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CITY NEWS

 
COMMISSION MEETS
May 17, 2017
 
Meeting Specifics
The Cedar Key City Commission met on Tuesday, May 17, 2017, at 6 pm at the temporary, double-wide trailer home of Cedar Key City Hall, located on the same property as the original City Hall, which remains closed because of Hurricane Hermine damage.  Present were:  Commissioners Dale Register and Royce Nelson, newly re-elected Heath Davis and Sue Colson, and newly elected Nickie Rucker.
Staff in attendance included: Cedar key City Attorney Norm Fugate, Police Chief Virgil Sandlin, Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Manager Robert Robinson, Public Works Director Bill Crandley, Clerk Nicole Gill, Assistant City Clerk Crystal Sharp, and staffer Donna Risker. 
  
Among those in the audience were: Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks, Doris  Hellerman, Jenny Pinto, Nik and Jim Mason, Ed Butler, Wynne Simpson, Michael Hancock, Nin and Dan Garrett, John Caddigan, Chris Ford, Peggy Herrick, Bill Rucker, Don Campbell, Joe and Kerri Catalano, Don Fox, Molly Jubitz, Sharu Sandlin, Rick Viele, Kay Probst, Mac and Nita Cox, Andrew Gude, Susie Horner, Beth Mizell, Chris Reynolds, Linda Seyfert, Doug Maple, Doug Tilgen, Bob and Jeri Treat, and Mandy and Frank Offerle.
 
To reference the agenda and commission package for this meeting, click on the following link:    CommAgendaPkt_16May2017
 
 
COMISSIONERS SWORN IN
In the City of Cedar Key, commissioners serve for two-year terms.  Each year, elections are conducted for two or three open seats which alternate ensuring continuity. 
This year, three seats were open:  Heath Davis in Seat One, Diana Topping Vacated Seat Three, and Sue Colson in Seat Five.  Davis and Colson ran unopposed.  Seat Three was vied for by candidates Chris Topping and Nicki Rucker; Rucker won the election, 178 to 33.
 
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Annually, the reseated and newly seated commissioners swear the Oath of Office; as did Davis, Colson, and Rucker this meeting.
 
MAYOR, VICE MAYOR ELECTED
So, too, must the new commission elect a mayor and vice mayor from amongst themselves.  Heath Davis was elected mayor in a 5 to 0 vote conducted by City Clerk Nicole Gill; Sue Colson was elected vice-mayor in a 5 to 0 vote conducted by Mayor Davis.
 
DEPARTMENT HEADS REAPPOINTED
Department heads are rehired each year upon the seating of new commissioners.  The following department heads were rehired in 5 to 0 votes: City Attorney Norm Fugate, Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Director Robert Robinson, Public Works Director Bill Crandley, City Clerk Nicole Gill.  Police Chief Virgil Sandlin was rehired in a 3 to 2 vote:  Colson, Register, and Rucker voted yea; Davis and Nelson voted nay.
 
PUBLIC COMMENT
BUESING MEMORIAL PLANNED
On Sunday, May 21, 2017, at 1 pm, a memorial ceremony for Marine Brian Buesing will take place at the Cedar Key Cemetery.  Buesing was the first Iraq casualty from Cedar Key.  The public is invited to attend the memorial.
 
SUMMER YOUTH PROGRAM IN NEED
Vice-Mayor Sue Colson reported that the Summer Youth Program is planned with an exciting curriculum reflective of Cedar Key Aquaculture and featuring UF Nature Coast Biological Station and US Fish and Wildlife personnel.
 
Colson reported that the program remains in need of funds.  Anyone wishing to donate any amount may drop it off at City Hal.
 
Click here for more information about the summer youth program: 
 
HAZARDOUS WASTE AND HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS DAY
Vice-Mayor Sue Colson announced that on Thursday, May 25, is Cedar Hurricane Preparedness / Hazardous Waste Day.  From 9am to 1pm, county agencies will be present in the Community Center with information and advice on hurricane preparedness while city personnel will be available to take your household hazardous materials and dispose of them properly.  Such proper disposal eliminates the possibility of these paint cans, oils, pesticides, etc. from landing in front yards or floating into Cedar Key’s clean waters.


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SRWMD AND STAFF MEET IN CEDAR KEY,
ARE THANKED BY RESIDENTS
May 10, 2017
 
 
The Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board conducted its regular monthly meeting in Cedar Key at the Community Center this past Thursday and Friday, May 4 and 5, 2017. 
 
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Seven of the nine-member SRWMD Governing Board were in attendance: Chair Donald J. Quincey, Jr., Vice Chair Alphonas Alexander, Secretary/Treasurer Virginia H. Johns, Kevin W. Brown, Gary F. Jones, Virginia Sanchez, and Charles Keith.  
 
Some forty-five audience members, some of whom were staffers, filled the Community Center seats.  Included within the group were newly elected Cedar Key City Commissioner Nickie Rucker, Mayor Heath Davis, and Commissioner Sue Colson.   In past years, both Davis and Colson served on the SRWMD Board. 
 
