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Tampa City Council
Special called meeting
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
6:00 p.m. Session

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[Sounding gavel]
>>CHAIRMAN GWEN MILLER: I call the meeting to order.
Before we go to the meeting, there are some things we need to take care of.
Clerk.
>>THE CLERK: CRA decided to set a workshop at 1:30 on May 5th to discuss the vision plan.
At last CRA's meeting they discussed tonight whether or not the workshop at 1:30 for the wet zoning issue for the workshop at 2:30 on May 5th for the impact fees needs to be rescheduled.
You may want to make a decision tonight.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: I would like to reschedule the 1:30 workshop for May 5th and reschedule the wet zoning.
>>THE CLERK: You have scheduled your workshop already.
>>MARTIN SHELBY: If I may make a suggestion to council, I would respectfully suggest the wet zoning issue be continued to the July workshop, the first Thursday in July.
>> So moved.
>>GWEN MILLER: We need two different motions.
>>THE CLERK: Your first meeting in July will be July 21st because you are not having a meeting on July 7th or July 14th.
>>GWEN MILLER: We can't do it the first week.
We will be on vacation.
What about June?
>>THE CLERK: June 2nd you have a workshop on Historic Preservation Commission and the architectural review commission process at 1:30.
>>GWEN MILLER: It has to be August.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: We are going to have to schedule the impact fees, too, I believe.
So that's going to have to move.
And the CRA visioning plan.
So we should do the wet zonings as soon as possible after that.
>>MARTIN SHELBY: My understanding is the visionary plan bears some relation to the wet zoning.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Yes, it does.
So if we could maybe do it --
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Because there's a relationship between visioning plan, CRA meeting, so we could get going with some of those improvements.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: It's going to take a little longer than that.
And it might run into --
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I just don't think we should wait to August to deal with wet zoning.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: No, but maybe we could do in the June.
>> If you have to schedule another workshop day other than the first week.
>>ROSE FERLITA: I just want to remind council at the last CRA meeting we had some discussion about the fact that sometimes we try to do too much and CRA doesn't get enough attention.
So talking about a visioning plan, with all due respect, Ms. Saul-Sena, I think that warrants attention.
And I'm pretty comfortable that's not --
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Two hours at least.
So the other thing would need to be at 3:30 or another time.
>>ROSE FERLITA: But I'm sure lots of times as happens, we lose our focus.
I agree with you, we shouldn't wait till June but maybe someplace in between would be reasonable.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Maybe schedule another special discussion.
Because on the 12th we have a night meeting.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Can we put this on pending calendar and deal with it on Thursday?
>>MARTIN SHELBY: Yes.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Let's do that.
>>GWEN MILLER: So a motion for the CRA --.
>>MARTIN SHELBY: From a procedural standpoint, I have been informed you need to take roll first before you can make a motion from the floor.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: (No response)
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Here.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Here.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Here.
>>KEVIN WHITE: (No response)
>>ROSE FERLITA: Here.
>>GWEN MILLER: Here.
>>THE CLERK: You already set the CRA.
The two issues --
>>ROSE FERLITA: Let's put it on pending instead of wasting everybody's time.
>>MARTIN SHELBY: Put one on the pending calendar.
The wet zoning workshop -- remove those from the May 5th workshop agenda.
And put those on the pending calendar.
>> So moved.
>> Second.
>>GWEN MILLER: We have a motion and second.
(Motion carried)
Before we get on with our meeting I would like to put something on the record.
It has been brought to my attention that due to my husband's position with Tampa General Hospital, there is a provision in the City of Tampa ethics code that may potentially cause a conflict of interest if I were to vote on the matter pending tonight.
I have reviewed the provision with the city of attorney in an effort to determine its application to my circumstances.
He believes that it requires a clarification.
In an abundance of caution I will at this time recuse myself from any participation in this hearing.
In order to avoid even the appearance of any impropriety, I will absent myself from the City Council.
I would ask the city attorney to seek expeditiously an interpretation from of the scope and application of section 2-520.
If it is subsequently determined that I am not prevented from participating in this matter, and it has not already been decided by the vote of the remaining council members, I will review the tape and vote as per our rules and procedures.
Since this is a matter that will be considered by the ethics commission, I will have no further comments until it renders its opinion.
In the interim, all questions should be directed to Mr. David Smith, city attorney.
I now turn the floor over to Mr. Shawn Harrison.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Thank you, Madam Chair.
Mr. Massey.
>>MORRIS MASSEY: Legal department.
In connection with the two matters that are before you tonight, which are Tampa General Hospital and a proposed lease agreement between the City of Tampa and Tampa General Hospital, staff has determined that we would recommend and would request that this matter be continued, if possible, for several reasons.
Number one, obviously, City Council has now been reduced to four members, and we believe that this matter should be considered by as full a City Council as possible.
We also have people that cannot fit into this chamber, and so we would like to explore the possibility of moving this hearing to the Tampa Convention Center so that this hearing can take place where all interested parties can be in a single room here to testify, and again before a full a City Council as we can possibly have.
