Council set short- and long-term goals

Feb. 05, 2014 @ 04:57 PM

In their second visioning retreat in as many months, city leaders narrowed down their short- and long-term goals and priorities for the city of Sanford Tuesday.

Sanford City Council met at 4 p.m. for a three-hour long discussion about setting goals for the city’s future before meeting at 7 p.m. for its regularly scheduled Sanford City Council meeting.

“I want to ask, ‘What defines each of you?’” Sanford Mayor Chet Mann asked his fellow council members. “And I want you to think of how you want the city of Sanford to be defined. Are you defined by your character or are you defined by your culture?”

Culture can change with trends and fads, he said, while character is what a person truly stands for.

The city needs to be mindful of its character when council members determine their long- and short-term goals, Mann said.

Sanford City Council members whittled down their short-term goals, combining some in other cases, to the following:

• Support community policing and consider new tools and programs for that effort.

• Increase community and civic engagement through various channels.

• Create a master plan that addresses short-term development and long-term smart equitable urban growth.

• Encourage and promote city businesses and restaurants for the upcoming U.S. Opens.

• Improve and upgrade pocket parks and public areas, including the MLK Park and the Depot Park.

• Provide the proper tools for code enforcement.

The long-term goals included:

• Consider a 21st century sports complex. Lee County Parks and Recreation Director John Payne presented a concept for a sports complex to be located at O.T. Sloan Park, pending support from the city, county and private individuals.

• Incremental long-range parking plan.

• Evaluate existing relationships and consider service consolidation.

• Space needs for a public safety facility.

• Create a cultural arts district around the Temple Theatre.

Sanford City Council members will then rank the goals based on importance and determine what groundwork has already been accomplished on these goals.

In other matters, Council:

• Approved several ordinance amendments and resolutions to allow the city to reimburse itself for engineering services related to its $14.5 million bond items. The city will pay for engineering work for the bond items up front and then reimburse itself once the bonds are issued to hasten the process.

• Heard an update on its prescription discount card and approved a $90 appropriation to send notices to city residents in their water bills.

• Heard a request from city resident Jamil Bjorkland for the city to make an exception to the ordinances to allow him to keep his pot belly pig.