Message From the Deputy City Manager
With Veteran’s Day behind us and Thanksgiving fast approaching, November is a perfect month to give thanks for the people, things and ideals we hold dear. While I typically write about ongoing city projects, this month I thought I would try something different and share what I am most thankful for.
More than anything, I am thankful for my family and their good health. Almost three years ago, we nearly lost our 10-year old daughter after, and without any warning, she experienced a large brain hemorrhage due to a rare disorder called an arteriovenus malformation. By the grace of God, excellent surgeons, caring nurses, numerous therapists and her own strong will and determination, she has recovered and is healthy today. The support our family received from the City of Melbourne and so many of you truly helped us get through that trying and difficult time. Not a day goes by that I don’t give thanks for our second chance and truly appreciate the support we received from everyone.
Like some of you, our family has also experienced loss this year as several family members passed away from various health conditions. Despite their absence, I am thankful for the many years we had together and the adventures we shared.
I am also thankful for the opportunity to work in local government and specifically for the City of Melbourne. While many people are distrustful of government, I believe the work we do every day truly makes a positive difference in our residents’ lives. I see the collaborative effort and commitment that you bring to work each day as you navigate through competing priorities, creatively solve problems and create positive experiences for our citizens. I am proud to work with you and thankful that you are here to contribute your talent, care and expertise on a daily basis.
Although everyone’s schedule is hectic, I encourage you to reflect on what you are most thankful for during this busy season. I hope that you and your families remain well and that you have a very Happy Thanksgiving.
United Way Campaign Begins
United Way Campaign Team members Kevin Berg, Kasey Crowl, Sherry Myers and Robin Schaffroth gave a presentation about the 2019 United Way Campaign to managers during the Quarterly Management Meeting in October.
The City of Melbourne's annual United Way campaign kicked off on November 5 and runs through November 30. Every year City employees have the opportunity to participate in the workplace giving campaign, which raises money to fund programs that help put people on a path toward a stronger future. These programs include reading and mentoring for young children, tax preparation and financial education for adults, and health care and safety net services for all in need. Last year one in four people in Brevard County used a United Way service. If you have a question about this year's campaign or if you want to get involved, please contact any team member or call 608-5000.
City of Melbourne Goes Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, many City of Melbourne employees wore pink every Friday in October in support of survivors and in memory of those who lost their battle with cancer. This photo shows a small fraction of employee’s who participated in the City’s Go Pink campaign for breast cancer awareness. Although October brings a nationwide focus, we have opportunities every day to learn more about the impact to men, women and their families from breast and other cancers. For more information, visit https://www.cancer.org/latest-news.html, https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/ or https://www.usoncology.com/patients/practices/cancer-care-centers-brevard. You can also contact the American Cancer Society Helpline at (800) 227-2345, one of seven Cancer Care Centers of Brevard listed on the website of the third link above, or Robin Rice the Employee Health, Education and Wellness Coordinator at (321) 608-7815 for additional information.
First Annual Employee Healthy Food Festival Held
Approximately 165 employees, family members, and retirees attended the First Annual Employee Healthy Food Festival on September 14. The purpose of the festival was to provide education on making nutritious food choices in an effort to jump start a path to an overall healthier lifestyle. Feedback from this year’s event was overwhelmingly positive. Some of the comments from this year’s attendees:
- “Great options from local vendors.”
- “This event encourages me to continue going down this path that I just recently began.”
- “Thank you for the opportunity to come and learn how to incorporate a healthy lifestyle.”
- “Great idea that makes us think. Loved that I got my flu shot.”
- “Thank you City of Melbourne!”
The Second Annual Employee Healthy Food Festival is tentatively scheduled for September 13, 2019. For more information, contact Robin Rice at (321) 608-7815.
Reconstruction of Babcock Street Underway
On October 30, members of the Melbourne City Council, Brevard County Commission, and Babcock Street CRA Advisory Committee held a project kick-off ceremony to highlight the partnership among the three agencies that has made the project to reconstruct Babcock Street possible. The final phase of the project began on November 5, and the full rebuilding and resurfacing process is expected to be completed in early 2019. Specific road closures are being posted on the city’s website and social media pages as they are scheduled.
Melbourne Voters Approve Construction of New Police Station
Melbourne voters have approved financing a new police headquarters facility with general obligation bonds. The funds will be used to construct a centralized, efficient police station that will consolidate the all police operations. “I am ecstatic that our community has approved the funds for a new police headquarters,” said Melbourne Police Chief David Gillespie. “Our residents deserve a building that reflects the investment they have made in our police department. This will be a state-of-the-art facility that will move us into the future. I am proud to work for a community that supports its police department and makes public safety one of its top priorities.” The new police facility is expected to open in early 2021. More information about the project is available at www.melbourneflorida.org/consolidated-police-facility.
City Providing Dumpsters to Help With Neighborhood Clean-up
Between November 8 and December 7, Melbourne residents may use two dumpsters at the Joseph N. Davis Community Center to dispose of large items, such as damaged fencing, furniture and old tires. The city is providing the dumpsters in response to numerous complaints about dumping along the side of the roadways in south Melbourne’s neighborhoods and to offer local residents a convenient way to dispose of large items that are not picked up as part of their regular waste collection service. The dumpsters are intended for bulk items like pressure-treated wood, furniture or other large items that residents would otherwise need to transport to the Cocoa landfill. One dumpster will be set aside exclusively for tires and the other may be used for any other large item except for yard debris. (Waste Management collects yard debris as part of its regular service.) For more information, please call City of Melbourne Code Compliance Division at (321) 608-7920.
Volunteer Board Members Celebrated at Annual Reception
Citizens who serve as volunteer board members were honored for their years of service to the City of Melbourne during the City’s 20th Annual Board Reception, which was held on October 25 at the Courtyard at the Oaks. The annual board reception provides an opportunity for the Mayor and City Council to recognize volunteer board members for their contributions to the city. In 2018, approximately 131 members served on 17 committees that guide a range of city services from architectural standards and affordable housing to code enforcement and pension planning. Many of the city’s board members have served for multiple years. Combined, their years of service total more than 1,000.
Ralph Reigelsperger congratulates Larry (“Skeet”) Phillips on his Applause Award.
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:
Congratulations to the following employee on his recent promotion:
- Aaron Traylor to Water Reclamation Supervisor, Water Reclamation
Welcome New Employees
Pictured from left to right: William Grimaldi, Police Support Services; Adam Dunayer, Recreation; Michael Zukowski, Streets Management; Anna Cox, Police Support Services; Shaun Hill, Police Operations; Cierra Johnson, Police Operations; Martha Fox, Police Support Services; Elizabeth Vosch, Police Support Services; John Hoag, Pool Operations; Brianna Berberet, Wickham Community Center; David Borst, Parks Maintenance; Douglas Blair, Police Support Services; Yaleris Diaz Pacheco, Water Production.
New employee not pictured:
- Leslie Drawdy, Streets Management
Frank Mico, Code Compliance Inspector III, retired on October 31 after 34 years of service.
Retirements not pictured:
- Kevin Devine, Water Production Operator B, retired on October 25 after 30 years of service.
- Thomas Distler, Driver/Engineer Medic (Solo), retired on November 10 after 29 years of service.