And there are some issues that still remain unresolved, one of which is the transportation study analysis, and some extra time would be helpful in resolving these issues so there will be no open issues at least from the staff's perspective when this matter is presented to City Council.
So that is our recommendation.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Thank you, Mr. Massey.
Any questions for Mr. Massey?
Mr. Shelby, should we open the public hearing at this time to debate whether or not there will be a continuance?
Or do we go ahead and do that without any public hearing?
>>MARTIN SHELBY: You have a noticed public hearing.
My suggestion would be then to open the public hearing, the choice then would either be to go forward or continue.
But if a continued public hearing to a date and time certain.
There are two public hearings tonight.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: We have a motion and second to open both public hearings.
(Motion carried)
Both public hearings are now open.
Petitioner.
>> My name is Rhea Law with Fowler White representing Tampa General Hospital.
We are prepared to go forward tonight.
However, we do not oppose the staff's recommendation for a continuation.
We understand the issues before you, and they are very serious issues, and we wish to have a full hearing on those.
And so if you have any other questions we would be happy to answer them.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Thank you, Ms. Law.
Is there anyone who is representing the neighborhood, the civic association, who can speak in a unified manner on what is before the board right now, which is a request by the city attorney's office to continue?
Yes, sir, go ahead.
Put your name on the record, please.
>>> My name is Steve Stanley, 558 West Davis Boulevard.
I'm president of the Davis Island Civic Association.
I did get a call this evening, explaining to me the situation.
However, we didn't have the opportunity to call the people who live on Davis Island who made special arrangements to come down here that there wouldn't be a meeting.
And we don't want to object, because I don't know if you remember, we came down last -- was it Thursday? -- and told council the same reasons that were just given except for maybe one that we didn't know about because we didn't have the reports, reasons for continuing.
Now, I would ask that it be made more convenient for both the hospital and the residents of Davis Island and have it at the Garden Club, not have to come back down and try to find a place to park and go to the convention center.
You have it at the Garden Club.
And we can make those arrangements so that it's easier for both sides to come.
Because you have got a bunch of people that came downtown tonight from both sides.
And, you know, I hate to see them inconvenienced again without being able to maybe make it a little easier on them.
So other than that, we're not going to object.
We're prepared to go forward.
We did a lot of work as we find out we weren't going to get a continuance.
But we are ready to have a full and forth hearing and think it's important.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Take a seat in the front there and let's look at some different dates.
Ms. Saul-Sena.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I have had the pleasure to go to many meetings at the Davis Island Garden Club for the civic association.
And honestly, I don't think it would be big enough.
I mean, personally, it would be more convenient, but it's packed for civic association meetings, and I think you would have also additional people.
And the other thing that we do with our meetings is we televise them.
And we are kind of set up to do it here, and our folks are used to setting up at the convention center.
But I don't know how government access would fare at the Garden Club.
Although, as I said, it would be more convenient for all of us.
But I just don't think everybody would fit.
And based on that, Mr. Chairman, I move that we continue to one week when we know we can have it at the convention center in the evening with enough advance notice and everybody would know when it is and when it starts.
>>MORRIS MASSEY: I think we do need to continue them to a date and time certain.
We do have some dates and times for the Tampa Convention Center that I can give you all for consideration tonight.
Let me go through those with you all.
Monday, May 9th, ballroom A is open from 5:00 on.
Tuesday, May 17th, ballroom A is open at the convention center.
All evening as well.
Those are the two earliest dates that we could obtain, some space that we think could accommodate this audience and City Council.
And either those dates.
We have some more dates, too but those are the first two dates to propose to you all.
In talking to staff, they did want you all to be aware that the week of May 9th, you also have a scheduled zoning hearing on that Thursday evening, and there's an A.R.C. hearing also that evening here at City Council chambers.
So that may be an issue.
But I wanted to bring that to you all's attention as well.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Mr. Massey, has anyone checked with the two council members who are not here this evening to find out about their availability for those dates?
>>MORRIS MASSEY: I asked Mr. Shelby to check with their aides at least.
>>MARTIN SHELBY: I was able to check with council member Dingfelder's aide, and I know that he would be able to make arrangements to be here.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Both those dates?
>>MARTIN SHELBY: For, I believe, the 17th.
I'm not sure about the 9th.
I can't say with certainty about the 9th.
I don't have a specific recollection that I asked about the 9th.
>>ROSE FERLITA: May 9th I'm not able to because I work at Major Care.
But I do know for a fact that Mr. White is available on the 17th as is Mr. Dingfelder.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: So we are all available on the 17th and the convention center is available on the 17th.
All right.
>>MORRIS MASSEY: The location would be if you wanted to continue it, would be May 17th.
I would suggest the same time, 6:00, ballroom A, in the Tampa Convention Center.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: We keep the public hearing open?
>>MORRIS MASSEY: Yes.
>>MARTIN SHELBY: For both items.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: The motion would be to continue both until that time and date?