Though the Board member’s agendas were lengthy and complex, the Public Comment section of the agenda gave the Cedar Key community the opportunity to thank the SRWMD Board and its personnel for its most significant initiatives and assistance to the Cedar Key area.
 
Mayor Davis welcomed the group, as did Colson and the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District General Manager John McPherson.  Either stated directly or alluded to by these individuals and the Cedar Key area residents, either at the microphone or in conversations throughout the day, were the following ways in which the Suwannee River Water Management District has helped the Cedar Key area. 
  • Purchased Atsena Otie when threatened to be divided up, sold into lots, and developed into housing. Now the island is part of the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge and available to the public for recreation. 
  • Purchased and maintains the 200-plus-acre Lukens Tract, just north of Cedar Key, to protect water quality and conservation land.  The area was slated to be developed into a planned-unit development.  It is now available to the public for recreational purposes. 
  • In 2016-2017, helped study and plan alternatives in Cedar Key’s “Living Shorelines” efforts, which involves:  stopping eroding shoreline along G Street and Airport Road and shoreline restoration at Joe Rains Beach on Eighth and H Streets. 
  • Revamped Cedar Key’s non-working stormwater system, redesigned it, and fixed it.
  • Helped Cedar Key decommission its residential septic tanks and placed remaining residents’ homes on our Cedar Key Water Sewer District system, thus leaving the area water clean and safe for aquaculture and other activities.
  • With all the SRWMD activities, they have:  kept our area pristine, kept it safe for aquaculture and naturalist activities, such a birding, kayaking, fishing, etc.
  • Offered to the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District $80,000 in RIVER funds for moving the wastewater lines off Bridges 1, 2 and 3.  The District is required to match this amount, and we have been approved for the match under the RESTORE Act program, but those funds have been held up.
  • Is considering a request by the Cedar Key Water Sewer District to provide funding under the RIVER program to help with the costs of digging a deep well at the water treatment plant.
  • In 2013 the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District received a RIVER grant from SRWMD to do a groundwater study at the CKWSD’s water treatment plant.
  • Assisted the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District with implementing a reclaimed water system for irrigating the city park in 2008.
  • Has provided technical assistance, personnel visits, advice, and consultation with its accessible, responsive staff.
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SRWMD, STAFF VIEWS PROJECTS
VIA GOLF CARTS
May 9, 2017
 
 
While visiting Cedar key to conduct its May Governing Board meeting, the Suwannee River Water Management District staff boarded George Oakley-provided golf carts and rumbled off on a field trip led by Cedar Key Commissioner Sue Colson. 

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The seven carts carrying both SRWMD Governing Board Members and staff traveled to three stops:  the ever-eroding G Street; Joe Rains Beach at H and Eighth Streets; and Cemetery Point Park.  Executive Director Noah Valenstein, Division of Administration and Operations Chief of Staff Roary Snider, Division of Water Supply Director Carlos Herd, Agricultural and Environmental Projects Director Darrell Smith, Policy and Planning Director Leslie Ames, Chief Financial Officer Pam Shaw, and others saw firsthand the results of the District’s efforts. 
 
The critical nature of the G Street erosion was meticulously explained by the University of Florida’s Dr. Mark Clark, Extension Specialist, Wetlands and Water Quality Associate Professor, Soil and Water Science Department.   Clark then presented the shoreline restoration success occurring at Joe Rains Beach at Eighth and H Streets.  There SRWMD personnel walked the beach and the baffles for a close look at the project at low tide. 
 
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The trip’s last stop was Cemetery Point Park where the group was greeted by Refuge Manager Andrew Gude, Friends of the Lower Suwannee River and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges President Russ Hall, and other Friends members. Iced tea, cheese, and crackers were appreciated by all. 
 

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At the Park, District staff saw its efforts actualized in planning environmentally appropriate kayak landings, terraced fishing access areas, actualized signage suggestions, and the Earl Starnes Overlook which panoramically oversees the waters east of the Cemetery Point Park and State Road 24.  Those waters in the care of the Cedar Key–based Florida’s Nature Coast Conservancy.    
Due to the blusteriness of the day and the strong suspicion of rain, the planned Tidewater Tour boat ride offered by the Friends of the Refuges could not occur.   District staff said that they would be happy to come back, anytime, for that boat ride. 

 

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CEDAR KEY

HISTORICAL SOCIETY NEWS

May 6, 2017 

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The Cedar Key Historical Society is looking for a few local volunteer docents for our 1-4 pm afternoons at the museum.  We are located on the corner of Second and D Streets and are open seven days a week.  Since we are relying on volunteers, we are hoping that many hands will make light work.  You will be trained by the Dr. John Andrews (Cedar Key native and local authority on Cedar Key History) and the Executive Director. 

