we had it itemized, you know, as a
20 separate bill, we'd probably be a lot quicker
21 through this process. I'm just wondering
22 whether it was some reasoning or logic behind
24 THE CHAIRMAN: I can take a shot at that.
25 This council, at some point over the past
1 year, said to the administration that we want to
2 try to -- this was during the last budget -- we
3 want to try and make sure that our fees are in
4 an area where they're covering the cost of our
5 services and to do that wholistically, not
6 picking and choosing. That was my understanding
7 of how this bill came about, was as a request
8 from the council.
9 MR. BROWN: Okay. I guess with that being
10 said, then, it needs to be here. You know,
11 that's really the bottom line. We are facing a
12 budget, and I truly understand that.
13 I wrestle with a deeper issue, which, you
14 know, doesn't have anything to do with money.
15 It's our word to the people. And if there's a
16 document floating out there -- unless we're
17 going to send a document behind that to support
18 why we are going in a different direction -- and
19 I wasn't here during that time when we voted,
20 but I think it's important -- just as
21 important -- sometimes we -- you know, things
22 bring on a change, but I do think for the good
23 of this body, the good of government, the good
24 of communication and trust with our taxpayers,
25 that some document need to go out as to why
1 we're doing what we're doing other than the
2 fact -- you know, it's a recession, sorry. We
3 said it three years ago, but we're going to have
4 to do something different.
5 Even if it's -- even if that's the
6 justification, I think we need to word it in a
7 way that we can rally community support because
8 I don't believe that taxpayers -- not taxpayers,
9 City employees should take the brunt of the
10 expense. So I would not be for raising it six
11 percent or, you know, just putting the onus on
12 one body. I think that the entire city should
13 play a part in this.
14 But if there's a document out there, I
15 would feel so much better with another document
16 as to why we're having to go in a different
18 That would be it.
19 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, sir.
20 Mr. Redman.
21 MR. REDMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
22 And then -- there is a document out there,
23 but the other issue is we're taking something
24 and we're voting to do this before we do any
25 cuts. And, you know, the idea was -- that I
1 understood -- as we -- the Finance Committee --
2 as we go through the finances and look at the
3 budget, look at the different departments, and
4 see where we stand and what we can do, other
5 than what we did last year -- which we did a lot
6 last year and did a good job -- we thought we
7 were doing a good job. We thought we were
8 really going to get somewhere. I thought we
9 wouldn't have any -- to increase the taxes
10 then. And who knows what we can do from this
11 point on.
12 But from my understanding, that was -- the
13 whole idea was to go through the budget, not
14 come and vote on an increase in fees, which I
15 understand this would make up a big portion of
16 our budget, to save us some anguish as we go
17 through these cuts, but that's all it would do.
18 I mean, that's what it would do, it would save
19 us a lot of anguish in going through each
20 department to figure out what we could cut and
21 going -- you know, and salaries and all that.
22 But, you know, this is not the budget as such.
23 This is just a vote on fees.
24 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Joost.
25 MR. JOOST: Thank you.
1 Just a couple of things.
2 I don't think there's a specific document
3 that's out there saying we're changing course,
4 but, I mean, the mayor has had many budget
5 hearings with the public, and so has the City
6 Council. President Clark has had many budget
7 meetings and another one scheduled this week.
8 So, you know, that idea has already been put
9 forth to the public. It's not like, you know,
10 we're just up here doing it tonight. This has
11 been discussed over the last -- at least a month
12 and a half with the public. You know, here's
13 the preliminary budget. This is how we're going
14 to balance it. The fees -- the increase has
15 been out there for at least a month and
16 discussed, you know, for the people that decide
17 to show up at these budget hearings. So it's
18 not like, you know, we've just been trying to do
19 it in a vacuum here just at City Hall, so --
20 So with respect to that, I think the
21 communication has been made to the public, that,
22 yes, indeed, here is the situation; yes, indeed,
23 we're going to have to change course. And so I
24 would argue, you know, that although there
25 hasn't been a specific memo, there has been the
1 effort to explain what our budget was and we're
2 not just changing course.
3 And oftentimes in my business, I mean, we
4 make business plans, circumstances change, and,
5 you know, I have to change with those
6 circumstances. And I guess that's kind of how I
7 look at this is -- is that circumstances have
8 changed, and so we've got to change with them.