>>MARTIN SHELBY: Yes.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Petitioner, May 17th, convention center, is that acceptable to you?
6 p.m.
Mr. Stanley, May 17th, 6 p.m.?
Mr. Stanley, please come up to the podium.
>>> Mr. Stanley: Councilman Harrison, as far as I'm concerned, I have people telling me they don't want to have to come back down and it's not fair.
But I guess ballroom A at the convention center.
Is there any arrangements for any parking?
Can any arrangements be made for any parking?
>>SHAWN HARRISON: I don't know the answer to that question.
And I don't know that we have anyone on hand right now to answer that question.
We'll see if we can -- yes, ma'am.
While we are taking a look at this potential date, anyone who is in the chamber now, right now, who wishes to speak to the continuance only may do so at this time.
Please come up.
>>> Hi.
I live on Davis Island.
And my name is Betty Hollander.
I am a volunteer who works down at the visitors center.
And so I have some knowledge of the parking down there.
And all I can say is there's limited parking, nothing that close.
You have to walk quite a way.
And it's at night.
And I just don't where we would park or what the safety issues are down there.
And that's why I would object to the convention center.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Thank you, ma'am.
Is there anyone else who would like to speak on the issue of the continuance only at this time?
Please.
If you would like to speak to the issue of the continuance, please go ahead and come on up.
>>> Reed Smith, Davis Island.
I have a question, which is how do those of us that are opposed to that which is pending tonight express ourselves if we cannot be here on the 17th?
Mr. Wagner and I, for example, know we have to be at a council meeting something called the American Law Institute on that date.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: You can do so through e-mail, through letter, through telephone call, through any other method that you might normally do so.
However, remember that any ex parte communications with council members outside of the public hearing will be disclosed by those council members.
>>> Thank you, sir.
>>MORRIS MASSEY: The other thing I would like to point out is relative to the at least the rezoning, that requires at least two public hearings so persons who are unable to speak at the first public hearing can also speak at the second public hearing if they wanted to.
So there's that opportunity as well.
>> So, council, we have heard the public testimony regarding the continuance.
Ma'am, I asked you to come up.
If you are going to speak, please come up.
>> My name is Linda Carson.
I live at 26 Adelia Avenue.
My problem with the continuance is it took us -- we jumped through hoops and obstacles will courses to get here tonight.
Many of the people on Davis Islands have families.
It's the end of the school year.
We had to get babysitters.
It's not a place of employment.
We had to jump over, find parking, change meetings, change social schedules to get here.
I'm a little concerned when we have such a big turnout that our City Council couldn't be here.
I mean, this is one of the largest turnouts that I have seen and I've testified before City Council before.
So I'm a little concerned that the citizen population managed to get here tonight, and it was really difficult.
We have an overflow room downstairs.
And now all of a sudden we are going to have to do it again.
And how do we know that it will continue?
I'd love to have a guarantee.
Because it about killed me to get here tonight.
Thank you very much.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Thank you.
And trust me, I think we all hear you on that issue.
Madam Saul-Sena.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I think that the convention center has secure parking.
It's immediately adjacent to it.
We'll have security there.
There's tons of it, because there's enough parking for the entire, you know, convention center to have a full-fledged convention.
And you will have to pay for it, but it's not a lot.
And it will be right adjacent.
Or you could park for free on a city street and walk two blocks.
But there will be security in the city parking lot that's adjacent to the convention center.
And we really apologize about changing this.
Believe me, I wish all my colleagues were here.
And I wish we could go forward tonight.
And we appreciate the effort that you all have made to come.
So with that said, I'll make a motion that we continue this public hearing to the 17th, May 17th, 6 p.m., the Tampa Convention Center ballroom A.
>> Second.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: We have a motion and second.
Any further discussion?
>>MARY ALVAREZ: I was just going to say that last year when council chambers were being renovated, we met at the convention center, and we had pretty big crowds, too.
Everybody seemed to have been accommodated by the parking issues.
So it's really not our choice.
It's just a matter of convenience for everybody.
We don't want to be here any more than anybody else.
So I'm sorry that our other colleagues are not here, but they had other arrangements, and they are out of town.
One is out of town, I know.
So we had to do the best we can with what we've got.
So all I can do is apologize.
But this is the facts.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Since this is the city attorney's office officially making the request, I think that at a minimum we ought to check into the possibility of providing free parking at the convention center that evening.
And so we will try to spread that word.
The least we can do.
We have a motion.
We have a second.
Any further discussion on the motion to continue to May 17th, 6 p.m., at the Tampa Convention Center?
All in favor signify by saying Aye.
All opposed?
Motion carries unanimously.
Thank you all for coming.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
Anything else to come before council?
What do you have, Sandy?
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Should we all look at our calendars, the two public hearings that need to be rescheduled?
>>SHAWN HARRISON: I think we could.
>> We have a motion to receive and file.
Do we have a second?
>> Second.
(Motion carried)
Well, we just lost the quorum, so we're adjourned.
(Adjourned 6:30 p.m.)