Regular City Council - January 24, 2023 at 530 PM

City Council

Regular Meeting

January 24, 2023


The City Council of the City of Titusville, Florida met in regular session in the Council Chamber of City Hall, 555 South Washington Avenue, on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. 


Mayor Diesel called the City Council meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Present were Mayor Daniel E. Diesel, Vice Mayor Joe C. Robinson, and City Council Members Herman A. Cole, Jr., Col USAF Retired, Jo Lynn Nelson, and Dr. Sarah Stoeckel. Also present were City Manager Scott Larese, City Attorney Richard Broome, and Assistant City Clerk Jolynn Donhoff, who completed the minutes of the meeting. 


Mayor Diesel requested a moment of silence. He then led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. Assistant City Clerk Donhoff read the procedures for public comment and participation. 





Employee(s) of the Month for November 2022, December 2022, and January 2023 – No action was requested. Community Development Director Jim Thomas recognized Fire and Emergency Services Department Life Safety Specialist Kerri Lubeski as the Employee of the Month for November 2022. He highlighted her nomination and presented her with a plaque and a gift.


Police Chief John Lau recognized Police Department Public Affairs Coordinator Amy Matthews as the Employee of the Month for December 2022. He highlighted her nomination and presented her with a plaque and a gift.


Building Director Steven Adams recognized Building Development Specialist Michelle Walker as the Employee of the Month for January 2023. He highlighted her nomination and would present her with a plaque and a gift following the meeting. This was due to Ms. Walker was unavailable to attend the City Council meeting. 




Indian River Lagoon Update Presentation - No action was requested. St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) Supervising Environmental Scientist Dr. Charles "Chuck" Jacoby, Ph.D., M.B.A., assisted by SJRWMD Assistant Executive Director Mary Ellen Winkler, gave an extensive presentation that highlighted information on the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). A copy of the presentation was provided to the City. The presentation provided an overview on the status of the IRL (the current biological or environmental health), historical events that affected the IRL, plans to restore the IRL system, additional concerns, take-away messages, etc. 


Council reviewed their individual questions with Dr. Jacoby about the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) and related information, as summarized below.


Member Nelson 

  1. Testing stormwater outflows 
  2. Testing redundancy 
  3. Whether fresh water and reduced light affected the health of sea grass
  4. A prior sewer spill affecting the IRL and whether there was an equivalent negative affect from septic tank exposure. Approximately 30 septic tanks were identified
  5. The direction of stormwater runoff draining from west to east---how did this happen. The SJRWMD was working to reverse this issue
  6. Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) and reducing issues that caused harm to the IRL
  7. Sea grass recovery goals 
  8. Blue-Green Algae Task Force monitoring recommendation 
  9. The direction that water flowed historically, prior to historical digging of canals for agriculture, draining land, etc. The SJRWMD was working to return to the natural flow of water pre-development years


Vice-Mayor Robinson 

  1. Concern for water flowing west to east and actions being taken to reverse these matters
  2. How development related permits were taken into consideration to mitigate these issues


Member Stoeckel

  1. How we got here. 100 years ago, there were sporadic fish kills (not as common)
  2. Overloading the system was occurring in modern times and the system could not rebound as quickly as it once did
  3. The issues began with historical digging of canals, fertilizer, debris and vegetation dumped into the IRL, etc. 
  4. Wetland impacts and specific mitigation requirements to offset issues in basins
  5. A uniform assessment methodology tool was used to analyze matrixes of values. A critical wetlands list was available through the SJWMD and funding was needed to address the data
  6. Concern for 100-year storms happened more frequently than before 
  7. Caution for any (involved) agency decisions did not result in further harm to the IRL


Mayor Diesel

  1. Surprise by information on historic fish kills at the beginning of the last century
  2. Meetings that he attended of the IRL Coalition that discussed septic tanks 
  3. Concern that possibly not all agencies were taking the same efforts to do their part of “cleaning the aquarium” 
  4. Working with neighboring communities to do their part. 


Member Cole

  1. Involvement by other jurisdictions and agencies
  2. Others concerning themselves with these types of environmental issues and consensus 




Presentation by Attorney Nikki C. Day of Bryant, Miller, Olive – No action was requested. Attorney Nikki Day of the Bryant, Miller, Olive law firm gave presentation to Council including a legal review of certain processes and procedures applicable to the conducting of City Council meetings and public participation. A copy of the presentation was provided to the City. 


The presentation provided an overview on State and Federal Law, the most developed case law, following adopted rules and procedures, avoiding violations of the law and policies, reasonable opportunity for citizens and public to be heard before elected officials took official action, exceptions, public participation rights were not unlimited, the type of forum mattered, including traditional, limited, and closed, the meaning of reasonable and the purpose of the forum, alternate channels for public communication with elected or City officials, balance was key, comparison of the amount of time the public was given to speak on agenda items to that of other cities of similar population size as Titusville, etc. 




PFM Financial Advisors, LLC Presentation for End of Fiscal Year 2022 - No action was requested. It was noted the formal name of the financial advisors for this presentation was PFM Asset Management, LLC, which was a separate business entity. 


PFM Asset Management Senior Managing Consultant Scott Sweeten gave a presentation that highlighted the City’s financial status for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 that ended on September 30, 2022. A copy of the presentation was provided to the City. 


Mayor Diesel and Mr. Sweeten discussed his questions of how the City was doing overall. They also discussed benchmarks, the City’s financial status and financial strategies were similar to other governments, etc. 




Police Department Overview of how Technology is Changing the Way Law Enforcement Conducts Business – No action was requested. Police Chief John Lau gave a video presentation that provided an overview on how technology was changing the way the department conducted business. Police Chief Lau added that technology changed rapidly and it was important to leverage the changes, in order to provide the highest level of service to the community. 


Police Deputy of Operations Chief Todd Hutchinson reviewed the department’s 100-year anniversary and commemorative badge. He commented on a family that donated historic pictures that were taken soon after the department was formed. The department representatives also credited staff that assisted with research, obtaining grants, and more. 







Bill Klein requested City Council cancel the lawsuit or the formal or pending legal question on the Right to Clean Water Charter Amendment that citizens voted on during the 2022 Election. Instead, he argued the City should follow Florida Statutes and implement the amendment’s language and bring suit against the State. Additionally, Mr. Klein requested the Council adopt the Titusville Environmental Commission’s recommendation to monitor stormwater outflow areas for pollution. If there was too much pollution, then he recommended redirecting the water into the aquifer or wetland areas, etc. Mr. Klein advised that he also emailed his requests to the City. 


Stan Johnston requested Council’s support of a legal matter outside of the City Council’s authority (the Crosley Green case). Additionally, he commented on concerns for dishonesty. 


Marlys Breckle felt a sewer spill at Sand Point Park in December 2020 may have occurred a few days prior to when the spill was reported to have begun. Her thinking on this stemmed from seeing hundreds of white birds and dead fish at the park’s stormwater pond(s) prior to the reported spill date. 




With no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.