Wilkins worries over lack of public input

The main discussion at the LaBelle Regular City Commission meeting, held on May 14, at the LaBelle Civic Center, was a First Reading of proposed ordinance 2020-02, 2020-03 and 2020-04:

Commissioner Wilkins expressed worry over the severe impacts concerning this ordinance, and the inability of concerned citizens to be able to express their concerns due to taking safety precautions during the current COVID-19 pandemic. She inquired about postponement of the discussion. She acknowledged that this was the First Reading, and that no actions would be taken, but that prior there had been numerous citizens who had raised concerns that were not present at the meeting. She worried about the fairness of holding a discussion when it was not broadcast live and many likely felt uncomfortable attending.

The City Attorney, Derek Rooney, expressed that the meeting and discussion was well within guidelines and recommendations laid out by federal and state government. City Planner, Alexis Crespo reiterated Rooney’s statements, and both recommended they continue on as planned. The first reading of the public hearings on these ordinances continued. Crespo went on to present the information, including the additions and changes.

Wilkins and members of the public expressed some concern over the location and type of arrangement- particularly a liquor store, and the amount of traffic that it would generate. She commented that she was simply trying to point out that there was a potential for disaster and she hopes to do everything to avoid that type of situation.

The suggestion was made to continue to June, and depending on what’s happening at that time it could be postponed again. The Public Hearing was then scheduled for June, with notices being posted, sent out, and copies of the information would be made available to the public, at City Hall.

The Consent agenda was approved, and Mayor David Lyons adjourned the Regular City Meeting, and opened the LPA, saying they would return to other business later.

They also discussed Resolution 2020-15, that would ratify Resolutions 2020-06 through 2020-14 regarding the local State of Emergency relating to COVID-19. The Resolution was approved. The motion passed 5-0.

The regular business meetings of the LaBelle City Commission are held on the 2nd Thursday of every month at 6:00pm at City Hall which is located at 481 W. Hickpoochee Ave. Meetings are open to the public and everyone is invited to attend.

If you want to be included on the agenda, call City Hall at 863-675-2872.

For archived agendas please contact the Deputy City Clerk at acrespo@citylabelle.com or (863) 675-2872.

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