 The position of docent is offered to local people and off islanders who have a history or sense of belonging to Cedar Key.  Many older families have stories to tell our visitors who come from as far away as Europe.  Other visitors in the winter are from the northern states and Canada.  In the summer, we get a lot of people from Southern Florida, here to catch a nice Gulf breeze.  

Additionally, please join us for an exciting upcoming season with a Sierra Club sponsored John Muir celebration on the 150th anniversary of his walk to Cedar Key.  We also give tours to clubs and school children. 

This is an equal opportunity offer.  Please call Amy Gernhardt, 352-543-5549 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to apply.  

 

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Cedar Key City Commission
ELECTION RESULTS - Seat #3
02 MAY 2017
 
UNOFFICIAL VOTE COUNT
NICKIE RUCKER: 178
CHRIS TOPPING: 33
 
CERTIFIED COUNT THURSDAY
 
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indexCOUNTYWIDE BURN BAN
IN EFFECT
April 25, 2017

The Levy County Board of County Commissioners has enacted Emergency Declaration 2017-018 and Emergency Order 2017-019 establishing a burn ban throughout the unincorporated areas of Levy County. This is an executive emergency order due to the extreme dry conditions that affect our county. Levy County has suffered massive losses in the past from unintentional fires caused by unattended or irresponsibly set fires.

DO NOT burn yard debris, trash or other unwanted items around your homes during this time.  Due to these current conditions, fires will rapidly spread out of control and could endanger lives. 

This Emergency Order establishes this violation is a second-degree misdemeanor pursuant to Section 252.50, Florida Statutes.

Anyone having questions are asked to contact the Division of Forestry at 352-493-6060.

Posted By Lt. Scott Tummond to Levy County Sheriff's Star at 4/25/2017 11:13:00 AM

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CEDAR KEY RECYCLES
SIGN RESURRECTED
May 1, 2017

MAY 1 DEVERIN 1 IMG 0057You may have noticed the new "Cedar Key Recycles" MAY 1 DEVERIN 2 IMG 0063 2sign on Route 24 when coming into our City.  Several weeks ago, Pat and Tom Deverin's son Jim, daughter-in-law Dorothy, and grandsons Thomas and Jack visited Cedar Key during Spring break.  Jack, age 14, wanted to do a community service project to fulfill school requirements while visiting Cedar Key.  With artist skills, he decided to construct, paint, and install the new Cedar Key Recycles sign.

 

 

  The former sign, which was installed by the Energy Advisory Panel over six years ago, had been swept away by Hermine.  The E A P was a small group of folks that worked to have curbside recycling along with several other programs, all intended to educate, facilitate, and encourage our local government, business, households, and visitors to reduce their carbon footprint.  As planned, once goals were achieved, the group disbanded.

So, thanks to Jack Deverin, everyone who drives into Cedar Key will once again know that Cedar Key recycles.

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CITY OF CEDAR KEY NOTICE
April 28, 2017

 Notice for City of Cedar Key Voters 1

 

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CKN  EDITORIAL
27 April 2017
 
 
Voting is a right.
 
The right to vote and have that vote counted should not be infringed upon in any way. Everyone has a right to have his/her vote honestly registered and counted.
 
The system, in most states, requires the voter to provide proof of legal residency when initially registering to vote; these states may not require proof of legal residency when changing a voting precinct from one county to another. This is left up to the honesty and integrity of the individual requesting the change.
 
In the interest of providing information to an informed electorate, the Cedar Key News has studied both candidates competing in the upcoming City of Cedar Key Commission election which will occur on May 2, 2017, when voters will be asked to vote for Nickie Rucker or Chris Topping.  Cedar Key News research finds a conflict between establishing legal residency and qualifying to run for city commission by Chris Topping.
 
ELIGIBILITY
The Laws of Cedar Key state that: 2.03.00. ELIGIBILITY
Each candidate for a seat must be a qualified voter who is a resident of the city for at least six months prior to the date the person qualifies to run for office.
Each commissioner and the mayor shall continuously reside within the city during their terms of office.
 
The intent of this Cedar Key Law was and still is, to ensure that elected officials representing the citizens of Cedar Key live in the city and not outside the city limits.
 
The terms “resident” and “reside” are not just words to be twisted and used to the advantage of absentee land owners. They are used to protect the citizens of Cedar Key from those who do not live here from seeking office and voting for regulations or ordinances that may not necessarily be in the best interest of the citizens.
 
QUALIFYING
The form used by the city is an official form called: OATH OF CANDIDATE (section 99.021, Florida Statutes.) By signing this form, the applicant is swearing that he qualifies for the office, not just by state and county regulations but also by the City of Cedar Key ordinances.
 
The city’s responsibility, when accepting this form, is not to the validity of the answers but to see that the form has been properly filled out. A form filled in with a P.O. Box in lieu of a person’s address, cannot be considered a properly filled out form.
 
The city’s responsibility should not end here. Applicants for the city commission should provide proof of their six-month residency prior to the qualifying date.
 