9 With respect to Mr. Redman, you know, what
10 we're doing tonight does have budget
11 implications because the general fund has
12 obviously subsidized the garbage fee. But,
13 again, I go back to -- if you say -- like on
14 these other fees, you know, applications and
15 various fees and all the other -- you know,
16 let's just call them minor incidental fees.
17 Those services should support themselves. And
18 using that same logic, then, yes, the garbage
19 fee should support itself. Otherwise, you
20 wouldn't be able to vote for any of this.
21 And so, you know, when you logically look
22 it, that -- okay, if the cost of doing this
23 application is X, then I need to change it from
24 250 to $500 to cover that cost, the garbage fee
25 is no different.
1 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brown again.
2 MR. BROWN: Yes. Through the Chair to
3 General Counsel, do -- are we locked into --
4 because I heard what Councilman Redman alluded
5 to in terms of we make and make some adjustments
6 later. Are we locked into it at this point,
7 moving from $6 to the full amount or can we use
8 language like "up to"? That way we have some
9 flexibility in the event the economy gets
11 And, you know, we can -- we can make that
12 adjustment down if we need to, but if we have to
13 go to the full amount, then -- then fine, let's
14 do it, but the -- the way that I'm understanding
15 the language right now is that it's all or
16 nothing, full amount, or --
17 MR. JOOST: It's not the full amount.
18 MR. BROWN: Okay.
19 MR. JOOST: It's only going to
20 85 percent. It's not going to the full amount.
21 THE CHAIRMAN: But there's nothing that
22 would change that.
23 MR. JOOST: But you can offer any amendment
24 you want. I mean, that's -- that's your purview
25 as a councilman.
1 MR. BROWN: Well, if we're still not
2 covering the full cost, then there is some -- I
3 think a reasonable understanding that the City
4 is still pitching in --
5 MR. JOOST: Yeah.
6 MR. BROWN: -- and the taxpayer is not --
7 MR. JOOST: It only takes it up to
8 85 percent. We'll still be subsidizing at
9 15 percent.
10 MR. BROWN: Okay. But it's not at full
12 MR. JOOST: No, sir.
13 MR. BROWN: Thank you.
14 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Davis.
15 MR. DAVIS: I guess this is what I'd say
16 and this is the last thing and hopefully
17 somebody else calls the question when I'm done.
18 THE CHAIRMAN: I was hoping.
19 MR. DAVIS: You know, I -- Mr. Redman, I
20 don't know if you have an idea of how to cover
21 the gap. That would help me be able to vote for
22 your amendment, if you -- if there was some
23 legitimate proposal that would cover the gap
24 without a millage increase.
25 So, number one, I'd like to ask that
1 question. Number two, if between now and
2 Tuesday night you or Mr. Yarborough want to
3 present an amendment that has a legitimate
4 offset of how we cover the cost, I'd be more
5 than willing to listen to it and welcome it.
6 I'm always open.
7 THE CHAIRMAN: Dr. Gaffney.
8 DR. GAFFNEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
9 I just want to expound on what Councilman
11 help. It's just as frustrating to keep
12 piecemealing. Eighty-five percent is not
13 enough, to be quite frankly [sic] with you. If
14 it was two percent, people are going to get
16 Now, as a businessman and as a banker, you
17 know, my first instinct -- say get it all, you
18 know, and get it over with so we can run our
19 city efficiently the way it should be run.
20 However, in the essence of -- in the essence of
21 just trying to compromise, you know, the 85
22 percent is okay, but it's not good enough. But
23 if we can find any other means to fill the gap
24 -- I mean, I'm really, really struggling with
25 this because I'm upset. I don't want no kind of
1 fees. However, that's not -- that's not the
2 real world. In the real world, it's just not
3 that simple. One size don't fit all and
4 situations change every day, so we have to adapt
5 to the change or we'll become like dinosaurs,
6 and that's what -- that's what we do not want to
7 have to obligate the city. I say
8 "great city," so we've got to do what we got to
9 do, so --
10 Thank you very much.
11 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Jones and then
12 Mr. Redman.
13 MR. JONES: Move the previous question.
14 MR. JOOST: What does that mean?
15 MR. JONES: Call the question.
16 MR. JOOST: Second.
17 THE CHAIRMAN: The question has been
18 called. It's nondebatable.
19 All in favor of calling the question,
20 please signify by saying aye.
