Islamorada Approves Staggered Four-Year Council Terms

In a recent session, Islamorada Village Council voted to approve proposed amendments to the Village Charter, introducing staggered four-year terms for council members. This decision, aiming to provide a stable government, was one of the key outcomes of the latest council meeting, which also featured discussions on a range of pressing local issues including transportation, code compliance, and community engagement.

The council’s decision to amend the Village Charter to allow for staggered four-year terms was a point in the meeting, as members debated the advantages of providing stability and continuity in government. Some council members highlighted the benefits of attracting candidates who are comfortable with longer terms, while one member opposed the comparison to Congress and advocated for maintaining two-year terms. The amendment marks a return to the initial setup of the Village with staggered terms and was ultimately approved.

Another issue that emerged was the enforcement of vacation rental regulations. The council discussed the challenges faced by the Code Compliance department due to staffing shortages, with the department operating with only two staff members instead of the usual three. Discussions also revolved around the current vacation rental ordinance, with council members expressing the need for stronger enforcement and potential changes to the existing system. The Planning Department pointed out the limitations on making such changes, emphasizing the need to navigate carefully to avoid potential legal challenges.

The council unanimously approved the appointment of Robert Cole as the new Village Manager, whose contract details and evaluation process were also outlined during the meeting. Cole expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to work with the Council and staff.


A lengthy discussion took place regarding the management of chickens within the town, which culminated in the council agreeing to create a new chicken law to address the issue of roaming chickens and the disturbances they cause. The council will bring the new chicken ordinance back for a vote after considering input on responsible ownership and the inclusion of roosters in the policy.

The council also received an update on the ride share request for proposal (RFP), where it was revealed that the initial RFP process had not been successful. The council considered piggybacking off the efforts of Monroe County, which was planning to put out an RFP for ride share services. The council members agreed that a collaborative approach with the county would be beneficial for the village and improve transportation connectivity.

Additionally, the council discussed proposed amendments to the Village Charter pertaining to term limits and terms of office length. One member of the public expressed opposition to extending term limits, while another voiced skepticism about the proposed changes. Despite opposition, the council voted to approve the proposed amendments.


The issue of the village manager’s purchasing authority was debated, with a proposed increase from $25,000 to $50,000 being discussed. Members of the public expressed concerns about the increase, and one citizen emphasized the need to adhere to the current limit. The council ultimately voted to maintain the purchasing authority at $25,000.

Further discussions covered the need for more community workshops for better transparency, concerns about property taxes and mobile home regulations, and the support for further exploration of purchasing a church property for a library and community center.

The meeting also touched on the successful noise ordinance workshop. However, a potential violation of the Sunshine Law regarding seating arrangements at the workshop was briefly mentioned and may require further examination.


Lastly, the council deliberated on providing clear direction to staff regarding the RFP for a master plan for Founders Park. There were concerns that the current RFP process might not align with the council’s initial direction to prioritize community engagement. The council decided to bring the issue back for further discussion and receive an update on the RFP’s progress.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Joseph “Buddy” Pinder III
City Council Officials:
Sharon Mahoney, Mark Gregg, Elizabeth Jolin, Henry Rosenthal

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