Council meeting hiatus begins after Monday’s session
City Council begins its summer hiatus next week and it is shaping up to be much different from recent years.
Council Chambers, where their weekly meetings take place, and the offices downstairs will be renovated during the four-week break that runs through July 15. The activities will keep most council members off the premises for the most part.
As the office manager, which comes with his title of Mayor Pro Tem, Rick Williams will be deeply involved in the renovations.
“After a road trip to get away for a couple of weeks I will be involved in the renovations,” said Williams. “Everything else slows down quite a bit during the summer, but I will be keeping up with phone calls and emails as much as I can.”
On the city’s behalf, Mayor Marni Sawicki will be attending a U.S. Conference of Mayors summer meeting, which runs for five days.
“I’ll will be in and out of the office responding to emails and catching up on my correspondence,” said Sawicki.
Councilmember Jessica Cosden will use the down time to catch up on city reading.
“We have the charter school budget coming up and I’ll be thinking about the city budget, too” said Cosden. “I saw last year’s budget discussions, but this will be my first participating since being elected.”
While renovations are to the public reception area and not individual council member offices, Cosden will avoid being in her office much during the renovation.
“I’ll work remotely, but I really need the break,” said Cosden. “No one wants to be in the office with all the noise, but I’ll probably pop in at some point to see what the renovation looks like. Even the assistants will be moved temporarily.”
Councilmember Marilyn Stout welcomes slower time as well.
“I belong to a lot of organizations and they all won’t be meeting during the summer,” Stout said. “Kiwanis has moved to meeting once a month for the summer. I’m looking forward to a trip to Cabo San Lucas and spending time with family, but plan to catch up on a lot of reading I have set aside while I’m off.”
Councilmember John Carioscia was candid about his time off.
“Quite frankly I’m getting away to recharge my batteries and not working on anything while on vacation,” he said. “That’s what the break is for. I’ll spend the time with family and friends since I have no special projects to work on while I’m away from my desk.”
Councilmember Rana Erbrick said she will be taking a look at the city’s budget during the hiatus period, but still will attend meetings with the Planning Commission, Horizon Council and other committees she works with on behalf of the city.
“I’m going to concentrate on grants from the state, working with Representative (Dane) Eagle and Senator (Lizabeth) Benacquisto to make sure all of our ducks are in a row when we present them to Tallahassee,” Erbrick said.
Councilmember Richard Leon said he will look at the city’s overall projects during the break, including Bimini Basin, the golf course and Seven Islands.
“I’ll be doing a lot of catching up on all of the others and focus on the budget,” Leon said. “If council consents to the extended bar hours proposal on Friday I’ll probably do some work on that.”