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Voices From the Community General, (Draft but In Progress & Will Keep Updating)

Updated: Oct 28, 2023


Ok - So in walking and talking I've heard a lot of Great Ideas and Great Questions too.


I will keep updating this but I want to share some things I have already heard and learned. If anyone wants to add to this let me know.


One of the biggest things (other than 2nd Kitchens, Air BnBs and Mixed) are a general desire for More, Better, Earlier Communication and Information regarding things that are being planned, especially at our parks.


We do have a Town FB page, and ND page, and a Website, and now a nice Brochure that goes in the mail. But these don't always HIGHLIGHT front and center, or at all any of the upcoming changes or plans beforehand, nor discussion of big ticket or hot button issues.


Some examples of concern and questions for the Town Officials are below. (And I will update or do a new post with ideas I have heard, which may be related to these or which are totally new and innovative):


Air BnBs:

  1. Why is there is not a list of every current Address for all Town Registered Air BnB available to the public?

  2. The Town said they have registered several, but why is there not a Simple List being published to residents?

  3. Even if they aren't party houses, what if a stranger who is a sex offender in another state rents there? People living close by ought to know if a house near them has been Registered by the Town and a list should be available on the Website and constantly updated?

  4. AND any pending Short Term Rental Applications submitted but not yet approved

  5. Where can I find out WHAT exactly the Town has been doing to Lobby the State on this or other issues?

  6. Who does the lobbying and how much does it cost?


Police Phone

  1. Why does the phone ring without answer during normal operating hours during the day? (a gentleman told me this happened to him, perhaps it was a one time thing, but it was frustrating because the phone rang and rang and rang, in the middle of the day).

  2. If this happens, what is being done to address this?


Meeting and Info Beforehand

  1. Notice of Public Town Meetings, why are the Agendas so short and non-descript?

  2. The little signs which are put out the day before a meeting are not adequate.

  3. The signs should be put outearlier, and perhaps even larger (if possible) with some kind of extra line - to temporarily ADD in a description of a hot button issue -- if there is definitely one on the menu.

  4. The Town needs to try much harder to reach citizens - who do care, but are very busy and they don't know if or when to attend because the information is scant, non-descriptive, not early enough to digest, or only widely discussed much later, or after the changes are made?

  5. How much does a Referendum Cost?

  6. Why aren't the Town communication tools, all of them being better used to inform us about things we really want to know?

  7. Who is responsible for deciding what to include? Who manages those communication tools and writes the content? How much time does THAT take and the cost?

  8. Why do minutes take SO long to come out?

  9. Does the Town have any rules or priority for what information is displayed or not? Who decides? It seems like the Town Websites and Glossy Mailers highlight Commissioners and Other fun good PR things, instead of actual useful information about things being Planned or about to happen.


Stormwater Priority and Taxes, & Catching up??

  1. Why isn't the Stormwater and Road Priority List Published? How many issues have been pending while the current incumbents have been in office and what have they actually fixed to date?

  2. Why isn't more revenue being used to "catch-up" and fix stormwater issues?

  3. Does the Town do Competetive bids on these, or meet private companies first, or both?


Surprises, Stop Signs, Bocci Courts, other Park and Parking Spaces/areas, Riverside Circle Park area, etc -

  1. Why are changes being made without more general publication of proposed changes well in advance? AND why not more efforts to at least Notify the houses right next to these proposed changes well in advance.

  2. Even if extra attempts to notify people were not strictly required, why doesn't the Town do it anyway, and try harder (Commission, Manager, or whoever) to notify people adjacent to these areas, and/or who have a particular known interest?


Bocci Courts

  1. When was the decision to take the Bocci Court out made, by whom, and why?

  2. Perhaps there was a good reason, perhaps they were (or are now) going to be replaced because of some pushback. But why weren't these things figured out before?

