Charter review, traffic on Council agenda
The initial time table has been pushed back for the formation of the Charter Review Committee.
Mayor Kevin Ruane said since it has been a long time since they have reviewed the charter he anticipates it will take a while to get everything going.
The discussion will take place in July after Councilman Jason Maughan returns from his annual summer vacation to discuss specific guidelines for the committee. Ruane said the discussion will include how many people will make up the committee. He said it seems that seven to nine people with an alternate, from the research the city manager gathered, is common.
“They will go through the city charter. It hasn’t been done in 17 years in this point in time. I don’t think we can say bring it back to us in 90 to 120 days. I think we can say we would like it to be done in this period of time. I think we have ample time,” Ruane said.
The committee, he said will need to go through every aspect of the way the city operates.
“It is their input we are looking for,” Ruane said. “I think it’s one of the most important groups we will put together. I think we have a pedigree on Sanibel that will help us a great deal.”
City Manager Judie Zimomra said after analyzing their traffic numbers and doing aerial evaluations of the congestion during art fairs held on the island the staff had a few recommendations.
“What it showed us was there was a misconception when we have the large festivals that those are attractives to cars. Our heaviest traffic days, volume wise, do not coincide with the biggest festivals, but what it does coincide with is our greatest congestion,” she said. “So staff’s recommendation is, which we would bring back for council discussion at our next meeting, would be that we grandfather in those Sanibel groups that have historically put on these events, however we put a moratorium on any future large events, 400 persons or more, that would occur between Jan. 1 and April 30.”
Both Ruane and Vice Mayor Mick Denham thought the suggestion was great.
“The recommendation would be at the staff level we would not consider any additional new events in that window,” she said.
Council member Chauncey Goss said when they look into the topic further next month, he would also like to look into asking the folks grandfathered in not to advertise off island during that time.
Ruane also shared how his preliminary conversations went with the county in regards to raising tolls for cash payers to $10.
“Lets just say I’ve had better conversations with the county. Lets just say they are not very open to this discussion at all,” he said. “One of the problems that you have with this is the amount of feedback they receive with this as well. I think another thing that was noted is we have challenges with our beach parking and there is a probability that we might be raising beach parking fees here.”
Ruane said when the beach parking was raised from $3 to $4 the discussions had on social media were they were elitist, preventing people from coming to a free beach.
“I’m going to have one-on-one conversations with each commissioner,” Ruane said.