September 20, 2022, City Council Meeting Brief

Awards and Recognition

  1. Citizen recognition of Renae DeVine and Robert Page by Chief John Guzman

Chief Guzman recognizes Renae DeVine and Robert Page for dedicating so much of their time volunteering for the police department. Renae DeVine has photographed several of the PD’s events at no cost to the department. Robert Page has volunteered with the police department for nine years as a member of the marine unit, assisting in accreditation and volunteers at all of the police department’s events.

                        2. Proclamation Soul Food Festival

                                    Vice Mayor Connie Butler read and presented the proclamation to Soul Food Festival organizer Felecia Hampshire. The proclamation will also be read during opening ceremonies of Soul Food Festival.


3.  2022 Clay CEMP Municipal Adoption

            Clay County Emergency Operations Center Director John Ward presented the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan for 2022 to the City Council for their approval.

            Approved 5-0 by City Council

            Public Hearings

                  4.         Second and Final Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-14-2022, a Resolution in compliance with Florida Statute 200.065 establishing a Millage Rate of $4.5000 Per Thousand of Non-Exempt Real Property within the City of Green Cove Springs, Florida for Fiscal Year 2022/2023. 

                              Approved 5-0 by City Council

5.         Second and Final Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-15-2022, a Resolution setting forth the Annual Budget for Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2022 and ending September 30, 2023. 

            Approved 5-0 by City Council

6.         Second and Final Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-16-2022, a Resolution setting forth the Annual Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Years beginning October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2027. 

            Approved 5-0 by City Council


            Consent Agenda

                  7.         City Council approval of Resolution No. R-22-2022, requesting the reduction of permit fees by St. Johns River Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 

                              Approved 5-0 by City Council

8.   City Council approval of Minutes from 8/4/2022 and 8/16/2022 Special Sessions. 

                              Approved 5-0 by City Council

9.   City Council approval to continue an exemption to the existing Purchasing Policies through Fiscal Year 2023 (October 1, 2022- September 30, 2023) for warehouse management to purchase various brass, PVC, transformers and other utility appurtenances, up to $100,000.00, with an e-mail approval process.

                              Council Member Ed Gaw pulled this agenda item out of consent to get an update from Assistant Water Utility Director Scott Schultz about the warehouse’s supply chain issues for projects.

                              Approved 5-0 by City Council

10. City Council approval to surplus all items that do not have an identification number, generated by all City Departments during fiscal Year 2023, in the best interest of the City.

                  Approved 5-0 by City Council

11. City Council approval of the Proclamation in remembrance of Chief Asdot.  

                  Approved 5-0 by City Council

12. City Council authorization to piggyback the City of Atlantic Beach RFP 21-01 Annual Contract for Environmental Laboratory Services with AEL for water and wastewater laboratory services for FY 2023.  

                  Approved 5-0 by City Council

13. City Council approval of pay request #4 in the amount of $39,450.00 to WGI, Inc. for the Walnut St. Design Project.  This leaves a balance of $132,395.43 in the task order for $256,790. 

                  Approved 5-0 by City Council

Council Business

      14.       Consider adoption on first reading of attached Ordinance No. O-18-2022 which prohibits smoking in City parks.  

                  City Attorney Jim Arnold presented a draft ordinance to the City Council in response to other county and municipalities in Florida passing similar ordinances after Florida Legislature passed an amendment that prohibited smoking on state public beaches and parks which went in to effect on July 1, 2022. City Council discussed whether the ordinance should enforce smoking directly or enforce littering from smoking as other Florida county and municipal governments have done. Chief Guzman said that litter enforcement would be easier, but however the ordinance prohibits smoking the department will reactively enforce it through citizen complaints or after witnessing a person breaking the ordinance. Mayor Matt Johnson, Vice Mayor Connie Butler, and Council Member Steven Kelley are for approving the ordinance as written. Council Member Ed Gaw is for ordinance if it is enforced through littering, otherwise sees the ordinance difficult to enforce. Council Member Thomas Smith is against the ordinance as he sees it would be difficult to enforce regardless of how smoking will be enforced.

      Council Member Steven Kelley motions to adopt ordinance on first reading in form only, with exception of vaping. Motion approved 3-2 by City Council, with Council Members Ed Gaw and Thomas Smith opposed.

15. Council Discussion and Appointment of CRA Board Members from the City.

                  After discussion on criteria for appointing Green Cove Springs CRA Board Members, City Council approves to nominate Mitch Timberlake and Van Royal to the CRA Board.

16. Council approval of renaming the Green Cove Springs Police Department Building in honor of former Chief Derek S. Asdot. 

                  Mitch Timberlake and other citizens request that the police department building be renamed in memory of former Chief Derek Asdot, as he had a huge impact on the City and community. This group of citizens began the building renaming application process with the City on behalf of current and former mayors that Chief Asdot served under. They request that it will be in the same lettering as the rest of the building. Council wholeheartedly agrees on moving forward with the application.

                  Council Member Thomas Smith motions to approve to move forward with renaming application. Motion approved 5-0 by City Council.

17. City Manager & City Attorney Reports / Correspondence

                  City Attorney Jim Arnold reminds City Council on Admin Hearings for Pegasus lawsuits on Sept. 22 and 23.

                        City Manager Steve Kennedy said that after going through two rounds of applications for the Finance Director position and not finding qualified candidates, he would like to hire the same firm that vetted City Manager candidates for the Finance Director positions. Council Member Ed Gaw suggested an amount not to exceed $50,000 to cover cost of search if needed. Council approved City Manager Kennedy’s recommendation and Council Member Gaw’s suggestion in a 5-0 emergency motion vote.

                        As City will be changing auditors soon, there needs to be a member of the City Council on the committee to select the City’s next auditors. Council Member Thomas Smith nominates himself. Council approves nomination in a 5-0 emergency motion vote.  

18. City Council Reports / Correspondence

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