INTEGRITY
When the application form asks for an address, it means the actual address where the applicant resides, continuously, with his or her family. It doesn’t mean, a business address, a P.O. Box, an address of a recently sold house, or the address of a house still under construction.
 
Candidates seeking city office, and using a questionable address to establish residency, may consider this proper and ethical.
 
Some people may be fooled or not consider this as important. In a small town like Cedar Key, not everyone is fooled and many people think it is important.
 
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COMMISSION MEETS
April 18, 2017
 
Meeting Specifics
The Cedar Key City Commission met on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at 6 pm at the temporary, double-wide trailer home of Cedar Key City Hall, located on the same property as the original City Hall, which remains closed because of Hurricane Hermine damage.  Present were:  Mayor Heath Davis, Vice-Mayor Dale Register, and Commissioners Sue Colson, Royce Nelson, and Diana Topping.
 
Staff in attendance included: Cedar key City Attorney Norm Fugate, Police Chief Virgil Sandlin, Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Manager Robert Robinson, City Clerk Nicole Gill, Assistant City Clerk Crystal Sharp, and staffer Donna Risker. 
Among those in the audience were: Jenny Pinto, Ed and Sherry Butler, Steve, and Jan Stackhouse, Sandy and Bill Heckler, Nickie Rucker, Susan Rosenthal, Caryn Stephenson, Doug Maple, Linda Dale, Michael Hancock, Jim Wortham, John Palasic, Andrew Gude, Maggie and Dana Funchion, Mac Cox, Joe Allen, Chris Topping, Bob and Jeri Treat, and Mandy and Frank Offerle.
 
PUBLIC COMMENT
HAZARDOUS WASTE DAY
Commissioner Sue Colson announced that Cedar Key Hazardous Waste and Hurricane Preparedness Day is May 25, 2017.  Specific details will be announced soon, she advised.
 
SUWANNEE RRIVER WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
Commissioner Sue Colson announced that the SRWMD will conduct its May 4 meeting here in Cedar Key at the Community Center.  She invited the public to attend and to speak to the board if they wished.  Colson requested dollars to provide coffee for the group; Mayor Heath Davis approved the expense. 
  
SUMMER YOUTH PROGRAM
Commissioner Sue Colson also announced the Cedar Key Summer Youth Program.  The program this year will focus on aquaculture and will involve the UF Institute for Food and Agriculture Sciences and other local organizations.   The five-week program begins June 12.  She requested donations.  Click here for more information.  
 
DRUG TAKE-BACK PROGRAM
Police Chief Virgil Sandlin encouraged the audience to participate in the Drug Take-Back Program at Old City Hall from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, April 29.  The program is intended to gather unneeded and unused prescription drugs and dispose of them properly by incinerating.  Click here for more information:  http://cedarkeynews.com/index.php/city-news/3008-got-drugs-2017
 
WOUNDED WARRIORS
Police Chief Sandlin requested that the launch fees be waived for the May 8-9 wounded warriors visit to Cedar Key.  Commissioners granted the request.
 
BIRD SANCTUARY
Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges Manager Andrew Gude reported that with the abandonment of Seahorse Key nesting colony, they are considering temporarily opening the waters around Seahorse Key this season. The beaches will remain closed until June 30 th. Gude said that they will also be considering how to better protect the birds out at Snake Key as many birds have moved there from Seahorse Key.
 
COMMISSIONER LEAVES
Mayor Heath Davis presented Diana Topping with a certificate of appreciation for her service as a commissioner during the last two years.
 
USDA GRANT DISCUSSION
THREE-DIMENSIONAL SCAN
Commissioner Sue Colson requested approval to move forward on a United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, and grant to three-dimensionally scan additional parts of Cedar Key. The scan will reproduce an image of the exterior and elevations of the existing buildings. The imaging would be helpful in reconstructing Cedar Key to its original look should it be destroyed by hurricanes, sea-level rise, or the like.
 
 Currently, the city has a 3-D scan of Second Street; it resulted from the studies involved in its 2016 Think Water, Think Cedar Key Program and is available for viewing at the Chamber of Commerce.  The new grant would be written by a UF professor and require no matching funds from the city.  Commissioners approved her request, 5 to 0.
 
ADDITIONAL MARINA BATHROOMS
Colson also requested approval to move forward on another ‘no match’ USDA grant to replace the portable toilets located at C and Dock Streets with a building duplicative of the one recently constructed in the Marina.  Commissioners approved her request, 5 to 0. 
 
 PUBLIC WORKS REQUEST
Public Works’ Bill Crandley placed before the commission the status of the existing heavy equipment and some of the options available. The city’s requirements and capabilities of each piece of equipment discussed.Crandley was directed to get prices for repairing or replacing the Gator and to prepare a list showing all the equipment needed to maintain city property and streets. Crandley also announced that the truck has been repaired for about $1500 and will be back in service.