  3. Why wasn't this posted on the website well in advance? Or even posted at the Bocci courts well in advance?

  4. Why were those (the group who routinely gathers there) not given ample notice or opportunity to be included in those discussions? Had they been told at least they could have objected? Maybe they could have been convincing and that cost could have saved. Or maybe they could have been reassured, IF there was a replacement plan and place and a good reason for the decision. This would reduce angst and be more productive and community oriented. Surprises are best for birthday parties, not government and Park-related decisions


6th and Pine Boat Ramp to Dock and expanded Parking

  1. What is happening?

  2. Why is this NOT a referendum issue?

  3. What will many new and larger trucks with Trailer and Boats driving down the various streets do to traffic and safety for kids, or to our subsurface pipes and infrastructure (can these areas handle the added constant new weights).

  4. What about the water quality from more, bigger trucks, trailers, boats and oils and gas leaks, at the parking area and in the river there, etc do?

  5. What about times restrictions and noise?

  6. Liability and maintenance costs? Replacements costs if a hurricane takes it out?

  7. Why aren't the Engineers (Brewer and/or B.S.E, or others) who are working on this NOT at meetings?

  8. Why aren't the residents nearby being given solid information earlier?

  9. How much money from beginning to now has been already spent discussing, and researching this including legal review, staff time, feasibility studies, preliminary drawings or other.

  10. How much does a referendum cost, and why not save money doing a referendum first?


Boat Dock and Fire Department (cont)

  1. Is the new proposal for a new boat dock at 6th and Pine street really just for the fire department because they got a new 26 foot boat?

  2. How big was the boat before?

  3. How long has the Town had a boat?

  4. If I have a 28-40 ft boat can I now put it in there? How long would the dock have to go out for that? If not what size boat can be put in?

  5. Where can I find out this information and/or cost?

  6. Are there Mel Beach Fire Department having Parties using that on the little Islands South of Town (some people have seen writing in the sand and heard rumors they are having parties on the little islands along the river using the boat?

  7. How much did the new boat cost, and what happened with the old one?

  8. Why not put a boat lift on the existing Ocean Ave dock as was discussed as a better and faster option for "fire department" water rescues and/or training?

  9. How many water rescues does our Fire department actually do?

  10. Are there logs of use for the boat, maintenance and fuel and cost logs and information available? How much will those costs go up afterwards?

  11. Why did I NOT even know the Town has a fire rescue boat?

  12. If there is an emergency on the water, for us locals, who do we call to get help from this boat we pay for?

  13. Why doesn't the fire department do boat safety courses for parents and teens during idle time or public service announcements or helpful information tips and/or publish metrics in the new Glossy Town Brochure that goes out in the mailer?


Police Officer & Fire Department Metrics

  1. Why are these things NOT published prominently on the Town Website or in the Town Mailer?

  2. Why do the reports at the Town meetings use call "codes" without explanation?

  3. How many speeders are speeding where all these speed trailers are being set up?

  4. Where is that data, where can citizens access that data? Why is it not being published?

  5. How many police officers do we have?

  6. What are their shifts?

  7. Do they work at night, if so when?

  8. If so, how do we contact them?

  9. If not, who do we call, the Sherriff?

  10. How much does that cost, if any, is that an additional cost, how much and where is that information?


Riverside Circle Park area

  1. Are you going to put paid public parking meters at the Riverside Circle Park area like at Ryckman?

  2. What other plans are being talked for that area?

  3. Why do survey stakes or other things showed up there without explanation or notification to anyone who lives nearby within a certain radius?


Skatepark

  1. How big will the skatepark be?

  2. Where is the information on Insurance Estimates for it?

  3. Will the Town have Liabilty waivers, hours of operation, devices to measure noise - in case IT does violate our noise ordinances.


Noise Ordinances and Equipment

  1. Do we have any equiptment for measuring noise, so we can cite anyone for Noise Ordinance violations?

  2.  If so, why NOT?

  3. If not, how do/would we cite anyone for that?

  4. If we don't have it, why has that equipment NOT been purchased (instead of new stop signs)?


Mixed Use Change, Other New Parking Areas, Increased Parking Density Proposed Changes, and Parking at the Apartments at Pine Street and Ocean

  1. Is the Town going to put required paid parking meters for the Apartments at Pine Street and Ocean?

  2. Why did you change Commercial Zoning to mix use, without being asked by anyone?

  3. Who officially asked for it?

  4. Unofficially?

  5. Why did the Town Commission discuss outdoor balconies for mixed condos/apartments in the new mixed use areas, at 35 to 38 ft foot back in October-December 2021 workshop and other meetings?

