Message from the City Manager: Slow Down Melbourne!
One thing that probably ninety-nine percent of us who work for the City of Melbourne have in common is that we drive. In addition to our work commute, many of us also drive around the City as we work, and some farther around Brevard County, many in City-owned vehicles.
There is something else that the greater population of drivers here in Brevard County in particular has in common, which is that we are doing a lousy job behind the wheel. We speed, run red lights, ignore school zones, suffer from road rage and change lanes willy-nilly without bothering to activate our “directional indicators.”
We’re also very busy drivers. While driving we also like to eat, put on makeup, talk on the phone, text, and even read the newspaper. In a recent operation the Melbourne Police Department classified approximately 40 percent of the drivers they observed as “distracted” while driving. As this is being written Florida Today has alerted my cellphone that a local woman just gave one of our motorcycle riders a love-tap on his back wheel with the front bumper her KIA. Guess who won that battle.
The consequences of this general abandonment of simple defensive driving principles have been catastrophic. As you may have read elsewhere, vehicle accident rates are skyrocketing up, particularly rear-end collisions (text-message anyone?) Our pedestrian and bicycle accident and fatality rates, which were already among the highest in the nation, remain very high. Doesn’t it seem lately like a week rarely goes by without another fatality?
What’s looming is a legitimate public safety crisis. Chief Gillespie and the MPD have made addressing these issues a high priority, and they have already done some things to move the needle. Really changing these behaviors, however, will take all of us. And it is not them, it is us — and that means all of us. As a first step we need to be aware that our situation is not normal, and it needs to change. Whether you’re in a City vehicle or your own, the message is simple — slow down, pay attention, and we will all get where we need to go. And be here to do it again tomorrow.
“Operation Attention-Getter” Results—165 tickets, 40 warnings, 40% of drivers distracted
In an effort to combat an epidemic of distracted driving-caused accidents in the City of Melbourne, the Melbourne Police Department conducted “Operation Attention-Getter” — a three-day education and enforcement campaign along the busiest roadways in the City. In early April, officers set up strict, intensive traffic enforcement zones at specific intersections that had seen the highest percentage of traffic accidents since the beginning of 2018. During the operation, officers issued 165 tickets and 40 written warnings. One driver was ticketed for going 87 mph in a 45 mph zone, and approximately 40% of all drivers were observed driving while texting, eating or otherwise distracted. The MPD will continue to monitor traffic accident data and will launch future operations when and where needed to help prevent accidents and improve safety for the entire community.
Corporate 5K Registration Deadline: Apr. 17
There is still time to sign up for the 2018 Corporate 5K! Registration for annual fun walk/run is open through April 17. To register visit www.brevardcorporate5k.com. Cost for City of Melbourne Employees is $17.50; for nonemployees the cost is $30. Questions? Call Human Resources at 321-608-7800.
Orlando Melbourne International Airport Rehabs First of Three Runways
Orlando Melbourne International Airport Executive Director Greg Donovan, Melbourne Airport Authority Board Member and City Council Member Debbie Thomas, Melbourne Airport Authority Vice Chair and Melbourne Mayor Kathy Meehan, and Melbourne Airport Authority Chairman Jack Ryals at the March 16 runway opening ceremony.
It’s a major undertaking to close, reconstruct and re-open all three runways in succession at an international airport, and probably not for the faint of heart. “But it was necessary and our team was up to the challenge,” said Greg Donovan, A.A.E., executive director of Orlando Melbourne International Airport. It’s been almost 25 years since the airport’s three runways were resurfaced. The usual protocol is to stagger significant airfield projects months or years apart, but that wasn’t an option at MLB. With 200+ commercial aircraft and 1,900 general aviation operations each week, the growing airport needed to move forward quickly. Fortunately, the Florida Department of Transportation recognized the need and provided half of the funds necessary to complete the initial project. “We’re proud to report that the first runway, 9L/27R was completed on time and under budget,” Donovan said at the March 16 dedication of the 6,000 foot runway. The renovations include complete removal and replacement of the pavement, new runway markings, upgraded electronics, lighting and new signage. Next, the airport will tackle its 3,000-foot Runway 5/23, then its main runway, 9R/27L which at 10,181 feet is nearly two miles long and is planned for completion in mid-June 2018.