 
CEDAR KEY COMMISSION APPLICANTS
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
 
In the past several weeks, the Cedar Key News staff has talked with many Cedar Key residents and listened to their questions regarding the candidates and the upcoming city commission election.
These questions, and others, were posed to the two candidates running for the Cedar Key City Commission in May 2, 2017. From their answers, staff has learned the following information.
 
 
NICKIE RUCKER
 
WANTS TO REPRSENT ALL
  • In responses to various questions about the clamming industry and conflicts with non-clamming residents of Cedar Key, Rucker restates her commitment “to represent all of the people of Cedar Key.” 
  • She believes she knows many of them personally as her family comes from here and has clamming, fishing backgrounds.  She reiterated giving “a voice to everybody.”
HAS NECESSARY SKILL SET
  • She believes that while in the realty business in Mid-Florida, she learned many skills that would help her in the commissioner job. 
  • She explained that the reinventing her firm, which required her to listening to people, clearly hearing their concerns, “working with them to change the operation but remain humble and become what the people needed.”  She believes those skills will serve her well on the Cedar Key Commission.
FAVORS ANNEXATION
  • Rucker explained that she favors the city’s recent annexation efforts because those living on the Cedar Key side of the Number Four Bridge enjoy the same services as the city’s tax-paying residents enjoy. 
  • She believes that action is fair, “equitable.” 
CHANGES TO CEDAR KEY
  • Nickie Rucker believes that she should be a commissioner because she: wants “to be a bigger part” of the city; wants to “influence Cedar Key to change, but not much.”
  • She believes that in “giving back to my community is part of who I am.”
  
CHRIS TOPPING
 
QUESTION OF RESIDENCY
The question most asked regarding Chris Topping was: How can he run for city office if he doesn’t live in the city?
  • When asked where he resides, Topping responded that he has “many houses.” (the residency address provided by Topping to the Levy County Supervisor of Elections is C&M Seafood Inc, 11990 St. Rd. 24)
  • When asked, “Have you been living in the city for the past six months, as required by the Laws of Cedar Key?” Topping responded, “What do you mean by living?”
  • To clarify the question of living, Topping was asked, “Do you sleep there (at the city address) most of the time?” Topping’s response was, “I don’t know about most of the time.”
  • Topping refused to answer any questions regarding his family also living with him at this address.
SEES NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Other questions asked were regarding clamming and the potential conflict of voting on issues that involved the clamming industry while sitting on the city commission.
  • Asked if he, as commissioner, should be allowed to vote on an item that comes before the commission if it was an issue that he might derive some monetary benefit? Topping expressed seeing nothing wrong with that; he believes that is legal. 
  • Topping states: “I'm here to protect Aquaculture, which in my opinion is the tie that binds all other industries in Cedar Key. I like seeing a commission that puts Aquaculture at the top of its priority list.” 

 

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GOT DRUGS

 

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GARDEN CLUB SUGGESTS
CEDAR LAKES
April 23, 2017
…a note from Roger McDaniels
 
APR 23 Cedar Lakes Show
 
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Hero of the Month
By Wayne Watson
April 12, 2017
 
 
Joseph Kasco works through me at my handyman service. His exploits as of late are exemplary and commendable. He should be made Hero of the Month. I’ve worked with Joseph for eight years now. I’ve always been proud of his fathering and his hardworking ethics. Today he showed his selflessness while risking his life to save someone he didn’t even know.   

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Around 2:30 today, Russel Brown went unconscious while in his running truck on Second St., forced the accelerator to the floor, and careened through all the porch posts at Tina’s Hair Salon and all but one of the porch posts at Island Arts. The truck was at full throttle, but stuck on the last post. The Street filled with burnt rubber smoke as the tires spun on the concrete. You couldn’t see but 5’ at the scene. 

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COMMISSION MEETS
April 7, 2017
 
 
Meeting Specifics
The Cedar Key City Commission met on Tuesday, April 7, 2017, at 6 pm at the temporary, double-wide trailer home of Cedar Key City Hall, located on the same property as the original City Hall, which remains closed because of Hurricane Hermine damage.  Present were:  Mayor Heath Davis, Vice-Mayor Dale Register, and Commissioners Sue Colson, Royce Nelson, and Diana Topping.
Staff in attendance included: CRA Attorney Norm Fugate, Police Chief Virgil Sandlin, Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Manager Robert Robinson, City Clerk Nicole Gill, Assistant City Clerk Crystal Sharp, and staffer Donna Risker. 
Among those in the audience were: Chris Topping, Michael Hancock, Jim Fleming, Myra Zeigler, Doug Maple, Bob and Jeri Treat, and Mandy and Frank Offerle.
 
PUBLIC COMMENT
No public comment was offered.
 
UF SUPPORT LETTER
Commissioners unanimously approved sending a letter of support for the University of Florida Nature Coast Biological Station as it seeks funding from the Community-University Engagement Awards Program, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.
  
