CLEWISTON — Newly elected Commissioners James L. Pittman, Greg Thompson and re-elected Commissioner Mali Gardner were sworn in by City Attorney Gary Brandenburg at the start of the Clewiston City Commission meeting on Monday, Nov. 16.
The newly sworn in commissioners then commended Clewiston resident and retired Army sergeant Robert Mickey McGahee, who was recognized by Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, as he hosted a hosted a virtual ceremony for the 2020 Congressional Veteran Commendation recipients on Veterans Day. During the ceremony, Rep. Diaz-Balart thanked a list of veterans from Florida’s 25th Congressional District for their service to our nation and community.
“His tour of duty in Vietnam was quite a harrowing experience,” said Gardner, as she described his time being flown in and out by helicopter, working 12-hour shifts in dangerous combat zones. “We are so thankful for Mickey and his service.” Gardner also presented McGahee with a challenge coin from Diaz-Ballaro.
The Congressional Veteran Commendation is a nominations-based program designed to recognize the wartime sacrifices and peacetime community involvement of veterans residing in Florida’s 25th Congressional District. McGahee, and the other honorees, will be interviewed, and their wartime collections will be added to the Veterans History Project, sponsored by the Library of Congress.
The new city commissioners then went on to recognize outgoing commissioners, Julio Rodriguez, who served for 17 years, and Michael Atkinson, who served for four years on the Clewiston City Commission, with resolutions that acknowledged their contributions and accomplishments during their time in office. Gardner presented Rodriguez with his signed resolution and thanked him for his dedication to the city.
“It’s an honor to be here tonight and hear those kinds words echoed,” said Rodriguez. “My first election 17 years ago, I wasn’t a good speaker,” Rodriguez said, as he thanked his son and daughter for listening as he practiced his speeches. He talked about how he didn’t even know where the front door to City Hall was, before that first election. He thanked the commissioners and staff for all their help and support. “It’s been a great journey. It’s been an honor.”
The commissioners moved on to the public hearing and final reading of Ordinance No. 2020-04, which “modifies Section 98-189 Monitoring of discharges (b) Access to facilities, and Section 98-190 Requirements to prevent, control and reduce stormwater pollutants by the use of best management practices.” A motion to approve Ordinance No. 2020-04 passed unanimously.
On Resolution No. 2020-80, “to approve the contract with Electric Power Systems for emergency inspection of the 38Kv McGraw Distribution Substation Transformer,” motion to approve passed unanimously.
On Resolution No. 2020-82, approval of the amendment to “Section 10 of Appendix A of the Clewiston, FL Code of Ordinances, which establishes the solid waste collection rates,” motion to approve passed unanimously.
On Resolution No. 2020-83, to approve the “South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Operational Task Force Memorandum of Understanding with Broward Sheriff’s Office,” a motion to approve passed unanimously.
Attorney Gay Brandenburg requested the commission schedule an attorney/client meeting on Dec. 21 regarding the matter of Clewiston Commons vs. City of Clewiston, and a motion to schedule this meeting was approved.
A long discussion revolving around City Manager Randy Martin’s recommendation to “consent to the scheduling of a public hearing at the Dec. 21 commission meeting, to consider the adoption of a resolution,” was had, the public hearing was scheduled. This was followed by an in-depth discussion regarding the recommendation to “schedule the first reading of an ordinance for the Dec. 21 commission meeting consenting to the change in the method used by Hendry County to fund emergency medical services with ad valorem taxes to the creation of a countywide MSBU,” which was tabled for the time being.
Regular commission meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month, starting at 5:30 p.m. in the city hall commission chambers, 115 W. Ventura Ave.
If you have an issue you wish to discuss at a city commission meeting, you may submit a written request to be included on the next commission meeting’s agenda. Direct your request to City Clerk Kathy Combass at Kathy.Combass@clewiston-fl.gov or by telephone at 863-983-1484.