Melbourne Fire Department Receives National Uniform Award
The Melbourne Fire Department’s Honor Guard has received national recognition for its new uniform design from the North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers & Distributors (NAUMD). The honor guard uniforms won first place in the “First Responders, Medium Department” category in NAUMD’s annual Best Dressed Public Safety Competition. “Uniforms have a powerful impact on how employees are perceived, and this is particularly true in law enforcement and public safety,” said Steve Zalkin, NAUMD president. “This year’s winners have worked hard to ensure they have the best uniforms to meet their specific needs, and we’re proud to recognize their achievements.” The Melbourne Fire Department Honor Guard performs important community service duties and participates in multiple events each year, including funerals for firefighters, memorial services, graduations, parades, dedications, and national and state memorial ceremonies. Training Division Chief Sam Byrd, Lt. Andrew Colbert, Lt. Nikolai Pippa, Lt. John Hartley, Lt. Philip Leitz, Driver-Engineer Ryan Young, Firefighter Joseph Lucarotti, Firefighter Todd Olsen and Firefighter Cameron Canales are currently serving on the Honor Guard. They worked together to make updates and improvements to the Honor Guard uniforms. The City’s uniform vendor, Red the Uniform Tailor, was impressed with the changes and entered the design into the competition. The awards were presented on March 27 at NAUMD’s annual convention in St. Louis, MO. Lt. John Hartley attended the awards ceremony and accepted the award on behalf of the Melbourne Fire Department.
Play Melbourne Parks & Recreation Launches Summer 2018 Online Guide
The new Play Melbourne Summer Guide is now available online at http://playmelbournefl.org/browse_events/. The guide includes information about summer camps, swim lessons, classes, activities, leagues, special events, and more! Visit PlayMelbourneFL.org or call (321) 608-7400 for more information about this summer’s events.
April is “Water Conservation Month” in the City of Melbourne
Abby Johnson, St. Johns River Water Management District Intergovernmental Coordinator, (left) with Mayor Kathy Meehan at the March 27, 2018, Melbourne City Council meeting.
The City of Melbourne has joined with other municipalities and the St. Johns River Water Management District in designating April as “Water Conservation Month” as part of a larger effort to increase awareness about the importance of water conservation and the everyday changes all citizens can make to help save water and extend out water resources well into the future. “The City of Melbourne has always encouraged and supported water conservation through various educational programs and special events,” said Mayor Kathy Meehan. “We are calling upon each citizen and business to help protect our precious resource by practicing water saving measures and becoming more aware of the need to save water.” For more information, see http://www.melbourneflorida.org/Home/Components/News/News/2311/381 or call the ECO Division: (321) 608-5080.
Play Melbourne Creates New Young Executive Co-Ed Golf League
Play Melbourne has established a new co-ed golf league for golfers under the age of 40. The Young Executive Golf League will play every Saturday at 11 a.m. at Crane Creek Reserve Golf Course. The league is open to both new and experienced golfers, and there is no fee to join. Benefits include pre-booked tee-times and networking with peers. For more information or to sign up, please call (321) 608-7430 or e-mail email@example.com.
Cindy Irons Awarded for Employee Excellence
Employee Excellence Award Recipient Cindy Irons with Code Compliance Director Steve Innes (left) and Deputy Building Official Ed Gast (right).
Code Compliance Services Supervisor Cindy Irons was recognized with a City of Melbourne “Employee Excellence” Award on March 30. Cindy has been instrumental in keeping the flow of permits moving in the face of tremendous activity due to hurricane-incurred issues along with increased growth of our City. She has not only maintained her role as a Supervisor, she has also stepped in to fill the voids of employees who have been on extended leave. Her knowledge and expertise has created an atmosphere of exceptional customer service aiding in the completion of permits in an extremely timely manner allowing contractors to begin work on their projects. She has volunteered to stay late and work on weekends to keep customer service in the forefront. “Employee Excellence” Awards recognize employees for taking on extra responsibilities or special projects that go above and beyond their normal duties, for exceptional performance on an on-going basis, and for outstanding customer service, either internal or external. Cindy Irons has clearly demonstrated these attributes and is deserving of this special achievement.
Congratulations to the following employees on their recent promotions:
- Kristin Bracewell to Senior Accounts Clerk, Utility Billing & Collection
- Patrick Callahan to Plans Examiner, Code Compliance
- Amanda Curley to Recreation Supervisor, Wickham Park Community Center
- Michael Desharnais to Driver/Engineer Medic (Solo), Fire Operations
- Brian Hart to Police Lieutenant, Police Operations
- Benjamin Slover to Police Sergeant, Police Operations
- Michelle Smith to Environmental Programs Coordinator, Environment Community Outreach
- Javier Solis to Wastewater Operator C, Water Reclamation
- Jeffrey Wiener to Equipment Operator I, Parks Maintenance
- Jason Young to Fire Lieutenant Medic (Solo), Fire Operations
- Jay Geld, Fire Lieutenant EMT-I, retired on March 23 after 30 years of service.
- Kenneth Petrie, Parks Maintenance Maintenance Worker I, retired on March 30 after 14 years of service.
News to Share?
Please contact Cheryl Mall, PIO: Cheryl.Mall@mlbfl.org or (321) 608-7265.