October 21, 2019

4:30 PM

Elected Officials Present:

Shirley Groover Bryant, Mayor

Tamara Cornwell, Vice Mayor, Commissioner-at-Large 2

Jonathan Davis, Commissioner-at-Large 1

Harold Smith, Commissioner, Ward 1

Tambra Varnadore, Commissioner, Ward 2

Brian Williams, Commissioner Ward 3


Staff Present:

Mark Barnebey, City Attorney

Jim Freeman, City Clerk

Mohammed Rayan, Public Works Deputy Director

Scott Tyler, Chief of Police

Amber LaRowe, Assistant City Clerk




Mayor Bryant recognized the following employees for their recent nominations:


                       Tarleena Robinson

                       Keith Mitchell

                       Sam Smith

                       Kristin Hutton


Keith Mitchell was recognized as Employee of the Fourth Quarter.




Mrs. LaRowe made a presentation to the City Commission in regards to increasing the minimum age for tobacco purchase in the City to 21 years of age. A copy of the presentation was made a part of the minutes.


Alison Bergmann, Assistant Director for Drug Free Manatee, cited statistics and facts regarding underage smoking. She encouraged the Commission to consider adopting the Ordinance for this City.


Riley Bergmann, Chair for Palmetto High Youth in Action, expressed her opinions on the need to increase the age for tobacco purchase to 21 years old in the City. She discussed her perspective as a high school student.


Commissioner Smith expressed his opinions on why he believes this would be a good thing for the City and wanted to make sure that it is clear in the Ordinance about the purchase of e-cigarettes and vaping devices.


Commissioner Williams wanted to have more information on no smoking in City parks.


Commissioner Cornwell believes this is a good idea and would like there to be rules in the Ordinance regarding the sale of tobacco within so many feet of a school.


All the Commission expressed the desire to allow Mrs. LaRowe to move forward with the help of the City Attorney to draft an Ordinance for their review.


Mrs. Owens discussed the current ordinance versus the proposed. Section 6.5 of Appendix B in the City’s Code of Ordinances regulates the parking of commercial vehicles in the City. Section 3.2, Definitions, specifically describes commercial vehicle for the purposes of the Code to include trailers which exceed certain dimensions/measurements/weights as set forth in that definition. However, no specific method for measuring the dimensions is provided to determine whether the trailer exceeds the dimensions as described. Mrs. Owens expressed to the Commission how important it is to have uniformity for enforcements of City Codes. Without a prescribed method of measurement, trailer dimensions have been measured differently depending on the officer. This amendment provides for a standard, defined method of measurement to determine compliance. Residents should be able to purchase a trailer using the Code provisions and be assured that it will be compliant.


Mrs. Owens would like to make the changes to the Ordinance as attached and underlined. When a person purchases a trailer, it will have specifications on the trailer information; this is the specification that should be acceptable to the City if following the 24 feet or less as the Code requires. However, if the owner cannot provide the City with the manufacturer’s specifications, then the trailer will be measured from outside of the box and will not include the tongue or V-nose.


Discussion ensued on the proposed ordinance as attached and measurements. Topics discussed included the gross weight and the measurement of commercial vehicles’ height. Mrs. Owens stated that any aftermarket add-ons to the vehicle like extra wide mirrors or an AC unit on the top of a vehicle will not be considered. Mrs. Owens was asked to include wheel wells to subsection (c) to the attached.


Commissioner Smith asked Mrs. Owens to speak with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on their standards of measurement for commercial vehicles length and weight. He also requested information on how FDOT weighs vehicles.


Mrs. Owens will modify subsection (a) to say “Has a gross vehicle weight”. She will also research the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act in the United States Code to understand what materials it covers.


This Ordinance is on the 7:00 p.m. Agenda for a first read.


Mayor Bryant adjourned the meeting at 5:50 p.m.


Minutes approved: November 4, 2019


James R. Freeman


James R. Freeman

City Clerk