Sebastian City Council Agenda for Wednesday, June 24, 2020

City of Sebastian councilwoman Pamela Parris is at it again.
City of Sebastian councilwoman Pamela Parris is at it again.

Tonight will be a Sebastian City Council meeting at City Hall starting at 6:00 p.m., and the public is invited.

It’s the first meeting since Council members Damien Gilliams, and Pamela Parris were arrested last week on criminal charges for breaking Sunshine Laws, and perjury for lying multiple times to the State Attorney’s Office.

The first item for business is a public hearing for Sebastian resident Joe Scozzari. He is requesting a variance to allow an existing “accessory structure” to be considered the principal structure of the lot for “storage use.”

The code defines a dwelling unit to be deemed the principal structure, such as a home in a residential zoning district. The code does not allow a “storage facility” as a permitted or conditional use in the RS-10 zoning district.

The city council will be voting on this item, and public input will be available.

The council will discuss sidewalk replacement at Riverview Park, and approve the purchase of a Police Carport.

One of the big topics for tonight’s meeting will be the Sebastian Municipal Garage and public facilities compound near the airport. The structure was planned a while ago, but Councilman Damien Gilliams is not in favor. Gilliams claims he’s been a developer and says it’s too costly.

There is a discussion about the approved and codified recycling ordinance for the industrial zoning district. During this discussion, the City Attorney will provide information from his investigation to determine if Warrior Salvage was already promised approval in the past.

Councilwoman Pamela Parris will discuss budget adjustment for the vegetation removal in our canals.

Sebastian citizens are angry about the overgrown canals and weeds at the parks ever since the council voted to ban all spraying.

“For some time now, ever since the moratorium on spraying, I’m assuming, there has been a mass of growth on top of the canal,” Sebastian resident Andrea Horlick told Sebastian Daily.

Horlick, who lives on the canal near Hardee Park, says there is massive growth each day that drifts back and forth with the wind direction.

The Sebastian moratorium was spearheaded by Council members Damien Gilliams, Pamela Parris, and Charles Mauti.

The ban was placed without offering any alternative solutions to maintain the canal waterways.

“This is exactly what can be expected when you decide to stop maintaining our waterways, based on fear, without having a plan. This is just the start, and you can expect most of our canals to look similar if we don’t start maintaining them. The cost to get them back in shape will be great, and likely more intrusive to the environment than utilizing best management practices, as was the previous policy,” Councilman Jim Hill told Sebastian Daily.

Local residents have been contacting Sen. Mayfield’s office, as well as Governor Ron DeSantis to suspend or remove Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris from office. Citizens feel that the two are costing the city too much money in lawsuits after breaking Sunshine Laws and committing perjury.

Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris
Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris

Sunshine Law defender Michael Barfield is suing Charles Mauti, Damien Gilliams, Pamela Parris, and the City of Sebastian for the “illegal meeting” on April 22. The meeting was defined as “illegal meeting” by the State Attorney’s Office.

Citizens fear that it will cost the city millions after the City of Venice had to pay $1.5 million when their city council members violated the Sunshine Law. Barfield was part of a legal team that worked on that case as a paralegal on behalf of Anthony Lorenzo and Citizens for the Sunshine. A judge entered an order on the amount of attorney’s fees the City of Venice had to pay to the successful plaintiffs in that case.

“While it is true that the City of Venice had to pay approximately $1.5 million in that case, approximately one-half of that sum was paid to attorneys representing the City of Venice and the individual defendants,” Barfield told Sebastian Daily.

Tonight’s City Council meeting will be at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. The public is invited to attend.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised in Jupiter, Florida. Andy has been a radio & TV personality since the 1980s. He has worked for WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. After spending 7 years in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1990s, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2000. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.