Ranch CDDs approve landscaper

 

Ranch CDDs approve landscaper

 

Date: November 22, 2011
by: Pam Eubanks | News Editor

 
 

 

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Three Lakewood Ranch Community Development Districts have selected a new contractor for landscaping services, again moving to replace their current contractor, Garden Leaders.

Lakewood Ranch CDDs 1, 4 and 5 agreed Nov. 17 to hire Mount Dora-based Down to Earth for landscaping services, starting Jan. 1.

“We asked staff to go through the (selection) process, and my attitude is whatever they come back with — it’s in our best interest to respect what staff has done,” CDD 4 Michael Griffin said of moving forward with Down to Earth.

Garden Leaders, which filed a lawsuit against CDDs 1, 4, 5 and the Inter-District Authority in August, alleging they violated Sunshine open meetings laws during their vendor selection process, dropped the lawsuit in September after the boards agreed to redo the selection process.

The company, however, had legal representation and a court reporter in attendance at the meeting.

Paralegal Michael Barfield, who represented Garden Leaders’ attorney Andrea Mogensen at the meeting, said a decision of whether to litigate likely would be made this week, after the East County Observer went to press.

“We are very concerned about defects in the process that has occurred, as well as Sunshine law violations that continue (to happen),” Barfield said.

CDD attorney Andy Cohen, however, said concerns regarding Sunshine laws and other issues raised by Garden Leaders were addressed in the new selection process.

“We tried to address not only issues they raised, but other issues to tighten the process,” Cohen said, noting he considered the process to be sound procedurally.

In all three districts, Garden Leaders’ evaluation placed them third out of six bidders, while Down to Earth came out as the top-ranked vendor.

Garden Leaders was disqualified in District 5’s bid process, because the company’s owner contacted CDD 5 Supervisor Alan Silverglat to discuss the bid process, a violation of bid proposal specifications.

Contact Pam Eubanks at peubanks@yourobserver.com.


IN OTHER BUSINESS
CDD 1
• Engineer Mike Kennedy said he would continue to ask Manatee County to correct striping issues on Summerfield Parkway.
• Supervisors authorized staff to issue a Request for Qualifications for continuing professional services, which includes discipline and service categories such as landscape architecture and transportation engineering.

CDD 2 and 5
• CDD 2 supervisors appointed Dick Moran as supervisor.
• Supervisors in both districts authorized staff to issue a Request for Qualifications for continuing professional services, which includes discipline and service categories such as landscape architecture and transportation engineering.
• Town Hall Finance Director Steve Zielinski said homeowners in Brier Creek and Teal Creek in CDD 5 would see corrections to their assessments, because homeowners were overcharged.

CDD 4
• Supervisor Joe Sidiski raised concerns over cracks in sidewalks along Greenbrook Boulevard. At next month’s meeting, staff will bring back documents to show if repairs to the affected sidewalk areas are the responsibility of the district or of Manatee County.
• Supervisors said Greenbrook Village Association members have raised concerns about parking along Hidden River Trail. The roadway, however, is under the jurisdiction of Manatee County, not the CDD.
• Supervisors authorized staff to issue a Request for Qualifications for continuing professional services, which includes discipline and service categories such as landscape architecture and transportation engineering.

IDA
• Supervisors authorized staff to issue a Request for Qualifications for continuing professional services, which includes discipline and service categories such as landscape architecture and transportation engineering.

ALL
District boards have set a new schedule for agenda review meetings. Under the new schedule: the IDA will meet at 8 a.m.; District 1 will meet at 10 a.m.; District 2 will meet at 1 p.m.; Districts 2 and 5 will meet jointly at 2:30 p.m.; and District 5 will meet at 3:30 p.m., on the Tuesday before regularly scheduled board meetings.


+ CDD 2 selects new supervisor
Lakewood Ranch Community Development District Supervisors have selected Dick Moran as the board’s newest member.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of issues here for eight or nine years,” Moran said. “The timing seemed right. I would like to get more involved in CDD 2.

“I’m thrilled to be on the board,” he said after his swearing-in ceremony. “It’s nice to be able to bring some of that expertise here.”

Moran is a charter member of the Lakewood Ranch Community Advisory Board, a neighborhood chair, a member of the Country Club/Edgewater Village Association and CEVA Safety and Security Awareness Committee and a member of the Lakewood Ranch Civic Action Forum, and more.

Moran will assume Seat 2 held by Supervisor Pete Bokach, who resigned and immediately was appointed to Seat 5, which was formerly occupied by Don O’Leary. O’Leary resigned from his post effective Oct. 1 and had about three years remaining on his term.

CDD 2 Chairman Bob Stepleman said board decided to move Bokach to O’Leary’s seat because Seat 2 comes up for re-election sooner, and the board feels the newly appointed supervisor should be put to a public vote as soon as possible — in 2012.

+ Ranch CDDs plan for future expenditures
Supervisors on Lakewood Ranch’s CDDs and the Inter-District Authority Board soon will begin work to develop a Capital Improvement Plan for their respective districts.

Through a series of workshops, supervisors will consider their assets and what long-term improvements, such as repairs, will need to be made over the next several years and beyond. The plan will help districts prepare financially to address improvement projects costing, in total, more than $5,000.

“Every agency needs a plan,” Town Hall Executive Director Eva Rey said. “This is really a framework and the financial visioning document that agencies use to plan their infrastructure improvements and how they are going to fund them.”

Workshops dates are still being set but likely will run from Nov. 29 to mid-December.

 

SHARE
Login Register now

Currently 0 Responses

Login below to post a comment or click register.
Account E-Mail
Password
forgot password? click here
Speak Your Mind Below!

Classifieds

YourObserver
Subscribe to our eNewsletters
1970 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-3468

Copyright 2014 The Observer Group Inc., All Rights Reserved