Message From the City Manager
My first reaction when considering what to write for this newsletter the week before the Thanksgiving holiday, was something like “Oh goodie — Thanksgiving, that will be easy — nobody has ever written about that before!”
Once I quieted my inner cynic, and really thought about the subject, I had a different idea. In a time when so much of our reality seems to be defined by natural disaster or negative news, maybe it’s even more important to focus in on the bigger realities, and what we do have to be thankful for. From hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes to “red vs. blue,” fake news, geopolitical strife, terrorism and violence of all sorts, and a seemingly never-ending stream of new allegations of harassment and abuse by powerful men, it’s not hard to let the cynical side just have the day. I keep hearing that “perception is reality," and the perception based on those facts is certainly not very good.
What I challenge each of you to consider is whether those negative events, natural or news-making, define your reality. Speaking for myself, I will answer with a resounding “no.”
- As we all did, my family and I faced down Hurricane Irma, and we and our home are still intact. How does one not appreciate that?
- I refuse to see the world through a red-or-blue filter, or otherwise live in a reality where me and mine are fine and the “others” are the problem. I see grey areas, nuance, and the value in embracing our collective potential, not “us vs. them.” I’m thankful for that.
- I always have to be thankful for my family’s good health, and for my wife Hazel who takes keeping us that way very seriously.
- I’m thankful to have a good job with seven bosses who respect their employees and value the work we do on behalf of the community.
I could go on, but you get the idea, and this column isn’t about me. About ten days ago, one of my best friends rode his bicycle head-on into the front end of a truck, exploding one vertebrae and crushing three more. As of this writing, he’s not only alive but suffering from no paralysis at all. Facing a tough recovery yes, but I promise very thankful as well.
To my inventory I’ll add my thanks to each and every one of you for your efforts this past year in serving our community — we’ve had plenty of opportunity to serve! I trust that as you conduct your own inventory, you’ll find plenty to be thankful for as you enjoy the long holiday weekend.
Operation Street Smart Aims to Reduce the Number of Accidents in the City of Melbourne
The Melbourne Police Department has launched Operation Street Smart — a new campaign aimed at reducing bicycle and pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries through a combination of enforcement, education and engineering. Some activities include presentations by school resource officers, mentoring by school crossing guards, and distribution of posters and educational materials at schools and in places with large numbers of adult pedestrians and bicyclists. Officers will be on lookout for opportunities to improve traffic safety, including signage, lighting and design improvements in these areas as part of the program. A safety and education campaign is being conducted on social media that emphasizes the role all roadway users have to play in staying safe and preventing accidents. For more information about Operation Street Smart and to read important safety tips, please see www.melbourneflorida.org/street-smart.
Council Establishes Beautification and Energy Efficiency Board
The City of Melbourne is accepting applications through November 30 for the newly formed Beautification and Energy Efficiency Board. Once appointed, the seven-member board (five regular members and two alternate members) will make recommendations to the City Council concerning affordable strategies associated with conservation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. The board will be charged with developing an environmental sustainability plan relating to city operations with a goal of achieving 100% clean energy by 2035. On an as needed basis, the board will review ordinances and policies that have an environmental impact on the city. Additional initiatives of the board may include recommending to the public affordable strategies associated with conservation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency; and recognizing efforts of those who contribute to the beautification, environmental protection, and enhancement of city.
Protect Your Pipes Holiday Campaign
This holiday season, the City of Melbourne is joining with utilities across Brevard County to remind residents to protect their pipes by keeping FOG — fats, oils and grease — out of the sewer system. FOG comes from a variety of food sources, including food scraps, cooking oil, shortening, lard, butter, margarine, gravy, mayonnaise, salad dressings, and sour cream. While it may seem practical and harmless to get rid of FOG by rinsing it off your dishes or pouring it down the kitchen sink, doing so can lead to huge problems and expensive repairs down the road. The City of Melbourne and other wastewater utility providers in the county are promoting tips to keep FOG out of the sewer system on social media, on the web, and through local news media. For more information and tips, see: http://www.melbourneflorida.org/Home/Components/News/News/2080/381?backlist=%2fhome
United Way Campaign Update
Your 2017 co-chairs Kirsten Welch and Robin Schaffroth have been making their way to different departments with the United Way pledge forms and brochures. The campaign runs through Friday, November 17. If you would like to donate, please fill out the pledge form and send to Kirsten or Robin at Public Works & Utilities Administration, 2885 Harper Road. You can send through interoffice mail, drop off at their office, or they can pick them up. You can reach them through e-mail or by phone at 608-5000. Please keep in mind that every dollar counts and will greatly help the citizens of Brevard County. Thank you.
MPD’s Melinda Bishop Receives Crimeline’s Outstanding Law Enforcement Award
Crimeline Central Florida has awarded Melinda Bishop, Melbourne Police Department’s administrative assistant for investigations, the Outstanding Law Enforcement Participation Award for her exemplary job in partnering with and reporting to Crimeline. Melinda plays a critical behind-the-scenes role at the MPD by monitoring and tracking the electronic receipt of all tips, including those received from Crimeline. In presenting the award at the Central Florida Crimeline Breakfast Awards Recognition & 40th Anniversary Celebration on October 25, Crimeline Executive Director Barb Bergin said, “Melinda is so professional, efficient and thorough that Crimeline gets exactly what we need, every time. Her reports explain everything perfectly and in great detail.”
Congratulations to the following employees on their recent promotions:
- Simon Brunson to AP Utility Specialist II, Terminal Building & Area
- Kevin Phillips to Fleet Technician III, Fleet Management
- Michael Proctor to Fleet Technician II, Fleet Management
- Joseph Thomas, to Fleet Service Advisor, Fleet Management
Ross McGinn Recognized With Employee Excellence Award
"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 ongoing basis, and for outstanding customer service, either internal or external. In November, this award was presented to Ross McGinn, Accountant in the Financial Services Department, for going above and beyond in implementing the purchasing card statement module in MUNIS. Ross set up, tested and trained employees on the purchasing card statement module, which required many hours of research and testing on his own. He assisted with the training manuals and sessions and served as the key point of contact for staff questions during the first two months after going live with the new process"This implementation allows purchase card transactions to appear in MUNIS within 3 to 5 days, before it took 35 to 45 days to appear,” said Sondra D’Angelo, Assistant Finance Director. “Without Ross’ willingness to take on this project, we would not have these enhanced abilities in MUNIS.”
Congratulations to recent winners of the Applause Award! The following employees were recognized for exceeding their normal job duties to provide customer service, perform a service or project, or to facilitate teamwork and/or collaboration:
Peter 'Butch' Burke
The Applause Award gift card drawing winners were Marci Schmiege (Auditorium), Peter “Butch” Burke and Marshall Thompson (Wastewater Collection) and Billy Webster (Streets & Stormwater).
Ralph Reigelsperger and Billy Webster
Butch Burke (left), Ralph Reigelsperger and Marshall Thompson (right)
Vince Pryce, Deputy Police Chief (right), retired on November 3 after 30 years of service.
Retirements not pictured:
- Ron Buskirk, Maintenance Repair Technician/Parks, retired on October 31 after 28 years of service.
- Ann Colwell, Chief Accounts Clerk/Engineering, retired on October 19 after 18 years of service.
News to Share?
Please contact Cheryl Mall, PIO: Cheryl.Mall@mlbfl.org or (321) 608-7265.