21 COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Aye.
22 THE CHAIRMAN: The question has been
24 On the amendment -- let's do this by hand
25 because I think we're going to be split on this
2 All in favor of the Redman amendment
3 signify by raising your hand.
4 MR. REDMAN: (Indicating.)
5 THE CHAIRMAN: All those opposed.
7 MR. JONES: (Indicating.)
8 MR. DAVIS: (Indicating.)
9 MR. JOOST: (Indicating.)
10 MR. BROWN: (Indicating.)
11 DR. GAFFNEY: (Indicating.)
12 THE CHAIRMAN: The amendment fails.
13 All right. We are back on the bill as
14 previously amended.
15 Do I have a motion on the bill as amended?
16 MR. JOOST: Move the bill as amended.
17 MR. JONES: Second.
18 THE CHAIRMAN: Motion and second.
19 Please open the ballot.
20 (Committee ballot opened.)
21 MR. HOLT: (Votes yea.)
22 MR. JONES: (Votes yea.)
23 MR. BROWN: (Votes yea.)
24 MR. DAVIS: (Votes yea.)
25 DR. GAFFNEY: (Votes yea.)
1 MR. JOOST: (Votes yea.)
2 MR. REDMAN: (Votes nay.)
3 (Committee ballot closed.)
4 THE CHAIRMAN: Close the ballot, record the
6 MS. LAHMEUR: Six yeas, one nay.
7 THE CHAIRMAN: By your action, you have
8 approved 2010-216.
9 MR. REINGOLD: And I just want to confirm,
10 that was the Finance amendment, the Planning
11 Commission additional language, and the
12 additional issue regarding the full council
13 review instead of just the Finance Committee.
14 THE CHAIRMAN: Say that last part again.
15 MR. REINGOLD: That's why I asked for
16 the -- it was -- instead of the Finance
17 Committee review, it was the full council
19 THE CHAIRMAN: Correct. That did pass.
20 And I don't know that we really included
21 the PC in there, but --
22 MR. REINGOLD: Okay. If that's not what
23 was included, that's fine. I just wanted to
24 make sure that was clear on the record.
25 If that was out, then it was just the
1 Finance amendment and the council full review.
2 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. But, for the record,
3 the -- the Planning Commission amendment was --
4 is not really necessary. It's that way by
6 All right. Items 9 and 10 are second --
7 are read second; 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and all of
8 page 6; all of page 7, except for item 23,
9 2010-273 --
10 MR. JOOST: Move the amendment.
11 MR. BROWN: Second.
12 THE CHAIRMAN: Motion and second on the
14 Mr. Crofts, could you tell us what that
15 amendment is?
16 MR. CROFTS: Mr. Chairman, committee, that
17 strictly is a -- it's a spelling issue
18 with "Blasis."
19 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay.
20 MR. CROFTS: We're correcting the spelling.
21 THE CHAIRMAN: Just a typo.
22 All right. All in favor of the amendment
23 signify by saying aye.
24 COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Aye.
25 THE CHAIRMAN: The amendment passes.
1 MR. JONES: Move to rerefer.
2 MR. JOOST: Second.
3 THE CHAIRMAN: I have a motion and second
4 to rerefer.
5 Please open the ballot.
6 (Committee ballot opened.)
7 MR. HOLT: (Votes yea.)
8 MR. JONES: (Votes yea.)
9 MR. BROWN: (Votes yea.)
10 MR. DAVIS: (Votes yea.)
11 DR. GAFFNEY: (Votes yea.)
12 MR. JOOST: (Votes yea.)
13 MR. REDMAN: (Votes yea.)
14 (Committee ballot closed.)
15 THE CHAIRMAN: Close the ballot, record the
17 MS. LAHMEUR: Seven yeas, zero nay.
18 THE CHAIRMAN: By your action, you have
20 And unless I'm missing something, we have
21 completed our agenda.
22 Is that right, everybody?
23 STAFF MEMBERS: Yes.
24 THE CHAIRMAN: Y'all have a good night.
25 (The above proceedings were adjourned at
1 5:52 p.m.)
2 - - -
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
3 STATE OF
4 COUNTY OF DUVAL :
6 I, Diane M. Tropia, certify that I was
7 authorized to and did stenographically report the
8 foregoing proceedings and that the transcript is a
9 true and complete record of my stenographic notes.
10 Dated this 24th day of April, 2010.
14 Diane M. Tropia