Special City Council - March 15, 2022

City Council 

Special Meeting

March 15, 2022


The City of Titusville City Council met in special session on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at Titusville City Hall, second floor, Council Chamber, 555 South Washington Avenue, Titusville, Florida 32796. Mayor Diesel called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Those present in the Council chamber included Mayor Daniel Diesel, Vice-Mayor Robert L. Jordan, Jr., and City Council Members Jo Lynn Nelson, Joe C. Robinson and Dr. Sarah Stoeckel. 


City Manager Scott Larese, Assistant City Manager Thomas Abbate, City Attorney Richard Broome, City Clerk Wanda Wells, and the City’s Executive Leadership Team (department heads) or designees were also present. Assistant City Clerk Jolynn Donhoff completed the minutes of the meeting.  


Mayor Diesel called for a moment of silence, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. City Clerk Wells read the procedure for public comment and participation. 




The purpose of the meeting was, as followed:


Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Strategic Planning and Budget Workshop – Meeting facilitator Kristin Bakke of LEAD Brevard reviewed the purpose and agenda for the special City Council meeting. She referenced receiving the citizens’ feedback at the special City Council meeting and community workshop on Saturday, February 19, 2022. Facilitator Bakke also confirmed whether the Council desired modifying the City Council’s current Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 goals & objectives and carrying them forward into FY 2023. The current (FY 2022) Strategic Plan goals included: 


  1. Quality of Life
  2. Effective and Efficient Services
  3. Financial Stability
  4. Economic Development
  5. Effective Governance


A one page document outlining the Council’s five FY 2022 Strategic Plan goals & supporting objectives was provided at the meeting. The objectives were a guide on how the City would work toward the five aforementioned goals. 


Member Nelson desired addressing low income and affordable housing. Facilitator Bakke recommended discussing this request under the goal of Quality of Life. With no other comments or discussion by Council, Facilitator Bakke verified the Council desired maintaining the five, aforementioned, Strategic Plan Goals for FY 2023.  




Next, Council discussion ensued on the supporting objectives listed under each of the Council’s five Strategic Plan Goals for (FY) FY 2023. A summary of the meeting discussion was captured below.    


  1. Quality of Life


Facilitator Bakke highlighted the citizens’ feedback at the special City Council meeting and community workshop on February 19, 2022. She also asked whether Council desired modifying any of the five objectives that supported this particular Strategic Plan Goal. 


Member Robinson commented on the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) and providing Council a list of ongoing and proposed projects that would support restoring the lagoon.


Member Nelson desired investigating and pursuing more low income and affordable housing. Mayor Diesel and Vice-Mayor Jordan discussed determining how Council would play a role in supporting, funding, and achieving goals related to having more affordable housing. Member Nelson suggested initiating questions and collaborating with community partners like Habitat for Humanity. Member Robinson commented on enticing developers or various agencies to build more low income housing, outside agencies being primarily involved with these matters, and Council making the City’s Codes easy for developers to navigate and implement, for the purpose of facilitating or encouraging more low income housing. 


Member Stoeckel desired reformatting the Council’s discussion on their goals & objectives. She wanted the Council to narrow or reach a consensus on each goal’s objectives, based on how each Council member felt and using the citizens’ feedback provided at the recent community workshop. She also wanted to manage future growth well and combine objectives when possible. 


Vice-Mayor Jordan desired being clear and specific on what the City could actually do to provide or support having more affordable housing. The concept could also be combined with an objective under the goal of Efficient & Effective Services, which was exploring opportunities for collaboration, partnerships, & coordination with public and non-profit entities. 


Mayor Diesel commented on keeping the discussion at a broad and high level, keeping to the purpose of the strategic planning meeting(s), but also identifying any high level objectives that were not listed or combining them with others, so that the objectives captured and listed the Council’s goals that were important to them. 


At the end of the discussion on Quality of Life (Goal No. 1), Facilitator Bakke verified the Council did not wish to make any changes to the goal’s objectives. 






  1. Effective and Efficient Services


Facilitator Bakke verified the Council desired addressing low income and affordable housing through one of this goal’s objectives, being exploring opportunities for collaboration, partnerships, & coordination with public and non-profit entities. She also verified the Council did not wish to make any additional changes to this goal’s objectives.  