CONCRETE DOCK UPDATE 
Mayor Davis gave some background to the proposed outside concrete dock by referring to the original contract and saying that today they were going to go continue the discussion and then authorize the work and preparation of the budget amendment. Mayor Davis read from the contract, “we yield to the owner of TRM for recommendations for placement, size, accessibility and mobility.”
 
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  CONCRETE FLOATING DOCK                         ALUMINUM FLOATING DOCK
 
Commissioner Royce Nelson, president of TRM then updated the others on the concrete docks for the outside Marina. After discussion of the dock sizes and number of docks it was agreed that the existing aluminum dock would be moved to the inside marina and two concrete docks would be put in its place. The existing concrete dock, built last year for the fireworks, will be repaired, and building flaws corrected. The vote to accept the project and proceed was 4 to 0, with Commissioner Nelson abstaining.
 
NON-STATIONARY BUSINESSES
Mayor Davis explained that businesses about town have asked of late what they may and may not do regarding acting as transient vendors.  He further explained that the city relies largely on state law. 
For clarity and simplicity, Davis divided the issue into three different groupings of transient vendors.  
  • Service vendors using the city right-of-way.  Golf carts, horse and buggy, Pedi-cabs, etc. must have a license and permit to do business and proof of insurance.
  • Mobile food vendors situated on the city right-of-way.  No vendor may be situated on the city right-of-way.
  • Temporary structures on private property, such as tents, food wagons, etc. These vendors must have a license, business permit, sign permit (if applicable) and a letter of approval from the property owner to conduct business on that property.  The structures, wagons, trailers, etc. must be taken down and removed at the end of every day. Any vendors within the Historic District will be required to get a Certificate of Appropriateness if any part of the enterprise is on the Regulated Work Items list.
One audience members asked about allowing vendors, such as a smokers t0 smoke fish, to set up and sell food on private property during festivals. Chief Sandlin noted that the festivals are for non-profit organizations. School and the other non-profits organizations use the festival venue as one of their few sources to earn money and that would be taking money away from the kids.  A member of the audience then suggested to allow transient vendors on private property during the festivals and require them to give the non-profits a percentage of their profits. The mayor remarked that “that’s a slippery slope . . . a slippery slope.”  No action resulted from the suggestion. 
 
Commissioners directed Attorney Norm Fugate to “clean up” the language and return it to the commission.  A check list will also be provided and filled out along with the permit applications.


 

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 ALLEN PIC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Abigail O’Steen, Valedictorian                Ashlyn Allen, Salutatorian
 
 
Cedar Key School’s top students in the class of 2017 are Abigail O’Steen, valedictorian, and Ashlyn Allen, salutatorian. Abigail and Ashlyn have been lifelong Cedar Key Sharks; they began school together in the fall of 2003 when they entered pre-K and have been classmates ever since. Both will speak at the commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. on May 20th in the Cedar Key gymnasium.
 
Principal Joshua Slemp said the valedictorian and salutatorian are selected based on their Florida Academic Scholars grade point average (GPA) throughout high school. This year the decision was a close one, with .03 grade points separating the two candidates.
 
Abigail is finishing her high school career with a GPA of 3.93. Following graduation, she will be among the first students to attend the new College of Central Florida campus in Chiefland to complete her associate of arts degree. Abigail has been a dual enrollment student through the college and has been receiving both high school and college credits this year.
 
Ashlyn is graduating with a GPA of 3.90. She recently became the first Cedar Key graduate to ever sign an athletic scholarship. An outstanding softball player, Ashlyn was recruited to pitch for the St. Petersburg College Titans.
 
Both Abigail and Ashlyn have deep roots and large extended families in Cedar Key and Levy County.
 
Abigail’s parents are Chad and Joanne O’Steen of Cedar Key, Ronny Jo O’Steen of Cedar Key, and Mark Miller of Chiefland. Abigail’s grandparents are Anne O’Steen of Cedar Key and Jo Frank and Keith Watson of Chiefland.   
 
Ashlyn’s parents are Jimmy and Cheryl Allen and her maternal grandmother is Rita Baker, all of Cedar Key.
 
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CEDAR KEY CRA MEETS
April 7, 2017
 
Meeting Specifics:
The Cedar Key Community Redevelopment Agency met on Tuesday, April 7, 2017, at 6 pm at the Cedar Key temporary City Hall.   Present were:  Chair Royce Nelson, Vice-Chair Sue Colson, and members Dale Register, Heath Davis, and Diana Topping.
 
Staff in attendance included: CRA Attorney Norm Fugate, Police Chief Virgil Sandlin, Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Manager Robert Robinson, City Clerk Nicole Gill, Assistant City Clerk Crystal Sharp, and Staffer Donna Risker.
 
Among those in the audience were: Chris Topping, Michael Hancock,  Doug Maple, Bob and Jeri Treat, and Mandy and Frank Offerle.
 
PUBLIC COMMENT
No public comment was offered.
 