  6. Where will those new Condo Owners Park if new luxury condos/apartments are Built on top of the previously existly only Commercial Areas.

  7. What will or can Djon's be developed into after the mixed use change and the proposed code changes re parking that are being discussed by the current incumbents (Barton and Runte and the Town Attorney and others over the last few years)? How will this actually increase outdoor seating at the Market or not? Will this also help or allow increased residential density for new housing after the Mixed use change as well?


Emails of Boards and others&Conflict Issues related to Developers

  1. Do the BOA members have Town emails or only private emails?

  2. Do P&Z members have Town emails or only private emails?

  3. Why can't the Town at least create 1 BOA email for people to send to that at the Town and for the members to forward any of their emails to it? Unless and until Town emails were setup? Same for other Boards?

  4. If I wanted information on who the Town Attorney or his other partners in his office - who they represent in their private practice at White Bird law in Melbourne, Fla or about his/their email or other communications related to anything in the Town, including work for the Town or private clients during the times (past, present, future) when these things are/were discussed (Mixed use, parking, 2nd Kitchen changes) how can I get that information (records, bills, emails, other)? And how much would it cost, how long would it take?

  5. How does the Town Attorney make sure and assure he keeps his private development contracts separate from Town issues?

  6. What private clients does the Town Attorney and his law firm represent, is there a list somewhere for the Town residents?

  7. Where can I find information about the Town attorneys work issues such as proposed ordinance changes under consideration, and/or on past changes such as Commercial Zoning to Mixed Use Zoning Changes, proposed Parking Code Ordinances and similar Changes, Ordinances related to the 2nd Kitchen Changes? Where can I find information about any discussions with the Town Attorney’s offices related to any recently passed Ordinances and any that are currently underway for potential revisions to our Town Code or Charter, and/or his firms discussions or communications with Private Clients about these issues, past or present? Same thing for discussions with any Town Officials, including Commissioners or other Board members, or others on the Mix Use changes or the new parking changes being discussed - where would that be? In his Emails? How much would it cost me to inspect those emails of the Office of the Town Attorney?

  8. Would I have to drive to a private law firm in Melbourne to review those public records? Or does the Town have those at Town Hall for citizens to inspect and review if they wanted to see them?

  9. Why aren't the Town Attorneys bills in the packet each month like other towns?

  10. Do the Town Attorney's email come from the Town email system? Or from the private law firm in Melbourne, and/or White Bird law's email system? If not through the Town, then why not? Why doesn't the Town have a the TownAttorney@melbournebeach email address that go through the Town email system like the Town Clerk, Manager, Fire Department, etc do?

  11. Why the Town create a Town Attorney email (such as TownAttorney@melbournebeach…) that goes through the Town’s email system and remotely logged into the same way that the Town Manager's email is remotely accessed including from home on public or personal laptops with a secure login?

  12. Who has access to any unpublished draft revisions and/or proposed changes to the Town Code that are being worked on by the Town Attorney while the Town Attorney is working on them, but before they are done? Other attorneys at the Melbourne Law firm?

  13. Are there other attorneys at his private law firm who also work on Town business? If so, who are they?

  14. Are there ethics and conflict rules specific for the Town on conflicts of interest, if so, are they being followed?

  15. Where does the Town Attorney disclose his private conflicts and whether there could be a conflict of interest about actual, proposed or potential Code Changes or other development issues?

179 views2 comments

2 Comments


Hi, I didnt see there were messages on here?! Other people emailed but i just found this. Yes, I think its free if they put it in. And no liability waivers and cant be limited to town residents.

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Deborah Marchese
Deborah Marchese
Oct 23, 2023

If there is a skate park is there going to be a fee to use like satellite beach? Need funds to maintain.

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