The town of Longboat Key’s first unofficial budget workshop, dubbed the Goals and Objectives Workshop, took place Monday, May 20. The meeting allows residents and town leaders to give commissioners their wish lists for their neighborhoods and organizations for the coming year.
The Town Commission no longer prioritizes the goals that it reviews each year, but takes the suggestions under consideration right before budget season. These are some of the goals that commissioners heard at their workshop:
Vice Mayor David Brenner and others suggested that improved cellular communication for the north end should also be a top town goal.
“We need to make that a priority, even if it means soliciting telecommunication companies to see what we have to do to get better service,” Brenner said.
At the commission’s regular workshop later that afternoon, Bullock said staff could seek meetings with cellular companies to obtain their input on what’s needed to improve cellular service before changes to the town’s telecommunications ordinance are approved.
“We need a community center now more than ever,” said Madelyn Spoll, a Bay Isles resident representing the Longboat Key Garden Club. “It should be a goal of the whole community.”
Longboat Key Estates President Nancy Jenkins also made the case for a community center. Jenkins came to the meeting with a list of amenities she would like to see for a town center.
“We want yoga, fitness, nutrition, a spa for water therapy and walking trails,” Jenkins said.
Longbeach Village Association President Michael Drake has asked that the stormwater drains in the Village be looked at because residents are tired of seeing standing water on roadways after the smallest of rain storms.
The request prompted Town Manager Dave Bullock to note the town will begin monitoring the drains quarterly and will also look into a new type of drain that might work better in the Village.
Longbeach Village Association President Michael Drake asked for handicapped access to the town dock; a new school bus bench for the corner of Broadway and Palm; and the reconnection of the bayou that was cut off in the 1950s to make way for a paved Broadway street.
“We would like to see that come back with a nice bridge going over Broadway,” Drake said. “It gives a nice point of entry for our Village.”
Temple Beth Israel Rabbi Jonathan Katz continued his quest against excessive signage by urging commissioners to continue to reduce the number of signs along Gulf of Mexico Drive.
“Signs create a diminishment of environment,” Katz said. “It’s a pervasive idea that traffic calming is created through more signage.”