Commissioner Curt Smith Updates Brevard Citizens On County Commission Agenda Items

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January 26, 2016 meeting

Curt Smith was elected to the Brevard County Commission in November of 2014 with 63 percent of the vote. He ran as a fiscal conservative coming from the private sector with 40 years of small business, entrepreneurial experience.

Curt Smith was elected to the Brevard County Commission in November of 2014 with 63 percent of the vote. He ran as a fiscal conservative coming from the private sector with 40 years of small business, entrepreneurial experience.

Resolution Approved 3-2 Limiting County Commissioners, Public To Place Agenda Items Dealing With Economic Development

ROADS AND BUDGET CHANGES UPDATE:

BREVARD COUNTY FLORIDA – As many of you know, there has been an ongoing discussion in recent months regarding our County’s lack of funding for road maintenance and construction.

At the January 14 Workshop I proposed, and the Commission agreed, to come to the next Board Meeting with lists of possible solutions to fund road maintenance.

There seems to be two sides to this issue: The first is that the County has a spending problem, and the second is that the County has a revenue problem.

From my viewpoint, both sides make legitimate arguments. However, if we do not find common ground and come to a compromise from both ends, the issue will continue to drag on, be divisive, and nothing will be resolved.

I have been asking my fellow Commissioners to commit to writing their ideas, and it is for this reason that I came to Tuesday’s Board Meeting prepared with a list of 13 budget items to analyze and consider.

My intent was to start a discussion that would help lead us closer to resolving this dilemma.

It was decided that the Commission would hold off on making any decisions on this topic until we hold another Workshop on the issue on March 31.

Brevard County Commission Rejects Plan To Increase Gas Tax To Pay For Road RepairsRelated Story:
Brevard County Commission Rejects Plan To Increase Gas Tax To Pay For Road Repairs

Our workshops are intended to be a place where the Commissioners can discuss options and processes in a public forum, rather than a debate with the public, although public comments and opinions are always welcomed and encouraged.

Later in the meeting, Commissioner Robin Fisher handed out a resolution that prompts the County Manager not to place any items on a Board Meeting agenda in the future if the items are related to funding, defunding, or dissolution of redevelopment agencies and similar entities unless at least 3 out of the 5 Commissioners vote to do so.

The proposal passed by a 3-2 vote, with myself and Commissioner Infantini voting against. I wanted the issue tabled for two weeks to let the emotions on both sides settle down.

TERMINATION OF SERVICES – GREEN LEAF LANDSCAPING AND IRRIGATION: UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED

At Tuesday’s Board Meeting it was requested that we authorize the termination of the county contracts with Green Leaf Landscaping and Irrigation.

In adopting the current fiscal year budget, the Board approved a program change to the Sheriff’s budget as a cost savings measure, which increased oversight of Facility lawn maintenance.

As part of this initiative, the Sheriff’s Office will be utilizing inmates and community service workers to perform landscape maintenance for sites such as courthouses, government centers, County service complexes, animal shelters, and other county facilities.

The inmates and community service workers will begin taking over all lawn maintenance to include mowing, shrub maintenance, edging, trimming/pruning, weeding, irrigation inspection, parking lot maintenance, and general debris removal on March 1, 2016.

The Board approved this measure unanimously, which will result in a County savings of approximately $100,000 for the remainder of 2016, and approximately $183,000 every year after.

PALM BAY AQUATIC CENTER, PALM BAY SENIOR CENTER, & PALM BAY REGIONAL PARK: UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED

It was requested that the Board approve a contract to transfer responsibility of the Palm Bay Aquatic Center, Palm Bay Senior Center andPalm Bay Regional Park to the City of Palm Bay. The transition would ultimately save the County a total of approximately $1.5 million for the first 5 years, and $960,929 every year after.

Brevard County staff and City of Palm Bay Parks & Recreation representatives have held numerous meetings in the past to discuss and negotiate the contractual language to facilitate a seamless transition, contingent upon both Board and City Council approval.

The Board unanimously approved these agreements on Tuesday, which means that the City of Palm Bay can officially begin taking over operation and maintenance of the Regional Park, Senior Center, and Aquatic Center.

BREVARD COUNTY MUCK DREDGING PROJECT: APPROVED 4-0

In the Central and Northern Regions of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), record setting algae blooms have caused the loss of over 40,000 acres of seagrass, and the unusual mortality of hundreds of manatees, bottlenose dolphins, and pelicans.

One major contributing factor to the catastrophic decline is the extensive amount of organic muck deposits created by decades of runoff, erosion, and nutrient loading.

Muck sediments can negatively impact navigation, damage seagrass beds, and can also create anoxic bottom conditions that are detrimental to Lagoon organisms.

Brevard County has embarked on an aggressive restoration strategy for the lagoon to reduce excess nutrient inputs, remove the legacy load of muck, restore the filtration systems (oysters, clams, and wetlands), and ensure that sound research is the basis of the effort.

As part of this restoration strategy, removal of the muck is critical to overall success. Brevard County muck removal projects are already underway in multiple areas throughout the county.

On Tuesday the Board voted 4-0, with Commissioner Infantini abstaining from the vote due to a conflict of interest, to approve a $10,000,000 grant from the Department of Environmental Protection that will help offset some of the costs of the muck removal project.

The funding was specifically appropriated by the Florida State Legislature to further muck removal efforts within the IRL system in Brevard County.

$1,500,000 of the funding is to be provided to the IRL Research Institute at the Florida Institute of Technology for the purpose of scientific assessment to determine environmental benefits from the project.

CLICK HERE to view the agenda, minutes, or video of past Board of County Commissioners Meetings

FUTURE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETINGS

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
• 9 a.m. – Commission Chambers, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, FL 32940

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
• 9 a.m. – Commission Chambers, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, FL 32940

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
• 9 a.m. – Commission Chambers, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, FL 32940

ABOUT CURT SMITH, Brevard County District 4 Commissioner

Smith was elected to the Brevard County Commission in November of 2014 with 63 percent of the vote. He ran as a fiscal conservative coming from the private sector with 40 years of small business, entrepreneurial experience. This was his first venture into the world of politics.

Curt Smith

Curt Smith

Smith and his wife Linda owned and operated a Maaco Autopainting franchise in Melbourne for almost 27 years before retiring at the end of 2013. He grew up in a little town in southern New Jersey on the Delaware River called Pennsville. This is where he developed his deep love of nature and for being on and in the water of the river he loved. He also credits this area, just south of Philadelphia, with his deep love of God and country. The Delaware Valley is often called the cradle of Liberty.

Smith has always been civic minded. Some of his many associations in Brevard County include Board of Directors of Friends of Sally’s House and Prevent as well as supporting Brevard Little League Teams, Habitat for Humanity, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Candlelighters, Animal Services, and supporting efforts to restore the Indian River Lagoon.

Curt and his wife Linda have been residents of Melbourne since 1986. They have one daughter and three grandchildren.

To contact Curt Smith e-mail D4.Commissioner@brevardcounty.us or call 321-633-2044.


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