Message From the City Manager
One of the core principles that guides how I approach the work of the City is the importance of sustained, consistent effort in the right direction over time. “Overnight successes” are very rare — rather it’s disciplined effort over time that produces most dramatic results. Jim Collins, in one of the best known business books of this millennium, Good to Great, had a term for this phenomenon — he called it “turning the flywheel.”
We are on the verge in 2018 of beginning to see some of the results of our efforts over the past few years come to fruition. With support of the City Council we have exercised budget discipline over the last four years and not only addressed our aging public safety fleet, we have made significant headway in addressing the deep deficiencies we faced in maintaining our road network. That work has put us in a position this year to look at our human infrastructure — you. The Classification and Compensation Study that is currently underway will look at our compensation system for both market competitiveness and internal equity, something that hasn’t been looked at here comprehensively, outside of our IAFF and PBA employees, for decades. Once we find out where we are, we can set about making the necessary corrections, some this fiscal year and some possibly in the next — more effort over time.
The City Council, Downtown Melbourne CRA, and the Community Development Department have been working together for many years in adopting, implementing, revising, and improving the Downtown redevelopment plan. That long-term effort, combined with lengthy negotiation with a private developer has us on the verge of a major step forward in the Downtown redevelopment effort, the construction of the Highline mixed-use project, which looks like it will break ground in the first few months of 2018. This project, which combines commercial and retail space with upwards of 170 apartment units and parking and other hardscape amenities marks a quantum leap toward the future for Downtown Melbourne.
Another process that started years ago, with the City’s acquisition of the former Marina Towers site on the riverfront along US 1, is on the verge of bearing fruit as well. The City Council has accepted an offer from a private developer who would like to build a hotel, marina, and probably two restaurants on the site. That developer has been in what’s called a “due diligence” period, so the deal hasn’t quite closed, but the end of that period is drawing near. That hasn’t happened easily or quickly either — this is our second attempt to find a developer. Once again, disciplined effort over time — talk to Deputy City Manager Shannon Lewis about that, this has been her project to shepherd.
There are more exciting things coming, in many other departments, but you get the idea. While it’s true that none of these three things have come to fruition quite yet, I believe we can look forward to celebrating these milestone events as we roll through 2018. In the meantime, we all keep turning the flywheel, ensuring that we will continue to have “overnight successes” to celebrate in 2019 and beyond.
Arbor Day Celebration and Tree Giveaway Contest
The City of Melbourne will be celebrating Arbor Day at Sherwood Park with a tree-planting ceremony and seedling giveaway on Friday, January 19, 11 a.m. - noon. Special guests include students from Sherwood Elementary and Boy Scout Troop 337. In addition, in celebration of Arbor Day, the City of Melbourne Parks and Recreation Department is giving away a 3-gallon (about 30” tall) Frangipani Tree! To enter, visit http://playmelbournefl.org/arbor-day-giveaway/. Winner will be announced on January 23 at 3 p.m.
ECO Schools Program Earns Statewide Award of Excellence
ECO Manager Jennifer Wilster accepted the Water Conservation Show of Excellence Award from the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association this past November.
The City of Melbourne Environmental Community Outreach (ECO) Division received a Water Conservation Show of Excellence Award from the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association at their annual conference in November. The award recognized the ECO Schools Program initiated in 2015. The program was created with the goal of recognizing and encouraging local schools for their environmental stewardship activities and programs. In the first year, only two schools participated. In 2016, the program grew in popularity, perhaps in part due to publicity received in local newspapers, along with City newsletters, web and social media postings. That year, the program grew to seven schools. In 2017, nine schools entered and were awarded the designation. This growth quantifies that environmental awareness and practices are increasing at our local schools. To be awarded the designation, schools must complete an entry conservation and other environmental practices they undertake indoors, outdoors and with recycling. They must show that they are undertaking a minimum of 20 activities on the checklist.
Students Name New MPD Outreach Program
Before the holidays, students in Mr. Dorricott’s Sixth Grade class at Sabal Elementary won a competition to name a new Melbourne Police Department elementary school outreach program. The sixth-graders came up with the winning name “COPS” or “Cool Outside Programs at School” and even designed a logo for the program, which was started this fall by Community Resource Officer Ben Slover. Through the COPS program, Officer Slover visits schools two days every month, playing games like basketball, dodgeball, tag and even jump rope. The response has been extremely positive, and all elementary schools in Melbourne are now participating in the program. "I believe that this is the type of innovative idea that we need to connect our community together," said Stephanie E. Hall, Principal of Sabal Elementary. For more information about the COPS program, see: http://www.melbourneflorida.org/Home/Components/News/News/2156/381
Join the Health First Mayors’ Fitness Challenge! Kick-off Event is Feb . 3
Melbourne Mayor Kathy Meehan is joining other mayors in Brevard County to challenge citizens to get involved in a healthy competition. The FREE 12-week challenge will track the minutes of participants’ activities, and the municipality reporting the most minutes of physical activity will be named “Most Fit City.” For more information and to register, visit https://online.uwbrevard.org/servlet/eAndar.article/494/Health-First-Mayors%27-Fitness-Challenge (To join the City of Melbourne team, choose “Melbourne” from the “Municipality/Team” drop-down list on the registration form.)
The City of Melbourne is hosting one of four community walks hosted by local mayors to kick off the Mayors’ Fitness Challenge on Feb. 3, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Join Mayor Meehan and other City of Melbourne team members for a free, fun and casual 3K walk around Riverview Park! All ages are welcome. Pre-registration is not required, but encouraged. See the Play Melbourne Facebook page for more information:. https://www.facebook.com/playmelbourne321/
Congratulations to the following employees on their recent promotions:
- Devane Clarke to Water Production Operator C, Water Production
- William Jessell to Senior Signage Services Technician, Traffic Engineering
Welcome New Employees
Pictured from left to right: Roger Eaton, Parks and Recreation; Brandy Collins, Traffic Engineering; Sean Riordan, Airport Police; Brandon Alderman, Water Distribution; Nicole Kukstis, Parks and Recreation; Curry Duffy, Parks and Recreation.
- William “Bill” Crotts, Airport Utility Specialist, retired on December 26 after 32 years of service.
News to Share?
Please contact Cheryl Mall, PIO: Cheryl.Mall@mlbfl.org or (321) 608-7265.