HISTORICAL SOCIETY BUILDING RESERVE APPROVED
Chair Royce Nelson presented to all members the Amendment Grant Award Agreement between the Cedar Key Community Redevelopment Agency and the Cedar Key Historical Society.  The CRA members unanimously approved the Historical Society’s request to “maintain a building reserve fund in the amount of not less than $50,000 to cover flood damage to the property…” instead of purchasing flood insurance from the marketplace.
MINUTES APPROVED
Minutes from the January 3, 2017, CRA meeting were unanimously approved.
SUNTRUST BOND
Chair Nelson presented members with a draft letter to SunTrust Vice-President Ken Schult noting that “funds for the April Bond Interest Payment and the available funds foe [for] the April 2017 Principal Payment from the CRA TIF funds in the amount of $337,989.99….” were attached.  Members unanimously agreed to forward the letter to the bank.
 
Nelson further suggested that the following paragraph be added to the letter.  “The CRA Board, understands and fully accepts their responsibility of using 100% of the TIF receipts for the payment of the CRA bond as stated in the bond issuance.  The board also understands the banks position in requesting the CRA Board to agree to a modification of the payment structure to bring the loan into compliance.  However, the board in [is] concerned that the modification may impact the bond validation.”
 
Vice-Chair Colson expressed her preference to add nothing, as all the information contained in the additional paragraph had been discussed and deliberated in the past.  Members debated the use of the word, “however,” and whether to add the paragraph at all.   Ultimately, members approved adding the paragraph, in substance, 4 to 1; Colson voted against the paragraph’s inclusion. 
 
MEETING ADJOURNED
The meeting adjourned at approximately 6:10 pm.
 
 
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  CEMETERY POINT PARK,
 A TIDIER PLACE
April 1, 2017
 
 
Cedar Key Garden Club, other volunteers, and Cedar Key Public Works personnel, armed with gloves, rakes, and clippers  and cutters, gathered at Cemetery Point Park this past Friday, March 31, and tackled vines, Brazilian Pepper, smilax, and other invasive plants that choke the palms, cedars, oaks, and other native verdure at the park.  

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Cedar Key Garden Club President Roger McDaniels, and Ed DeHaan, among their other efforts, cut and chemically treated the Brazilian Pepper shrubs found about the park.   Doreen Holland, Jeri and Bob Treat, Matt Cox, Mandy and Frank Offerle cleared away the smilax and weeds along the north perimeter of the park, greatly increasing the beautiful panorama. 
 
Beth Mizell and Gene Higa aggressively cleared the west exercise area of weeds, smilax, and broken logs, and other debris.  Russ Colson and Joe Hand were everywhere, assisting everyone.   Public Works Bill Crandley and Dennis Gill Sr., gathered all the debris piles and deposited them elsewhere as well as vine-pulling, raking, and hauling.  Commissioner Sue Colson and husband Russ provided lunch and the ever-precious and much-appreciated water. 
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Commissioner Colson, who has been instrumental in obtaining funding to enhance the park and getting volunteers to help the Public Works Department maintain area, expresses her thanks to all the participants for their efforts in maintaining the very special park that is Cemetery Point Park.
 
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GARDEN CLUB TO TIDY UP
CEMETERY POINT PARK…
COME HELP IF YOU CAN
March 30, 2017
…a note from Roger McDaniels
 
The Cedar Key Garden Club is looking for volunteers for the
Cemetery Point Park Clean up on Friday, March 31, from  9 am  to noon.
 
Come on out, bring your rakes, shovels, hoes, and clippers.
A fun Morning in the Park.
 
Roger McDaniels 321 698-1688
 
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MEET WITH
COMMISSIONER COLSON
MARCH 28, 2017
 
On the steps of the Chamber of Commerce,
Commissioner Sue Colson will be available
between 11am and noon to talk with you and answer your questions.
  
Come by, sit down, have some coffee and
discuss concerns that you may have regarding the city.
 
 
WHAT?
Meet with a commissioner  
WHEN?  
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
11 am to noon
WHERE?
Cedar Key Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center
450 Second Street, Cedar Key
WHY? 
A chance for participants to be better informed
regarding issues in Cedar Key.

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COMMISSION MEETS 
March 21, 2017
 
Meeting Specifics
The Cedar Key City Commission met on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, at 6 pm at the temporary, double-wide trailer home of Cedar Key City Hall, located on the same property as the original City Hall, which remains closed because of Hurricane Hermine damage.  Present were:  Mayor Heath Davis, Vice-Mayor Dale Register, and Commissioners Sue Colson, Royce Nelson, and Diana Topping.
 
Staff in attendance included:  City Attorney Norm Fugate, Police Chief Virgil Sandlin, Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Director Robert Robinson, Public Works’ Bill Crandley, Assistant City Clerk Crystal Sharp, and Donna Risker. City Clerk Nicole Gill was absent.
 
Among those in the audience were: Nicki Rucker, Doug Maple, Michael Hancock, Allan Pither, Chris Topping, Jennifer Davis, Jeri and Bob Treat, and Mandy and Frank Offerle.
 
