Ocoee Commission Approves Utility Use Agreement Amendment

In a recent meeting, the Ocoee City Commission approved a vital amendment to the Utility Use Agreement for the AOI Village Center, enabling the city to assume control of Lakewood Avenue. Alongside this, the Commission conducted substantial discussions on several other issues including proposed Charter amendments, the establishment of rules and procedures for the governing board, and the potential implementation of a school zone speed camera pilot program.

The approved amendment to the Utility Use Agreement will facilitate the opening of Lakewood Avenue, with the provision that certain aspects of the takeover by the city will be deferred until completion.

Public comments included concerns from Dr. Jim Moer about the absence of highway signage for major interstates at the 429 highway junction. He advocated for communication with transportation authorities to address the signage issue. Doreen Dworin, Editor-in-Chief of Vox Populi, announced the release of an election guide for the upcoming Municipal elections, distributing informational flyers to the public.

A pulled agenda item sparked a discussion about the adoption of new rules and procedures for the governing board. The proposed rules, as outlined by the City Attorney, encompassed guidelines for meetings, conduct, use of commission chambers, and travel, as well as the submission process for unsolicited items to the city website. Notable issues that arose included the use of Robert’s Rules of Order and provisions for submitting unsolicited business sales presentations. Although no decision was made during the meeting, this conversation highlighted the Commission’s ongoing efforts to refine their governance practices.

Another focal point was the proposed amendments to the city’s Charter, especially sections relating to the authority of the City Commission in interpreting the Charter, qualifications for Commission candidates, and eligibility of a former commissioner seeking re-election. The amendments aimed to clarify these areas, following a lawsuit and a Circuit Judge’s ruling that called for a narrower interpretation of the Commission’s authority. The Commission voted unanimously to approve the proposed amendments, choosing to bypass reconvening the Charter Review Commission and proceeding directly to a first reading.

The potential second reading of an ordinance also featured prominently in the discussions, with the Commission ultimately deciding to move forward with the reading at the next meeting on March 5th. This ordinance, among others, was part of a series of legislative updates covering the city’s code of ordinances, budget amendments, and changes to the police officers and firefighters retirement trust fund. The Commission also reviewed annexation and rezoning of real properties and amendments to the city’s comprehensive plan.

Addressing public safety, the Commission entertained the idea of a pilot program for school zone speed cameras. The city manager highlighted the program’s focus on enforcing speed limits to improve safety, rather than generating revenue. The Commission resolved to gather more data on the program’s potential effectiveness and revisit the matter at a later date.

Community engagement was evident in the discussion about designating Sleepy Harbor as a golf cart community. The Commission stressed the need for input from the area’s Homeowners Association (HOA) before proceeding. This discussion surfaced broader considerations regarding the city’s golf cart ordinance and its alignment with state statutes, with a resident raising concerns about the current ordinance’s compliance.

The Commission also took the opportunity to discuss the city charter’s interpretation, specifically the concept of liberal construction, and to promote the neighborhood matching grant program. Commissioner Hart shared reflections on Black History Month, and there was an acknowledgment of the need to revamp the city’s website. Lastly, with an upcoming election, the importance of voter education and understanding of the candidates was emphasized.

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.
Rusty Johnson
City Council Officials:
Scott R Kennedy, Rosemary Wilsen, Richard Firstner, Ages Hart

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