  1. Financial Stability
  2. Economic Development
  3. Effective Governance


Facilitator Bakke verified the Council did not wish to make any changes to the objectives listed under Strategic Plan Goal Nos. 3, 4, and 5.




Facilitator Bakke requested Member Stoeckel clarify or engage the Council and discuss any gaps of thinking that were not clear, not fully developed, or that had not yet been discussed. Member Stoeckel began by stating that she was pleased that the City was making progress on goals that were once new, because now they were underway and making progress. Member Stoeckel also wanted to be sure the City prepared and managed future growth well, for a large number of intertwined needs, like future infrastructure and water demand requirements, affordable housing, etc. To this, City Manager Larese read from formal written planning objectives that discussed planning for future growth requirements (managed growth).


Mayor Diesel and City Manager Larese discussed that funding various capital improvement projects were the mechanism that supported careful planning for future growth. 


Vice-Mayor Jordan felt planning for future growth was already happening. He agreed that rising housing costs was an issue for some citizens. He and Mayor Diesel agreed with the current goals and objectives were on target. Vice-Mayor Jordan added that continuous communication with the public that provided information and the status on working goals and objectives was important. 


City Manager Larese reviewed several communication tools the City used to promote two-way communications with the citizens. The City also encouraged citizens to be proactive and use these tools or make inquiries on projects or issues that concerned them, before making judgements without having all of the information.


Assistant City Manager Thomas Abbate advised the City departments were also required to measure and track their quarterly performance---another tool to track progress on the City Council’s goals and objectives. 


Mayor Diesel commented on the terminology used in the goals and objectives and words like continue, expand, enhance, explore, etc. In short, the City’s goals were ongoing (important changes take time). Vice-Mayor Jordan agreed and went further to say the City Council might consider going through the Strategic Planning process every two years, rather than once a year. Vice-Mayor Jordan felt this idea also complimented the City Council election process and allowed new City Council members the opportunity to learn about the City prior to being asked to immediately enter into the Strategic Planning cycle. 


To the above, Member Robinson felt the annual Strategic Planning process was educational and it could be useful for any economic downturns, rather than adjusting the cycle to occur every two years. 


Member Stoeckel supported the annual Strategic Planning cycle. She also felt a newly elected Council member may be upset if they were postponed from providing input on goals and objectives previously determined by the outgoing Council. 


Vice-Mayor Jordan desired getting more than the average 15-20 citizens that attended prior community workshops on the City’s goals and objectives. This was not a great sample statistic of the City’s estimated 50,000 residents. Changing up the format of the community workshop was also an idea. The most citizens that participated in the past was perhaps 40-50 citizens. Citizens may also feel bored or uninterested in participating in the current community workshop format. Member Stoeckel spoke to this and expressed an interest in finding creative ways to solicit feedback from the citizens on the City’s goals and objectives. Getting youth involved was an important aspect, too. Mayor Diesel felt that citizens often shared their opinions when they saw individual Council out and amongst the community at events, etc. Member Nelson suggested allowing the citizens to email their thoughts on the City’s goals and objectives. 




Public Comment – 


Nathan Slusher felt the City should allow the citizens to provide feedback on the goals and objectives on a quarterly basis and in a less formal atmosphere, so that the forum was less intimidating. This also allowed citizens to learn and share information over a span of time, rather than being in a condensed information sharing situation. 


Toni Shifalo made time for issues that she prioritized, like the Indian River Lagoon. She also felt strategic plan meetings should be held annually; however, she did not support continuing the same goals year-to-year. 


Stan Johnston commented on his concerns related to flood plain documents and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a prior sewer spill and concerns for public health, accountability, etc. 


Kristen Lortie encouraged the City start advertising the City’s annual strategic planning and community workshop early in the process and using highly visible or noticeable platforms. She also felt the City should provide pieces of information at the beginning of the meeting that may answer some of the citizens’ questions or ideas. Additionally, Ms. Lortie felt the City should have a community workshop to review the City’s quarterly performance measures and discuss the progress of the City’s goals and objectives. 




City Manager Larese highlighted the next steps to prepare the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget and according to the City Council’s Strategic Goals and Objectives. 




With no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 6:49 p.m.