PUBLIC COMMENT
 
CANVASSING BOARD
Mayor Heath Davis announced the upcoming city election Canvassing Board and its “Appointment and Meeting Calendar for the 2017 City of Cedar Key Election.”  Simply click below for the full notice:
 
ANNEXATION LETTER SIGNED
Mayor Davis recounted that at its Tuesday, March 21, 2017, County Commission Meeting, Levy County commissioners approved a City of Cedar Key annexation letter.
 
The letter, addressed to Levy County Coordinator Wilber Dean and dated December 22, 2016, requested that the City of Cedar Key annex two pieces of county-owned property in Cedar Key.  One parcel, 00449-000-00, is 120 acres of submerged land immediately south of City Park Beach and east of the Marina; the second, 00422-000-00, is a 52.42 acre parcel, the airport. 
 
Commissioners voted 4 to 1 in favor of annexing these two parcels into the City of Cedar Key.  The no vote came from Commissioner Lilly Rooks.
 
The letter states that, “The Florida Statute governing annexation require that the City obtain preliminary consent of landowners who control at least 50% of the acreage within the area under consideration.”  This annexation places the city at or beyond the necessary 50%. 
 
COMMITTEE ON CEDAR KEY LAWS CREATED
Mayor Davis suggested, and the commission unanimously approved, the creation of a new committee to be composed of himself, Commissioner Sue Colson, City Attorney Norm Fugate, and City of Cedar Key Land Planning Agency Chair Jim Mason.
 
Davis expressed the concern that the LPA is currently dealing with items that have been added and clarified in the past and are now coming up again.  He wants this committee to clarify these Cedar Key laws.  Currently, said Davis, Colson and Davis see things one way and Fugate and Mason see them another.    Issues such as the “ag exemption, replats, and parcels versus lots” will be discussed in these committee meetings.
 
Meetings will be properly noticed beforehand and open to the public.
 
ORDINANCE PROVIDES MORATORIUM ON CANNABIS SALES
At the February 7, 2017, commission meeting, commissioners voted 5 to 0 to place a moratorium on decisions regarding locations where medical marijuana may be sold in Cedar Key in the future.  At its March 7, 2017, meeting, commissioners unanimously approved Ordinance 515 placing the twelve-month moratorium on cannabis-dispensing businesses for its first reading.  Tonight commissioners unanimously approved the moratorium for its second reading.
 
LIGHTHOUSE REPAIR SUPPORT
Commissioners unanimously approved two letters of support of the University of Florida Nature Coast Biological Station’s proposed efforts to repair and restore the Seahorse Key Lighthouse.   One letter was addressed to the Lighthouse Association in St. Petersburg, Florida, the other to the United States Lighthouse Association in Hansville, Washington.
 
FLOATING DOCK BID AWARDED
Commissioners unanimously awarded a bid for its floating dock.  Two bids were submitted:  one for $501 and one for $1,001.  The latter bid, offered by Triad Residual Management was accepted.
 
MINUTES APPROVED
Commissioners unanimously approved minutes from the February 21 and the March 7, 2017, city commission meetings.
 
MEETING ADJOURNED
The meeting adjourned at approximately 6:17 pm.
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CITY OF CEDAR KEY ELECTIONS CANVASSING BOARD
March 23, 2017
MAR 23 CK CanvassingBrd

 

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NEW SCULPTURE AT THE
CEDAR KEY ARTS CENTER –
GULLS IN FLIGHT
March 15, 2017

Thanks to the generosity of long-time residents Earl and Dorothy Starnes, the stairs to the new addition are now adorned with an inspiring sculpture depicting sea gulls in flight.  This graceful 8 foot x 4 foot bronze sculpture was created by Rolf Carl Nyberg and purchased in the 1960’s by the Starnes.   

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Through the years it has moved around Florida as Dr. Starnes continued his career as Director, Division of State Planning, State of Florida and Chairman and Professor, Urban and Regional Planning, College of Architecture, University of Florida, until his “retirement” to Cedar Key in 1992.

 

 

Dr. Starnes and his wife will soon be moving to Gainesville but his many contributions to our community will long be remembered including his role in assuring that Atsena Otie would remain an undeveloped natural area, managed by the Lower Suwanee River and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge, that Cemetery Point would never be developed and working with Florida’s Nature Coast Conservancy to protect and acquire lands for future generations to enjoy.

 

The Cedar Key Arts Center is grateful for the support of Dorothy and Earl Starnes over the years and is honored to have this new sculpture that will be enjoyed for years to come and remind us all of these valued members of our Cedar Key Community.  We would also like to thank the Arts Center Boat Builders, a group that Earl has been active in through the years, for installing the sculpture.

Photo:  Earl Starnes with outgoing President of the CKAC, Donna Bushnell at the Annual Meeting of the Florida’s Nature Coast Conservancy, 2/26/2017.  

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