The Key West City Council talked noise ordinance recently

Sam Kaufman, Vice Mayor for the City of Key West, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about what’s been going on in the city.

The most recent city council meeting had some noise ordinance discussion.

Kaufman said, “It’s been an interesting process to observe. There were a series of workshops held earlier last year in City Hall, and some recommendations came out of those workshops through city staff. But the City Commission pretty much unanimously did not support making a change with regard to the noise ordinance in the aspect of removing the decibel level as an objective measure of a potential noise violation. So I’m not sure how city staff will proceed, but we’ll find out at the next City Commission meeting and that’s sort of an important issue for those interested to pay attention to going forward. But the City Commission did want to retain the objective decibel meter reading as part of the process to determine the noise violation. I don’t I don’t think there was any interest by any city commissioner to change that. But that was the recommendation that came through city staff, apparently, from the workshops, I did not, in all fairness, I did not attend those workshops earlier last year. So I don’t know exactly how that recommendation came about. But in any case, it looks to me like that is not moving forward. I think that the same noise ordinance measurements will remain intact. So but we’ll see what city staff brings forward if anything next. I think that there was there was complete, unanimous support for retaining the current structure of the noise ordinance. I think most folks wanted it to be fair to businesses and neighbors alike. For managing the issue, it’s good to have that objective measure. So I think everyone agreed pretty much that that was good to retain.”

There will be a public kickoff for the City of Key West Climate Action Committee plan.

Kaufman explained, “Basically, the purpose of the meeting is to explain the project’s goals and outcomes. There’s really a desire for community feedback. This has to do with the 10 year adaptation plan that the city will be putting a lot of money in through a consultant, Tetra Tech. This is to address sea level rise, storm surge, extreme flooding events, that sort of thing. That is happening actually, tomorrow night. It’s a virtual meeting. So all those in the city I know there’s many people out there that are frustrated and concerned about flooding on their particular street, and their neighborhood. They should tune in to the virtual meeting, which is tomorrow, that’s January 23, at 5:30pm. You can register for the Zoom link by going to the city of Key West website. If you scroll down just a little bit on the website, you’ll see the calendared event for tomorrow, January 23rd at 5:30 and you can enroll there.”

Duvall Street development is another topic.

Kaufman said next week “there is an informational meeting. I would encourage everyone in the community that’s interested in the redevelopment and the resiliency efforts concerning Duvall Street to attend that. That’s a community meeting, which will be at San Carlos and that is next week at 5pm on January 31. That’s going to be an opportunity to share what the city has learned about the issues of flooding on Duvall Street and sea level rise concerns for Duvall Street. But it’s an also an opportunity for community members to get involved in the process and share their concerns and ideas about Duvall Street. So this is really a kickoff to meet the team in the city that is working on this and for everyone to get together. It’s just an initial kickoff meeting.”

Florida Keys Days in Tallahassee are coming up and term limits may be discussed.

Kaufman said, “The mayor of Key West may serve a total of four terms, which are two year each term. So a total of eight years. A city commissioner may serve a total of 12 years before being term limited.”

Florida Keys Days will have a number of topics to discuss in the state legislature.

Kaufman said, “We’re aligned well with the county on TDC funding being able to be utilized for affordable housing. I think that’s very important. There was a $25 million surplus this past year and under current law, not $1 of that can be used for affordable housing when we’re really struggling in a major crisis, especially in the tourist industry, where that those funds are designed to be utilized. So that that legislative change is really important both to the county and the city. I think also the hurricane modeling is very important. We need obviously to retain Key West in the hurricane modeling. For some reason there was talk in Tallahassee of not including the city of Key West in the hurricane modeling. Public safety is number one, and we have to be sure that everyone can safely evacuate during a storm, even storms like Hurricane Ian, which we’re rapidly intensifying. Those two things, I think are really important big picture things. Of course, there’s a lot of requests for funding and so on, but the good news, I think, is the city and the county are aligned, and have and are working together. I think probably all the municipalities are doing the same. There’s some leadership across the board.”

There could also be a ruling about flags at county offices.

Kaufman said, “I think there’s a reasonable approach to this. We can all probably agree that the city’s functions should be made the priority. In the long run, I think that basically flags should be displayed that are directly related to the function of the particular government. Of course, the state of Florida flag and the United States flag are required and mandatory and we all support those flags. My thought is that the Conch Republic flag obviously should be given some consideration, and that that that would be some heartburn on a lot of us if we would have to remove the Conch Republic flag. That being said, I think a lot of communities would have a hard time removing the flags of their sports teams, their football team, their high schools. So this is not just a Key West issue.”

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